Qatar tourism awards: recognition for inspired industry leaders

Qatar tourism awards: recognition for inspired industry leaders

Abdulaziz Ali Al Mawlawi, Chief of Marketing and Promotion Officer at Qatar Tourism

Engineer Abdulaziz Ali Al Mawlawi, Chief of Marketing and Promotion Officer at Qatar Tourism, talks to HN about the organization’s new awards initiative, which celebrates the business leaders who are helping to write the country’s tourism success story.

Why were the Qatar Tourism Awards established?

The Qatar Tourism Awards, organized in partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), were established to celebrate and recognize the remarkable contributions made by businesses and individuals in delivering outstanding and distinct tourism experiences in Qatar.

So far this year, Qatar has welcomed more than 3 million international visitors – a record over the last five years. The credit for this success goes to the individuals and businesses that form the backbone of Qatar’s tourism industry.

Qatar Tourism Awards inspire all stakeholders involved in tourism to continue developing exceptional experiences.

What can you tell us about your partnership with the UNWTO?

Qatar Tourism and the UNWTO have been partners since the start of the sector’s development. The UNWTO helped to create the National Tourism Strategy and has since made an invaluable contribution and provided key insights. The UNWTO’s involvement goes beyond theoretical support, since it actively imparts best practices to Qatar’s tourism professionals. Qatar Tourism and the UNWTO have jointly launched several initiatives, including the world’s first digital tourism academy. The Qatar Tourism Awards is the latest collaboration in our partnership.

Can you describe the selection and judging processes for the awards?

The selection process for the Qatar Tourism Awards consisted of two phases. First, Qatar Tourism and the UNWTO reviewed applications to shortlist finalists. Then the second phase involved the judges, who were tasked with selecting the winners. The judging criteria focused on three aspects: experience design, implementation and impact; commitment to the four fundamental values of experience orientation, service excellence, sustainability and accessibility; and enhancement of the visitor journey.

Judges looked for candidates who demonstrated a strong dedication to providing unique and memorable experiences, consistently exceeding service expectations and contributing to the sustainability of Qatar’s environment, culture and socioeconomic development. Additionally, they looked for candidates who prioritized accessibility.

How is Qatar Tourism responding to the industry’s increased focus on sustainability?

As the sector lead and regulatory authority for Qatar’s tourism industry, Qatar Tourism is dedicated to achieving sustainable development within the sector. We work alongside our public and private partners to collectively strive toward realizing the country’s sustainability objectives. We place a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability in tourism investments as part of our strategic approach. A key requirement for any proposed tourism project is the submission of a comprehensive environmental sustainability study and impact analysis. By mandating these evaluations, we ensure that every investment in the tourism sector is aligned with our long-term sustainability goals.

What impact did the FIFA World Cup have on Qatar’s status as a tourist destination?

Qatar demonstrated to the world its ability to organize large-scale, global events seamlessly, while extending a warm, authentic Arabian hospitality to the 1.4 million visitors that we welcomed during the FIFA World Cup.

The country’s fresh suite of infrastructure developments and new hotel openings all helped to create a smooth and enjoyable experience for tourists. In addition, Qatar’s excellent infrastructure continues to form a compelling offering for further events, sporting or otherwise, to be hosted in the country.

What can you tell us about Qatar Tourism Strategy 2030 and its goals?

Qatar is pursuing a solid vision to grow its international position as a leading destination on the world tourism map. Our strategy to 2030 identifies 15 priority markets and six tourism spaces that we believe bring out the best of Qatar’s natural beauty, its leading tourism assets and its most compelling offering. Investment into the tourism sector is ongoing, with continued openings of hotels, resorts and leisure attractions. Overall, our vision is to grow the sector’s contribution to GDP to 12 percent by 2030, from 7 percent today.


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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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