Hospitality Qatar, the country's premier international hospitality and Hotel/Restaurant/Café (Horeca) trade show was inaugurated by HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The three-day event is expected to draw in large international participation, reflecting the increasing interest in leveraging promising opportunities available in Qatar, especially as the number of hotels, hospitality and tourism facilities has surged in the past few years. More than $40bn is being allocated to upgrade the already booming hospitality sector over the next 15 years, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.
During the inauguration, Sheikh Ahmed stressed that the tourism sector is the most important pillar that supports Qatar's economic diversification strategy. He emphasised that the country has moved towards raising the contribution of this sector to gross domestic product (GDP), especially in light of the huge investment opportunities available in this sector, which will contribute to bolstering the competitiveness of the national economy and its attractiveness to foreign investment.
“The great growth currently being witnessed in the tourism and hospitality sector has been accompanied by the inauguration and implementation of several projects, particularly across hotels and other tourist facilities,” he said.
The minister also lauded the efforts made to organise this year's edition of Hospitality Qatar, which reflects the country's role as a key player in the hospitality and investment market in the region. “The exhibition will contribute to enhancing communication among businessmen, investors and owners of specialised companies to establish successful projects that will strengthen Qatar's reputability as a leading tourist destination in the region and the world,” he added.
More than 153 companies from 16 countries, including Turkey, Spain, India and Iran, are participating in the event expected to receive 7,000 visitors. It is composed of three zones; Food & Beverage, Supply & Design, and Hotel & Franchise Investment.
This year, Hospitality Qatar is also introducing a new addition for the first time, called ‘Food Qatar.’ The platform is particularly designed to open new investment opportunities in the sector to support the government’s efforts to reduce reliance on food imports and achieve food security.
The platform also provides a meeting point for local, regional and international food suppliers and manufacturers to communicate with buyers in Qatar’s market which is expected to grow steadily to $1.6bn by 2020.
George Ayache, general manager at IFP Qatar, the organizing company said: “The extensive international participation reflects growing confidence in Hospitality Qatar as an ideal gateway to reach huge opportunities and explore the promising prospects within the hotel supply, design and investment sectors in Qatar.
“The launch of ‘Food Qatar’ is an important addition in strengthening the role of the show as a major contributor to the growth of the food, hospitality, hotel, restaurant, franchising and retailing segments, which, in turn, provides a thriving business environment for regional and international food producers and suppliers. “We look forward with confidence and optimism to the new platform, which will open broad prospects for promoting co-operation in the vital investment areas and driving more growth in the food and catering industry in Qatar, which is moving forward to achieving food self-sufficiency.
“With the participation of key investors, designers, suppliers, and experts coming from 16 countries to showcase the latest products, innovations and services, we can say that this year’s edition will be a major boost to seize lucrative business and investment opportunities that support economic growth."
The itinerary includes the Salon Culinaire, Live Cooking Competitions, Mocktail Competition and a Barista Competition.