April 20, 2024

Qatar’s Premier MICE Destination: Unleashing Innovation in Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions

Qatar’s Vision for the MICE Industry

The Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) had set an ambitious target of attracting over 6 million international visitors annually by 2030. A key component of achieving this goal is developing Qatar into a leading global MICE destination. In recent years, the government has invested heavily in building world-class infrastructure to cater to the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector. With its strategic location, political stability, and state-of-the-art facilities, Qatar hopes to position itself as the top choice for corporate events and exhibitions in the Middle East region.

State-of-the-Art Venues

Qatar boasts some of the best convention centers and exhibition facilities in the world. The Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) located in West Bay can accommodate over 7,500 delegates. It has 72 meeting rooms of various sizes along with world-class technical infrastructure. In 2018, the venue successfully hosted the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit which was attended by leaders of 6 GCC nations. The Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) is considered one of the largest multipurpose venues in the Middle East. Spread over 700,000 square meters, it has hosted many global exhibitions and trade shows. Some of the prestigious events held at DECC include the Qatar Petroleum International Exhibition & Conference and the Milipol Qatar International Security & Policing Exhibition.

Amenities and Services for Event Organizers

In addition to state-of-the-art venues, Qatar also ensures that world-class amenities and services are provided to event organizers and participants. Leading international hotels like the St. Regis Doha, The Ritz-Carlton Doha, and Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel offer luxury accommodations in close proximity to the convention centers. High-speed internet connectivity, advanced audio-visual technology, professional event staff and on-site medical facilities add to the ease of organizing large-scale MICE events in Qatar. The QNTC works closely with event planners to ensure a seamless planning and execution experience. They also provide visa facilitation support and guidelines for COVID-19 safety protocols.

Growing MICE Calendar

Buoyed by its Infrastructure and Services, Qatar is witnessing an increased number of MICE bookings from around the world. Some of the major upcoming events scheduled in Qatar include the Global Leaders Summit in November 2021 which will be hosted by Qatar Leadership Academy. In 2022, the prestigious Milipol Qatar International Security & Policing Exhibition is expected to attract over 30,000 participants from the interior ministry and homeland security domain. The DECC will host the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the largest space conference globally, from October 9-13, 2022. Other prominent events in Qatar’s MICE calendar include various medical conferences, international sporting tournaments, energy industry exhibitions and cultural extravaganzas. The successful hosting of these global platforms will further boost Qatar’s image as a favored regional MICE destination.

Corporate Incentive Travel on the Rise

In addition to large exhibitions and conferences, Qatar is witnessing increased demand for corporate incentive travel programs as well. Major multinational corporations in oil and gas, aviation, finance and other sectors regularly organize reward trips, team building activities, product launches and leadership retreats in Qatar. Features like world-class infrastructure, unique cultural experiences, luxurious hotels and safety give Qatar a competitive edge over other regional destinations for corporate events. The QNTC works with leading wedding planners, event managers and tour operators to curate customized incentive packages for corporates. Activities range from desert safaris and dhow cruises to golf tournaments, concerts and culinary experiences across Doha. This is expected to boost Qatar’s domestic MICE revenues significantly in the coming years.

Bolstering the Travel Trade Ecosystem

To promote itself as a MICE destination globally, Qatar realizes the need for a robust travel trade ecosystem as well. It has set up buyer-seller forums to facilitate business networking between international event planners and Qatar’s suppliers. Virtual and physical platforms like the Qatar Gift and Qatar Travel Mart provide opportunities to bid for future MICE business. The QNTC also organizes roadshows, webinars and fam tours to educate international event professionals about Qatar’s event capabilities and approval processes. Industry associations like the Qatar Association of Conventions and Exhibitions (QACE), Middle East Council of Shopping Centers & Retailers (MECSC) and the Qatar Businessmen Association play an active role as well. Their collaborations with global bodies have put Qatar on the global MICE map. All these efforts are aimed at positioning Qatar as the preferred first choice for both domestic and international MICE events in the region.

Overall, with its ambitious targets and strategic approach, Qatar aims to emerge as a leading global destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions in the coming decade. Hefty investments in world-class infrastructure coupled with a robust ecosystem of service providers have created an enabling environment for the growth of the MICE sector. Increased event activities and corporatization of the incentive travel segment indicate the industry is heading in the right direction. If Qatar succeeds in meeting visitor targets through MICE, it will significantly boost the country’s non-oil GDP and global tourism standings as well.

*Note:
1.      Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2.      We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it