topped by a revolving rooftop restaurant.
Among the wide choice of glittering hotels, The
Marriott Marquis City Centre has the largest
capacity and the facilities of a small city. There are
577 guest rooms, outdoor and indoor pools and
50,600 square feet of flexible space along with 18
conference rooms and 10 distinctive restaurants.
Meeting space is all on Level 1, accessible by 10
elevators and two escalators. And it’s adjacent
to the DECC and has easy access to major
embassies and ministries.
Further out of town on its own secluded island, a
10-minute drive from the West Bay central business
district, stands the stately Marsa Malaz Kempinski
Hotel, a blend of fine European and traditional
Arab architecture. Its lobbies and corridors are
replete with marble and festooned with spectacular
artefacts. Inventory among the 281 rooms includes
a Royal Suite of supreme luxury and cost.
The Crowne Plaza has 14 meeting rooms with
up to 450-guest capacity in a total of 26,000
square feet of meeting space, including a vast
ballroom that was the venue for roaring Jaguar and
Rolls Royce Middle East launches. The hotel has
a comforting exclusive offering to help delegates
stay alert and punctual and perhaps with a budget
kick-back. It’s a complimentary herbal concoction
that can be sprayed onto pillows to aid a good
night’s sleep. Crowne Plaza pledges that if you’re
not roused after two morning alarm calls, the room
is free (conditions apply, naturally).
The Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention
SETTING QATAR APART
Hotel claims to be Doha’s biggest attached
convention center. (Qatari spokespeople are usually
reluctant to boast that their premises are the
‘biggest,’ ‘highest,’ ‘most technically advanced,’ etc.,
because in this remorselessly progressive country,
a day later, they may not be.) This Sheraton has
emerged from a complete renovation featuring
1980s architecture and design contrasted with 25
flexible, leading-edge meeting rooms.
The distinctive shapes and high caliber hotel and
venue services are far from Qatar’s only attractions
for business visitors. Said a Qatar Tourism
Authority spokesperson: “We believe that what sets
Qatar apart is its cultural spaces, a world-class
education city, and cutting-edge research facilities.
So our strategy is to empower our partners in
the private sector to grow the MICE industry by
cooperating in developing their skills to the highest
international standards and by giving them the
tools to host global events. Meanwhile, we are
actively promoting our established venues, such
as DECC and QNCC, whilst shining the spotlight on
non-traditional venues that present opportunities
for authentic experiences beyond the walls of a
meeting or exhibition hall.”
ISLAMIC ART AND HUMAN
Qatar is the world’s biggest buyer in the arts
market by value, so prominent among those
authentic experiences is The Museum of Islamic
Art. The MIA houses one of the world’s greatest
collections that reflect the full vitality, complexity
and diversity of the arts of the Islamic world.
Its masterpieces span three continents and 13
centuries, among which corporate dinners and
events can be held. Culinary standards are high,
epitomized by the fifth floor restaurant controlled
by the renowned French chef Alain Ducasse.
Supporting education, science and research
and community development is the dynamic Qatar
Foundation. It’s home to campuses of such US
universities as Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, Weill
Cornell, Texas A&M, and Virginia Commonwealth.
The Foundation promotes ‘an innovative and
open society that aspires to develop sustainable
human capacity, social and economic prosperity
for a knowledge-based economy.’ Much to the
Foundation’s credit, the UN has classified Qatar
as the ‘Most Advanced Arab State for Human
The importance of human diversity is eminently
expressed at Katara Cultural Village, Qatar’s
largest and most multidimensional project.
It encompasses exhibition and concert halls,
theatres, and galleries, as it endeavors to spread
awareness of the importance of every culture
and civilization. To this end, it hosts international,
regional and national festivals, workshops,
performances and exhibitions.
Institutions and business groups are also welcome
to trot along to Al Shaqab, a 10,549,000-square-
foot equine complex. Al Shaqab is an enduring
tribute to the Arabian horse and an engaging
educational experience designed to instill a love
of horses as an integral part of Qatar’s heritage.
A major event in the spring social calendar is the
annual four-day Chi Al Shaqab in which leading
national and international riders and horses
compete for some of the most coveted titles in the
A smoother ride can be had on a traditionally
decorated Dhow Boat Cruise featuring ancient
Bedouin values and a sumptuous buffet. For a
drier and distinctly choppier experience there’s
4x4 ‘Dune Bashing,’ an optional part of the Desert
Safari experience. The experience can include a
visit to an ‘authentic nomads’ camp (with Wi-Fi).
Back to the Corniche, and the Souq Waqif is a
treasure trove of Arab artefacts and a showpiece
of traditional architecture and folk art that
evokes sensations of ancient Arabic heritage and
community. In short, a traditional Arab market area,
but with typical Qatari flair, it’s air-conditioned.
Discover the art of business in Qatar by contacting the Qatar Tourism Authority.
Email: email@example.com • www.visitqatar.qa
THE SOUQ WAQIF THE DECC