Posted on October 29, 2018

Qatar University (QU) and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday, paving the way for collaboration between the two organizations across a wide range of development areas.

Under the agreement, QTA will be able to benefit from QU’s advanced academic research and scientific database regarding Qatar’s natural heritage and wildlife, including many of its flora and fauna species that need protection. Additionally, QU will also be able to cooperate with QTA and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) to raise awareness in the society about nature and the significance of the Qatari environment and ways in which they can help protect it.

The MoU will enable QU and QTA to develop research projects that monitor the recovery of ecosystems where animal and plant densities have been affected by overcrowding and overuse. These research projects will also monitor the progress of reintroduced species in protected areas that have been identified by QTA and MME as requiring protection for their fauna and flora, to reduce the impact of human traffic. Currently such projects are being considered for Bin Ghannam, Al Udaid and inland areas such as Ma’shabiya. The agreement also includes avenues to promote Qatar as a destination for premium business events. This will be achieved through cooperating with QU in hosting international academic conferences and exhibitions through its colleges on various subjects such as engineering, law, economics and others.

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QTA previously worked with QU to win bids to host the 10th edition of the "All Together Better Health" conference in 2020, and the International Conference on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development, which takes place from 29 to 31 October 2018. Both conferences are new to the Middle East. QTA supports QU’s efforts to host International Conference on e-Health Informatics and Enabling Technologies (HIET’19) which will take place in 2019. In addition, QTA also supports QU in organizing Qatar Cyber Security Conference in 2019.

Dr. Hassan Al-Derham, President of Qatar University said, “Believing in the vital and effective role played by ministries and government bodies in serving the nation and society, and in an effort to exchange information and expertise to improve the performance of both parties in accordance with the overall quality standards, Qatar University is keen to support and enhance the work with Qatar Tourism Authority to establish a joint cooperation in various relevant scientific, administrative, technical and research fields.”

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"This agreement comes as part of QTA’s efforts to cooperate with various institutions and organizations in Qatar to develop the tourism sector and encourage society to benefit from the multiple opportunities offered by Qatar’s tourism industry. Of course, cooperation with Qatar University is a significant and major step in the development of the tourism sector, thanks to the university’s academic expertise and its membership in many international associations, which hold conferences periodically. We look forward to the participation of the university, its faculty and students in elevating our tourism industry," said Hassan Al Ibrahim, Acting Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority.

QTA has also started developing various desert and coastal tourism experiences and products, which stress on protecting habitats and environments and their wildlife around Qatar. The Al ‘Enna project, which the public will be able to view in November, includes the development of the Sealine area in collaboration with MME, Ministry of Interior, Ashghal, Mawater, Batabit, as well as the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation.

QTA recently signed an agreement with The General Traffic Department to regulate and organize the rental and use of SUVs in tourist areas. The authority also signed another agreement with Mowasalat that seeks to enhance tourism transport services in Qatar, in line with the rapid growth of the cruise tourism sector.