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Qatar is only now open­ing up as a tourist des­ti­na­tion to the world. Up un­til re­cently the emi­rate was known for its wealth, an im­pres­sive GDP per capita, and an av­er­age monthly salary of US$11,473.

My col­leagues were in its cap­i­tal city last month and their first de­scrip­tion of Doha was that it is “de­vel­op­ing”. What they saw was a city that has its in­fra­struc­ture in place, but is ready­ing it­self for the an­tic­i­pated surge in tourism. This would likely kick­start with FIFA World Cup 2022, which will be hosted at Al-Khor, an hour’s drive from Ha­mad In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

Last year, 14 hospi­tal­ity prop­er­ties launched in the coun­try, and room num­bers are ex­pected to reach 46,000 by 2022. Each hospi­tal­ity brand has strong F&B of­fer­ings, some of which you will read on page 52. Be sure to find ev­ery­thing from Brazil­ian to, French, In­dian and au­then­tic Ara­bic cui­sine at these eater­ies. The vibe is any­thing but sub­dued and the restau­rants’ house bars are equipped with some of the best brands from world over. The stand­alone lounge bars at these prop­er­ties have an even more up­beat per­sona — be sure to dress to im­press.

While Qatar’s glitz quo­tient is ris­ing with each new ho­tel launch, it hasn’t for­got­ten its cul­ture. Qatari her­itage is well pre­served in beau­ti­ful ed­i­fices that boast of creative ar­chi­tec­ture. Read about the ones in Doha on page 48.

It’s not just Doha that hogs up the limelight (even though that’s what we’ve pri­mar­ily cov­ered in the “Inside Qatar”sec­tion). On page 54 there is more about other Qatari cities to ex­plore, ones that lo­cals flock to for a lux­u­ri­ous week­end get­away.

Re­search­ing this emi­rate, one of the wealth­i­est in the world, has sur­prised me with knowl­edge on how Qataris be­lieve in a princely way of life. Sure enough Qatar is on its way to be­com­ing the next glam­orous emi­rate after Dubai — and not just Doha but its sur­round­ing cities too.

Neha Gupta Kapoor Edi­tor

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