The Katara Towers, the landmark of Qatar, will be home to Raffles and Fairmont hotels.
2022 is fast approaching, a key year for Qatar as it culminates in a major event for the country’s brand and its tourism sector: the hosting of the football World Cup in November and December. The country is preparing for this with a multitude of large-scale projects – new hotels and restaurants, theme parks and, of course, brand new football stadiums – that will open in quick succession between now and the kick-off of the tournament.
More than 100 hotels are currently under construction, in addition to the 80 five- and four-star hotels already in operation. Amongst other prestigious brands, Fairmont, Raffles, Rosewood and St. Regis will join the big names in luxury hotels already present in Qatar. These include InterContinental and Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and Kempinski, Park Hyatt and Banyan Tree, in a recently opened complex designed by interior architect Jacques Garcia.
This hotel expansion, which in the short term is aimed at welcoming the teams and their supporters, will reinforce the destination’s upmarket dimension by offering tourists and business travellers first-class accommodation. One of the flagship projects is the Katara Towers, which could become the Qatari counterpart to Dubai’s Burj Al Arab with their shapes symbolising the country’s emblem.
Designed like the traditional scimitars that cross each other, the top of each “blade” will house a luxury hotel, on one side a Raffles and on the other a Fairmont. An iconic location that will be the focal point of Lusail, a rapidly developing city whose stadium will host the World Cup final. These two projects are absolutely unique in their own way,” explains Christian Hirt, the general manager of the two future hotels. Both hotels will feature particularly advanced technologies that will enhance the guest experience, as well as sophisticated and flexible meeting rooms.
” In addition, travellers will have an exclusive Fairmont Gold Lounge at the Fairmont Doha, complete with a dedicated pool.
While both hotels are expected to open in the fourth quarter, another mega project is set to be delivered soon in Lusail, a vast complex inspired by Parisian chic called Place Vendome. Spanning more than a million square metres, the complex includes a shopping mall with nearly 600 stores, entertainment areas and two luxury Marriott Group hotels, Palais Vendome, a member of the Luxury Collection, and Le Royal Meridien Doha, which is scheduled to open in March 2022 and will also be graced by Royal Meridien Residences.
In the marina area of Lusail, the twin Aljaber towers will house a 22-storey luxury hotel with a rooftop pool and restaurant overlooking the Arabian Gulf. And it is also close to the city, some fifteen kilometres from Doha, that the country’s first “leisure island” will be developed, Qetaifan Island North. Set to compete with the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai or Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, this vast resort will include a water park, a beach club, residential areas and, initially, a luxury hotel with 345 rooms, the manager of which is not yet known. A place that participates in the “Qatar National Vision 2030”, tourism being brought to take a prominent part in the future of the country on the model of its neighbor Dubai.
” In 2019, we saw more than two million visitors to Qatar and we hope to see similar growing trends,” said Berthold Trenkel, chief operating officer of Qatar Tourism. Especially since, like most destinations in the Middle East, the country has come through the current crisis rather well. ” Qatar has done very well during the pandemic, thanks to a very vibrant local holiday market that has supported the hotels,” says Christian Hirt, general manager of the future Raffles and Fairmont. The recovery has been very strong, particularly in recent months as the country reached high levels of vaccination and began to ease Covid restrictions.
Qatar reaffirms its high-end tourism positioning
new cruise ship terminal expected in the autumn in the centre of Doha, six new beaches and cycle paths being completed as part of the West Bay North Beach project: Qatar will be offering a number of new tourist attractions later this year that will bolster tourist numbers. These will be in addition to the recently opened amusement parks, including the Desert Falls Water & Adventure Park at the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort, and the Quest, with the world’s highest indoor roller coaster.
But, alongside this leisure component, other developments are more directly aimed at business travellers with a Pullman expected in the first quarter in the West Bay
business district or the opening at the end of 2022 of the St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island, located within The Pearl-Qatar, an archipelago of artificial islands built off the coast of Doha. Rosewood Doha.
For its part, the heart of the Qatari capital will soon see the opening of a ME hotel, under the luxury and lifestyle banner of the Spanish group Melia, with 235 rooms
s and MICE infrastructures and the development of a design complex by the Dream Hotel group with 266 rooms and 35 apartments, eight restaurants and nightlife venues. As part of this expansion of the hotel offer in the Qatari capital, the luxury brand Rosewood is set to take up residence this year in two towers with facades inspired by the coral reef. These towers will house 185 luxury rooms, 173 residential apartments as well as 300 residences offered for purchase, but also spaces dedicated to events and meetings with a 1500 m2 ballroom. And this is probably only the beginning of many developments to come.
I’m Michelle, and I love to travel. As a former hotel expert for one of the world’s largest hotel chains, I’ve stayed in nearly every type of room imaginable (including many that were not so desirable!). Nowadays, I am fortunate enough to be able to explore the world on my own terms. From international flights to learning different languages, there is nothing too far out of reach!