The steady increase in commercial activity stemming from the gradual relaxing of Covid-19 protocols in Qatar has been providing local businesses with much-needed relief from the economic impact of the pandemic, according to an official of the Qatar-Indonesia Business Council (QIBC).
“Despite the pandemic’s prolonged impact, Qatar’s local market has shown astounding recovery in recent days. More activity is happening as the schools and universities are open, and citizens and expatriates have returned from their summer breaks.
“Traders are very optimistic, while local businesses have been patient and are working hard to cater to the needs of consumers, QIBC president Farhan al-Sayed told Gulf Times.
Al-Sayed also lauded government policies that led to what he describes as a “rejuvenation” of the economy. “Oil and gas prices have shown stunning recovery in recent weeks, which helped boost not only the economy but also the local businesses. Also, high hydrocarbon prices will assure that the projects in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 will progress smoothly,” he explained.
He noted that commercial activity is also driving domestic tourism as malls, restaurants, and other retail establishments are receiving more customers.
“The influx of tourists to Qatar is strongly supporting the country’s hospitality industry. Soon, Qatar will be hosting the first edition of the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup with 16 Arab countries participating. This will be an added incentive to the local markets,” said al-Sayed, who is also the president of the International Walking Football Federation for Asia and Qatar.
In its performance report for the first half of 2021, Qatar Tourism stated that “the upswings in Qatar’s accommodation sector can primarily be attributed to an increase in domestic tourism. Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the number of international visitors in the first six months of 2021 remained low.
“International visitation decreased by 82% in H1 2021 as compared to H1 2020. This decline is largely due to very strong visitor arrivals figures for January and February 2020, just prior to border closures in March 2020.”
The report added: “With the partial reopening of the country’s borders in July 2021, business and leisure visitation is returning. Accommodation performance and international visitation should continue to rise as international tourism slowly resumes.
“In addition to the reopening of the country’s borders, high vaccination rates, the issuance of approvals for hosting and organising events, and necessary business activity will support the gradual recovery of Qatar’s tourism and affiliated sub-sectors, such as aviation, hospitality, entertainment, and retail. Furthermore, Qatar’s government is keen to provide safe and enjoyable travel experiences for international visitors and is taking all necessary precautions to ensure visitors have a safe experience.”