Heavy sanctions on Qatar have hit the country’s MICE business (originally published in Exhibition World)
On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – Qatar’s fellow members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – cut diplomatic and transport ties, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, which it denies.
Closure of the Saudi border with Qatar and disruption to shipping routes via the UAE slashed Qatar’s imports by over a third from year-earlier levels in June and July. However, an IMF official who undertook a weeklong report from Doha said the effects have been mitigated by several planning initiatives.
EW’s research into the situation revealed that many discussions about exhibitions are on hold, but there’s a perception that international organisers are aware that
Qatar is still open and continuing with its major projects including The World Cup 2022.
The ill-effects for Qatar have predominantly come from regional organisers based in the UAE, and exhibitors based in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain for whom it is a big risk to approach exhibitors with the current challenges to logistics and travel.
Qatar’s main exhibition venues are the Qatar National Convention Centre, which has a total venue area of 200,000sqm, and the Doha Exhibition & Convention Centre, which has 29,000sqm of exhibition space.
More info: www.decc.qa www.qncc.qa