Posted on January 11, 2019

Doha has made to The New York Times ‘52 Places to Go in 2019’ list, showing that the city has become a must go destination for travellers around the world. The US newspaper has cited futuristic designs and architecture of Qatar’s world famous buildings as one of the main attractions for visitors. 

“As the next men’s soccer World Cup approaches in 2022, the host nation, Qatar, is loading its capital with structures from the biggest names in international architecture. The sharp-angled, futuristic Qatar National Library, designed by Rem Koolhaas and his OMA firm, opened in 2018; 2019 will welcome the National Museum of Qatar, a sprawling expanse of interlocking tilted circular discs by Jean Nouvel,” noted the newspaper. 

The annual list, which includes names of 52 places across the globe to visit, is topped by Puerto Rico, followed by Hampi in southern India and Santa Barbara in California, US. Doha has secured 37th place in the list, leaving behind big names like Los Angeles, Perth, Hong Kong and other global cities. “A contribution from a third Pritzker Prize-winner, the late Zaha Hadid, is also slated to materialize in the form of a swooping, curvaceous stadium; another stadium from the Pritzker-winner Norman Foster is also under construction,” said the newspaper. “The new structures add further dazzle to the Doha skyline, which already includes Nouvel’s syringe-like Doha Tower and the blocky white jumble of the Museum of Islamic Art, by I M Pei,” it noted. 

Featuring in the list augurs well for Qatar’s booming tourism sector as it will bring a new wave of tourists to the city. It is not the first time, Doha has featured in a coveted list. Last year Doha was ranked among the ‘Top 100 City Destinations’ worldwide by Euromonitor 2018. As a result of the numerous steps taken by Qatar to ease visitor access, the UNWTO, last year, ranked Qatar as the most open country in the Middle East and the 8th most open country in the world. According to the latest Guest Experience in the Middle East Report, released by hospitality and travel data providers Olery, Qatar’s hospitality sector further improved its guest experience ranking from first place among the GCC to first place in the Middle East. 

Qatar has also seen big surge in number of cruise tourists coming to the country. In the last cruise season which ended in April of last year, Qatar welcomed 22 cruise ships carrying more than 65,000 cruise passengers - a 39 percent increase from the 2016/17 season. The ongoing 2018/19 cruise season which kicked off in October and continues until April 2019, is expected to see nearly double the number of cruise ships that arrived in the previous season and bring 140,000 visitors to Qatar’s shores.

source: The Peninsula