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20


ACTIVITIES Sport


A SPORTING CHANCE


WITH AN ANNUAL SPORTING CALENDAR FULL OF INTERNATIONAL HIGH-PROFILE EVENTS, QATAR OFFERS MANY INCENTIVE OPTIONS FOR PLANNERS TO HINGE A MEETING ON


is an exclusive restaurant, featuring multiple television monitors, and offers breakfast, lunch and high tea buffets. Groups can reserve a table of 10 for the tournament week, which runs from Thurs- day through to Sunday. The venue provides excellent views of the finishing hole and provides a great platform to entertain clients one-on-one or network with other corporate guests in a relaxed setting.


Game, set, match


In January 2010 Russia's Nikolay Davyden- ko recovered from a bad first set to win the Exxon Mobil Qatar Masters Men's Open edging out world number two Rafael Nadal in the final, held at the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Stadium.


THE COUNTRY'S SPORTING NUM EROUS OPP ORTUNITIE


CLASS EVENT TO YOUR NEXT MEETIN The Khalifa Tennis and Squash Stadium is


renowned as one of the best in the region for its facilities and tennis coaching classes run by international instructors. The 2011 edition of the Exxon Mobil International Tennis Tour- nament will be held from January 4-9. On a smaller scale, table tennis has


reached international competitive levels in Qatar, and this is now a high-profile sport for the country, attracting some of the world's top players. The Qatar Open Men's Pro Tour 2011 will be held from February 16-20.


Wheels in The Tour of Q schedule of ra as the roads of parade of the wo the beginning of t state, Tour of Qata chance to prepare f the months to come The 2011 Tour of Q


from January 24 Ð Feb


Aquatic adventures For those who like their s shore, the U.I.M. F1 World power boat race provides p ment, as drivers slice throug front of thousands of fans alo corniche in downtown Doha. Over 20 boats compete in the Grand Prix of Qatar, which has b annual social occasion for enthus those who enjoy witnessing the sp of powerboats reaching speeds of u kilometres per hour.


Horse play


Qatar has grown to become a quiet giant for sporting events in the Middle East hosting major international champion- ships for golf, tennis and powerboat racing, as well as premier sporting events like the 2006 Asian Games. And while the Gulf country didn't make it through to the qualifiers for the Olympic Games 2016, that didn't stop it from bidding to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Home to a world-class sports academy,


some of the most high-tech stadiums of the world Ð with more under development Ð and a modern city infrastructure, Qatar has become an excellent destination for


qatar 2011


international sporting events. For corporate groups, Qatar's sporting calendar provides numerous opportunities to peg on a world- class event to your next meeting or incentive. Choose from the Qatar Masters, the Qatar Exxon Mobil Tennis Open or the World F1 Powerboat Championships, to name a few.


Putt on a show The Doha Golf Club, home of the Qatar Masters, offers a challenging 18-hole, 7,355-yard, par-72 championship course designed by Peter Harradine. The club also has a nine-hole floodlit academy course and Golfing Academy for training.


Since 1998, the Doha Golf Club has


hosted the prestigious Qatar Masters tour- nament, part of the European PGA tours schedule. This European Tour event brings some of the world's top golfers to compete on the club's unique and challenging championship course. Robert Karlsson of Sweden won the 2010 Commercialbank Qatar Masters after a flawless final round relieving the 2009 champion, Spain's Al- varo Quiros, of the Mother of Pearl trophy. The 2011 Qatar Masters will run from Feb 3-6. Corporate hospitality options are offered in stunning new hospitality pavilions overlooking the 18th


green. The 18th Pavilion


An International Show Jumping compe tion is part of the annual Qatar Internati Equestrian Festival, organised by the Rac ing & Equestrian Club (REC).


REC was established in 1975 and special u


Corporate colours


Many of these events attract large crowds. Why not get team members wearing corporate colours or com- pany T-shirts so that they are easily recognisable?


Book now k


Corporate hospi- tality is available at most sporting events, but book spaces early to avoid disappointment


w Honing skills


Why not take the sports event as a theme? Give delegates a golfing or polo lesson early in the week and round off with the main event when business is concluded


m Against all odds


Qatar is a Muslim country so gambling is prohibited


ises in the racing of pure bred Arabian hors- es and thoroughbreds. Facilities include both a sand and turf track. Further, there are show arenas, where horse shows and national championships are held, as well as grandstands for spectators. The Qatar International Equestrian Festival


sees Arab and international jockeys and horses compete. It includes a horse show, a race meet- ing and an international endurance ride.


È qatar 2011


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READ ONLINE www.meetinqatar.com


42 LEISURE Shopping


SHOPPING HAVEN


WHETHER YOU ARE LOOKING FOR INTERNATIONAL DESIGNER BRANDS OR LOCAL TREASURES, QATAR HAS LARGE, MODERN SHOPPING COMPLEXES AND TRADITIONAL MARKETS TO BROWSE


Souk Waqif is an excellent starting


point to buy the traditional bukhnoq Ðthe beautifully embroidered headdress worn by young girls. Other traditional clothing items include the abayas Ð black cloaks worn by women when in public places, and the bisht Ð the ceremonial gown worn by men on special occasions. Spice traders in the souk add a special at-


traction to the atmosphere. Sacks and boxes are overflowing with every conceivable herb and spice, and traders will happily prepare a sample box of the most popular spices for visitors to take home. The perfume traders offer a wonderful in-


Shopaholics can enjoy their favourite pastime at a variety of locations in Doha. From the large glitzy shopping complexes to the tiny stalls in traditional souks, eager shoppers will find everything they need and want.


For many visitors the traditional souk is the genuine Middle Eastern shopping experi- ence, conjuring up images of glittering stalls overflowing with exotic goods. The spirit of such shopping can still be found in Qatar, and although many new souk complexes are in- distinguishable from shopping malls, the old market area still holds much of the original magic. Just remember that haggling is part of the cultural experience and the only way to get the best price.


Souk Waqif


Harking back to the days when Doha was just a small village where Bedouin traders met to buy and sell milk, meat, wool and other staples, Souk Waqif, which literally means 'standing market', is a captivating experience for visitors.


qatar 2011


SOUK WAQIF IS A CAPTIVATING EXPERIENCE FOR VISITORS Ð A MAZE OF NARROW WINDING ALLEY -


WAYS PACKED WITH TRADITIONAL GOODS


A Landmark experience One of the most popular centres for shopping experiences has to be the Land mark Shopping Mall in Doha. Opened in 2000, its success has already given rise to two expansions: the first of which saw 10,000 square metres of retail space added in 2005 and a further 18,000 square metres in 2007-08.


A maze of narrow, winding alleyways packed with everything from traditional clothing and incense to camping equipment and hardware, Souk Waqif is an architectural treasure as well as a market full of artists and craftsmen selling their traditional wares.


The souk has undergone a multi-million dollar redevelopment programme using traditional Qatari materials and architectural techniques to restore it to its former glory and create an authentic ambience.


The souk first started as a weekend


market for localBedouin, but it has grown to cover a large area with separate sections selling perfumes, spices, clothing and jewel- lery, to name a few.


troduction to the world of Arabian scents, of- ten mixing essential oils to create a designer fragrance of your own. Top brands are also for sale at knockdown prices. Visitors even have the chance to sample the different grades of oudh Ð scented agar wood that is burnt as a sign of hospitality Ð as well as the valuable frankincense. Popular gifts include bokhur Ð scented balls made from oudh Ð sandalwood, ambergris, white musk, rose oil and mystica.


Going for gold


A packed row of jewellery shops behind Al Ahmed Street makes up the Gold Souk, which sells both locally crafted and imported gold jewellery. Most items are 22 carat, and all gold sold in Qatar is hallmarked to ensure genuine purity.


Visitors can try on any jewellery items, which are normally sold by weight plus a mark up for craftsmanship. As in all souks, bargaining is expected so check the price by the gram in the newspaper first to en-


u k w Price watch


Bartering for a better price in the souks is expected and encouraged. Start at 50 percent off the asking price and haggle your way to a price you’re comfo rtable paying


Scent-sational


While gold and jewellery represent great value for money in the Middle East, traditional purchases like Arabic perfume (oudh) and local spices make great gifts


e t


c a b


Ship to shore


If you are interested in larger purchases, maybe local artwork or furniture, many vendors offer shi- pping services to your home country


sure you begin your haggling from a realistic starting point. The Gold Souk is also a good place to hunt for good value gems and silverware. Many of the other souks in Qatar are more modern while being excellent places to


find a vast range of essential day-to-day items such as travel luggage, tools, electrical items, kitchenware, clothes and shoes. The most popular souks are Souk Ahmed, with its fountains and gardens that make browsing a pleasure, and Souk Faleh. Both venues offer a multitude of shops selling household items at bargain prices and there are also a number of tailor shops as well as general clothes shops. Other souks worth visiting include the Souk Nasser bin Saif, Souk Asiery, Doha


Souk, Souk Al Deira, and Souk Al Jabor. All sell a wide variety of items and fabrics, although Souk Al Deira is the place for designer wear, heavy lace and beaded fabrics. Prices are clearly higher for such exclusive pieces, but still a lot cheaper than in other countries.


fa 15 ex co th no ov int res


Th Ano bro ican it bo sup cour layo in 'b plea trolle In


shop organ advan moun stage


qatar provides an in-depth analysis of trends that are vital to the meeting planner


along with a comprehensive round-up of the country's meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition facilities; a review of hotel and venue options; sample case studies; and updates on key infrastructure developments.


Nicholas Publishing International FZ LLC P.O. Box 500573, Executive Heights (Damac Building) Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 4243600 Fax: +971 4 4327505 Email: meet@npimedia.com


» meet tips


YOUR ESSENTIAL DESTINATION AND MEETINGS GUIDE


Your Essential Destination and Meetings Guide


www.meetmid


uction R


9


Located in the middle of the west coast of the Arabian Gulf, the State of Qatar is an oil and gas-rich nation, boasting the third largest gas reserves and the second highest GDP per capita in the world. The Gulf state is a regional hub of industry, business and finance, making it the perfect place to meet. However, Qatar is more than just a col-


CAPITAL CULTURE


lection of office blocks and petrochemical conglomerates. In 2010, Qatar's capital city, Doha was awarded the Arab Culture Capital for the year Ð an honour that will further push Qatar's international promotion as a destina- tion targeting the niche markets of culture, sport, education and business. As Arab Culture Capital, Doha hosted a


programme of cultural events, including live performances of drama and opera, exhibi- tions, films, poetry nights and much more, showcasing its prowess as a destination capable of managing large-scale events. The Gulf state, through the Qatar Tourism


Authority (QTA), has made it its mandate to pursue niche markets rather than develop a mass tourism product, and the Culture Capital status underlines its position as a destination catering to specifically targeted markets. Qatar has made significant investments


QATAR IS HEAVILY INVESTING IN ITS DEVELOPMENT AS A


MEETINGS HUB WITH SUPERIOR CONFERENCE FACILITIES AND A HOST OF HOTELS ON THE RISE, WHILE DOHA WAS AWARDED THE ARAB CULTURE CAPITAL FOR 2010


domestically and internationally to encourage cultural, sporting, educational and leisure tourism in the country. The government has set aside US$17 billion to develop Qatar's tourism infrastructure over a five-year period, including the construction of new hotels,


resorts and other tourism facilities. Qatar attracted some 1.5 million tourist arrivals in 2010. Business travel accounts for the majority of Qatar's international visitors, with meetings and conventions attracting a large number of overseas attendees. "In Qatar, we do not seek to be a location


for mass tourism; rather we are focused on presenting our country as a world-class busi- ness destination, with high-quality services," says Ahmed Al Nuaimi, chairman, QTA. "We see many visitors coming to Qatar looking for business opportunities, and extending their stay to enjoy the leisure and cultural activities that Qatar has to offer." Recently, QTA launched a campaign '48


hours in Qatar: Your Business is our Pleasure' aimed at encouraging business travellers to stay for an additional 48 hours and experience what the country has to offer.


Business hub Spearheading Qatar's development as a meetings hub is the Qatar MICE Development Institute (QMDI). "The original mandate for QMDI was to


develop and improve the quality of events organised in Qatar. We develop managed events, live events, operate as a profes- sional congress organiser (PCO) and undertake commercial work. We are in the MICE development business and do this for the benefit of Qatar," explains Matthew Meredith, CEO, QMDI.


È


Meeting facilities


Construction on QNCC, one of the Middle East's largest convention and exhibition centres, is on track for


completion and opening in 2011. QNCC will feature 40,000 square metres of exhibition space over nine halls with a capacity to host conferences or gala dinners for 10,000 guests, a 4,000-seat conference hall, 2,300-seat lyric style theatre, three-tiered auditoria, and an additional 52 meeting rooms.


There are plans for hotels to adjoin QNCC and plans to build more hotels in Education City.


Another venue, the Doha Exhibition Centre and Tower, is also under con- struction and will open in 2012 offering 40,000 square metres of meeting space. Located close to the Doha City Centre shopping complex, the Doha Exhibition Centre and Tower is to be operated by the QTA.


Until either of these new venues comes online, the biggest venue in Doha is the Doha Exhibition Centre, which opened in 2008. This offers 15,000 square metres of meeting space.


Alternative venues are also available or under construction. The new


Cultural Village offers a ballroom ca- pable of accommodating up to 4,000 guests, an amphitheatre capable of holding 4,800 delegates, and food and beverage outlets.


qatar 2011


qatar 2011


24


MEETINGS Venues


MEETING DEMAND


QATAR'S MEETINGS INFRASTRUCTURE IS SET TO GET A HUGE BOOST THIS YEAR AS THE EAGERLY-AWAITED QATAR NATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE OPENS FOR BUSINESS, PROVIDING EVEN GREATER OPTIONS FOR MEETING PLANNERS


Qatar's offering of international exhibition and convention space is set to treble in the next 24 months as flagship facility the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), and the Doha Convention Center and Tower (DCCT) open up and join Doha Exhibition Centre (DEC) to create three venues any global city would be proud of. The two new centres will boost


Qatar's meetings portfolio by adding 85,000 square metres of event space. Opening in early 2011, the QNCC will feature nearly 40,000 square metres of exhibition space and the DCCT, sched- uled to open in 2012, will offer 45,000 square metres of space.


Meetings hub At present, the DEC, run by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), is the country's main meetings hub. Opened in February 2008, facilities at the DEC include 15,000 square metres of exhibition space, offices, meeting rooms, a VIP lounge, public lounges, and business centre, banking services, car hire, restaurants and parking for 3,500 cars. In its first year of opening, the facility


welcomed 500,000 visitors and hosted more than 20 international exhibitions including the birthday celebration of the King of Thailand and the 18th


Doha


International Book Fair. Demand in the industry means that the facility has been booked to capacity since then. Major events that have taken place at the venue include Milipol Qatar Ð an international exhibition for internal state security, GCC Power, and oil and gas exhibitions, while early 2010 saw the Doha 2nd


Qatar National Convention Centre Qatar National Convention Centre


National Pride QNCC, set to open in 2011, is being built by the Qatar Foundation, a vision of Sheikha Mozah, the wife of the Emir, at a cost of US$1.2 billion. The state-of-the-art venue will be one of the


biggest and most impressive convention cen- tres in the world when it opens, featuring 40,000 square metres of exhibition space over nine halls with a capacity to host conf erences or gala dinners for 10,000 guests, a 4,000-seat confer- ence hall, 2,300-seat grand theatre and concert hall, three-tiered auditoria, and an additional 52 meeting rooms. While the maximum seating capacity in the conference hall will be 4,200, the fle x ibility of the venue means that 7,500 dele- gates can be accommodated comfortably. The centre will also include a 500-seat concert hall, capable of hosting a range of concerts, theatre and other performance events. QNCC will be the first purpose-built


convention and exhibition centre in Qatar and will contain state-of-the-art technology and communications and the flexibility to meet the demands of global conference and exhibition organisers. Iconic in design, QNCC is built around


International Maritime Defence


Exhibition and Conference 2010 (Dimdex 2010) take place over three days.


qatar 2011


a steel replica of the Sidra tree, impor- tant for Qataris as traditionally poets and scholars would gather under this tree to exchange ideas.


AND STATE


The bid


ciation me QNCC is


events in key energy, educa It has already some major ev will be the 20th


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(WPC) in Decem Other major bi


the WAHO (World tion) Qatar 2011 Co Universal Postal Un QNCC is manage


established industry ing international-stan ment services in the A with experience across of venues including are convention and exhibitio performing arts theatres QNCC is located in Edu 'knowledge hub', a 14-mill


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