Creating a Qatari hospitality legacy
With the hospitality trade in Qatar set to soar with the Business Optimism Index for the Trade and Hospitality sector increasing to 57 in Q1, 2015, it is now key to strive for excellence. The huge increase is largely driven by the imminent 2022 World Cup and Qatar National Vision 2030 – leading the country on the path of economic diversification and recognising the increasing demand in international business tourism, writes Hamad Abdulla Al Mulla.
With both the 2022 and 2030 deadlines, it is no wonder that there are huge investments currently being made in Qatar. With the first motivation being the football event, it often leads to questions about what will happen after the eyes of the world shift from this internationally acclaimed event. The investments are set to serve the country’s economy in the long term by giving an added boost to the infrastructure, including the newly opened Hamad International Airport and upcoming developments such as the Mall of Qatar, Festival City and theme parks.
This is why Katara Hospitality continues its mission to preserve the existing industry heritage within the country, while also acquiring spectacular properties that once set the standards in the sector. Today, the institution represents a legacy. The aim is to further invest in these historic and iconic hotels to restore them to their former glory and turn them into thriving businesses, while ensuring that their hospitality heritage is secured. Each property represents a hospitality icon in its own right, further strengthening Qatar’s reputation as a key player in the global tourism market.
Currently, the hotels owned and managed by the company in Qatar form an eclectic portfolio that cater to demand from both the high-end business travellers to the more cost-conscious ones, through to the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) segment. In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, Katara Hospitality is also focusing on developing a network of first-class business hotels in Qatar with its home-grown Merweb Hotels brand.
A recent example of how the company is showcasing its dedication to the heritage and development of Qatar is the focus on pioneering spectacular projects that will redefine the design and presentation of luxury hospitality in the country. One of the projects is the iconic Katara Towers in Lusail Marina District, a luxury hospitality complex and an architectural translation of Qatar’s country seal. Scheduled to open in 2018, Katara Towers will host a five-star luxury hotel, a five-star ultra-luxury hotel, and branded apartments. The project features twin arched towers that rise gracefully from the podium level and symbolically represent the crossed swords of the country’s seal. With its design complemented by landscaped gardens and palm trees, the hospitality complex is set to become the hospitality icon of the 21st century.
In Qatar, for over four decades, Katara Hospitality has played an instrumental role in shaping the hospitality landscape, which today is part of the national infrastructure that grows alongside the country’s development. When investing abroad, the organisation is the hospitality flagship of the country, representing an industry that is perceived as an essential sector in Qatar’s economic diversification.
The organisation believes that it is important across the industry to grow the hospitality sector, not only for the present, but also for the future to create a true legacy that the country can really be proud of. Keeping this in mind, it is important that the industry does not forget that the focus of the world will soon be upon Qatar on the back of the 2022 World Cup. The development of legacy hotels across the country will firmly put Qatar on the map as a world-class, key international destination, and one that will continue to attract travellers for generations to come.
Hamad Abdulla Al Mulla is the CEO of Katara Hospitality.