Qatar: Busting the myths

In association with: Visit Qatar

Discover what agents learned on a myth busting fam trip to Qatar in a new Travel Weekly guide

When coming in to land in Qatar, the desert terrain gives way to a mesmerising skyline where futuristic-looking buildings stand tall along Doha’s coast. It’s hard not to be captivated by it, but there’s more to Qatar than meets the eye.

Alongside its new developments, home to glitzy hotels with world-class restaurants, there’s a fascinating cultural side where museums, art galleries and traditional bustling souqs aren’t far away. Leisure travellers can recharge their batteries at a beachside resort, in a hotel spa or on the golf course, while families can be treated to endless fun at an attraction park or water park. Those seeking adventure can find it in the desert or on the coast, with land and water-based activities, or in the mangroves, just outside the capital, that are the perfect setting for kayaking. 

Many clients might still have questions about what it’s like to visit Qatar, and at the end of last year, seven travel agents embarked on a fam trip with Visit Qatar, in partnership with Travel Weekly, to dispel some myths about the destination. 

With this week’s Travel Weekly you can find the new guide, Qatar: Busting the Myths, which gives you the information you’ll need to answer your clients’ questions. 


What’s inside?

Though small in size, Qatar packs a punch with activities and experiences for visitors, both in the capital Doha and outside. Here is what you can find inside: 

Qatar for… culture enthusiasts: Cultural experiences, engaging museums and bustling souqs are among what culture seekers will discover. 

Qatar for… adventurers: Desert terrain and lush mangroves are just some of the settings for adventurous activities. 

Qatar for… foodies: The foodie scene in Qatar is second to none, with celebrity chef restaurants, quaint traditional eateries and everything in between. 

Qatar for… leisure travellers: Golf courses, beaches, incredible hotels and family-friendly activities await those looking to travel recreationally. 

Qatar for… stopover passengers: Get a taste for Qatar with a great value stopover or transit programme for a couple of days. 

You’ll also find out which myths the agents have busted along the way. 


Agents’ thoughts

“Tapping into the cruise market is going to be a massive opportunity. Anyone who is going on a cruise around the Arabian Sea and is starting from this part of the world, it’s a huge opportunity that we can market. There’s a lot of reasons to draw people here, for an event or for a starting point for their holiday.” David Evans, Hays Travel 

“Qatar has to be a serious consideration as part of the holiday, not just to facilitate a transit. It’s still in its infancy, it’s so easy to get around, and it’s reasonable. There’s plenty to do in the two or three days you would allocate to come to the city.” Phil Nuttall, Travel Village Group 

“You’ve got the old town and you’ve got the new town. You’ve got the culture; you’ve also got the adventurous trips that you can do. There’s a lot of family areas, there’s hotels with beaches, there’s something for everybody.” Lucie Jones, Travel Club Elite 

“I’d recommend to anybody – couples that are maybe en route to somewhere such as the Maldives, the Seychelles, as a stop off. I would try to sell it as an alternative to a family beach resort, maybe for half-term or Easter. There’s something for all ages, whether it be a younger couple or even singles, because you’d feel completely safe.” Katie Barrington-Hirst, Wetherby Travel 

If you want to hear more from the agents about their trip to Qatar and how their perceptions of the destination have changed, watch our short video series at travelweekly.co.uk/MythbustingQatar 

To learn more about Qatar, sign up to the Qatar Specialist Programme at: qatartourism.com/en/travel-trade/qatar-specialist-programme 

PICTURES: Aflah P Hussain; Qatar Tourism

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