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Qatar’s visitor arrivals reach a five-year high in 2023

The Villagio shopping mall in Doha, Qatar. Visitors from Saudi Arabia, India and the UK topped the list of arrivals last year Shutterstock/Deyan Denchev
The Villagio shopping mall in Doha, Qatar. Visitors from Saudi Arabia, India and the UK topped the list of arrivals last year

Qatar received more than four million visitors in 2023, surpassing the annual visitor numbers of the previous five years.

The positive momentum follows the success of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 and the government’s efforts to bolster tourism, state-run Qatar Tourism said in a statement.

Qatar last year introduced the Hayya platform to streamline visa processes for travellers, with 95 countries granted visas on arrival.

“Qatar continues to demonstrate its appeal as a global tourism destination with its expanded tourism infrastructure, safety, and authentic Arabian hospitality,” said Saad Al Kharji, chairman of Qatar Tourism.

“New developments in Qatar’s tourism sector are ongoing, creating even further opportunities for growth,” he added.

As of 2023, Qatar’s tourism was led by visitors from Saudi Arabia, constituting 25.3 percent of international arrivals, followed by India (10.4 percent), Germany (4.1 percent), the UK (3.9 percent) and Kuwait (3.5 percent).

Nearly 85 percent of these visitors chose air travel, 14 percent opted for land routes, and just one percent arrived by sea.

Qatar enhanced its global tourism footprint with events such as the Geneva International Motor Show, which drew 180,000 visitors over 10 days. The 2023/24 cruise season also witnessed significant growth, with 81 cruises and 350,000 passengers, surpassing the previous season’s figures.

The country is set to host more than 80 events, including sports championships, cultural events, international exhibitions and summits, and shopping festivals.

Some of the major events include the AFC Asian Cup, Shop Qatar, Doha Jewellery and Exhibition, Katara International Arabian Horse Festival, Annual Qatar Economic Forum, Formula 1 Grand Prix 2024, Autonomous e-mobility Forum and Web Summit, a technology conference.

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