Meeting planners for international associations met with local industry representatives in a session hosted by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) to introduce event planners to potential hosts.

The planners represented UK-based and international associations, including World Petroleum Council, International News Media Association, and the International Artist Managers Association.

The match-making session took place at Qatar National Convention Centre, enabling planners to witness first hand a sample of the country’s state-of-the art conference facilities, and meet with local industry leaders such as Qatar Petroleum, Northwestern University in Qatar, and Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ahmed Al Obaidli, Director of Exhibitions at QTA commented:

We are delighted to introduce global associations to representatives of institutions that make up Qatar’s key sectors, including education, oil and gas, environment, science and research, sports, and music.’

‘Our leadership’s investment in these sectors and the ongoing efforts to diversify Qatar’s economy are reflected in the year-round local, regional and international events being held here, attracting a substantial number of the country’s visitors.’

Al Obaidli added that QTA’s strategy to attract 7 million visitors by 2030 relies heavily on business events. QTA’s work to achieve this target involves continuous sessions to introduce planners to local stakeholders, as well as empowering Qatar-based organisations to bid for and host global events.

Mark Challinor, President of International News Media Association (INMA) said:

This visit has been a real eye-opener for me, and I am excited about conveying Qatar’s potential to my board. There is no question in my mind about Qatar’s capacity, infrastructure and the support from the local community for hosting large-scale events.’

Attendees discussed the benefits of hosting large-scale international events to the local community and economy. Events that draw thousands of delegates can bring up to $50 million in revenue to a host country, through visitors spending on hospitality, transportation, and retail.

Jacob Kristiansen, Director of Projects at professional conference organiser MCI Middle East, attended the event to explore opportunities as his company prepares to open a branch in Qatar said:

The local market is ripe and ready for hosting global conferences. The industry is moving very quickly on a journey to build a premium destination for events, and we are very glad to be working with QTA to make this journey successful.’

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QTA Business Events - Matchmaking event