Over 40 brand new cars, some for them first time in the world, and others for the first time in the region, will be showcased at this year’s Qatar Motor Show which is slated to be kicked off on January 28 at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC). The five-day expo (January 28- February 1), organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), ELAN Events and Fira Barcelona, will be offering motor-lovers and visitors a journey to ‘Explore the World of Motion’.

The show, for the sixth year in a row, will be held under the patronage of Prime Minister and Interior Minister H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani. The show is entering a colourful, exciting new phase with a venue in the heart of the city, more space, additional activities and a fresh brand. Speaking at a press conference, organisers confirmed the show would offer this year a balance between an indoor showroom and outdoor experiences, including an interactive fan zone for all ages to enjoy. It is expected to attract over 50,000 motor enthusiasts.

Automotive enthusiasts will be able to revel in the latest auto and performance trends showcased by leading international carmakers, exhibiting the top sports, luxury and mid-range automotive models and branded lifestyle goods. During the show the city will also witness a parade of unique and exciting cars that will travel around West Bay, from the latest industry innovations to classic cars.

Hamad Al Abdan
Hamad Al Abdan, director of Exhibitions at QTA

Hamad Al Abdan, Director of Exhibitions, at QTA, said; “We are delighted to begin the year with one of the most anticipated shows in the nation’s events calendar. As the business events industry has evolved over the years, we have worked with our partners in the private sector to create dynamic and interactive offerings for our visitors. And now we can confidently say that Qatar is the most distinguished and well-equipped venue for an annual industry and consumer event of this calibre.”

Key partners at this year’s event include Commercial Bank as official bank sponsor and Marriott Marquis City Center Doha as the official hotel. The new home of the Qatar Motor Show, the state-of-the-art DECC, offers more space for exhibitors and brands in the heart of West Bay.
Visitors can enjoy convenient onsite parking, close proximity to 5-star hotels, and more easily accessibility by foot for the local community and wider regional and international tourists.

“Just as the very concept of motoring is evolving, we too are expanding our horizons at a new venue in the core of the Business District (West Bay) resulting an increase in our indoor exhibition space by 13 percent and included a range of interactive outdoor activities. This year’s edition will be bigger and better than ever before. Moreover, we have grown the amount of exhibiting brands by 18 percent compared to 2015. During the five-day show, it will take you to explore the world of Motion, not only inside the venue, but all around the City that will become a stage for parades of the best sports, luxury and classic cars,” said Roger Abi Haidar, General Manager at Elan.

Tourism strategy

Qatar Motor Show is an exhibition organised by Qatar Tourism Authority and delivered by the private sector as part of QTA’s long-term Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 to attract more tourists to the country and empower the Business Events sector.

“Qatar has witnessed a substantial increase in activity in the business meetings and exhibitions sector, averaging 150 events a year. In 2015, we saw a 40% growth in the number of exhibitions, and in 2016, we expect a further growth of 5%, with 58 shows on the calendar covering a myriad of fields, including jewelry and watches, education and technology, manufacturing, food and even coffee. Throughout this constant flurry of activity, Qatar Motor Show has cemented its position as one of the most anticipated regional consumer and trade shows on Qatar’s annual events calendar,” says a spokesperson for the QTA.

“Qatar Motor Show helps us to attract visitors in the short-term, and in the long-term it also helps us to position Qatar as an ideal destination for international business events and exhibitions. By successfully hosting events such as QMS, we create proof points for Qatar as globally-competitive business events destination. Qatar is easy to reach from anywhere in the world, has a wealth of accommodation options, as well as attractions for visitors to indulge in outside of events.”

QTA’s aim is also to empower the private sector and increase the involvement of local stakeholders in national efforts to promote the country as a destination. “By working with our partners ELAN and other organisers, marketing agencies, venue suppliers and all of the behind-the-scene supporters that are needed to make an event like QMS successful, we are cultivating a thriving local business events sector.”

QMS press
Miquel Serrano of Fira Barcelona, Roger Abi Haider of Elan Events and Abdullah Abdulaziz Alsada from Commercial Bank at the Qatar Motor Show 2016 press conference.

International representation

QTA has an international network of representative offices in their priority markets, which are the UK, France, Germany, the GCC markets and South East Asia. In January they were joined by an office in Milan, Italy. Qatar’s marketing campaign in these markets cover a wide range of promotional initiatives, including workshops, sales visits, travel agents destination training through QTA’s online TAWASH programme, partnerships with tour operators, familiarization trips, media campaigns and a variety of innovative activities to raise Qatar’s profile as a destination among holiday makers.

Their strategy to increase the number of visitors to Qatar by 20 percent over the next five years places a strong emphasis on business events as a key factor in attracting this increase. “With the recently opened DECC set to become one of the most attractive MICE venues in the Middle East, we are looking forward to working with the venue operators to transform its massive potential into reality.”

That said, Qatar is more than a luxurious destination with world-class facilities that plays host to an event for a few days. The uniqueness of Qatar’s offering stems from the authenticity in which every meeting and every exhibition is rooted. Visitors to a cultural exhibition will find culture, carefully preserved, everywhere they go. Delegates to an education conference will find a fast-growing knowledge economy, and scientists visiting for a research convention will find a hub for innovation. As Qatar’s leisure offerings diversify, and its infrastructural developments come closer to completion, QTA is confident these distinctive qualities will give Qatar an unmatched edge over other destinations.

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