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Souq Waqif to represent Qatari hospitality at its best
May 2012 2766

SOUQ Waqif Boutique Hotels, the six hotel collection owned by the Al Rayyan Hospitality group will open its last property in Q4, said a senior official. “We have opened four hotels so far – Al Najada, Al Mirqab, Arumaila and Musheireb,” said Russell Loughland, the director of sales and marketing. For Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels. Al Jasra is slated for a June opening while Al Bidda will open doors by October or November.

The Souq Waqif site has a rich 300-year old history. Over the last five to 10 years, there has been a focus on the rejuvenation of the souq, which is a great location. We have been gifted the opportunity to develop six hotels, all within 500 m of each other.” Nearby tourist attractions include the Modern Art Gallery, the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha’s Corniche and the Qatar National Museum.

“The concept sought to create different styles of architecture and interiors,” he said. Al Mirqab is a 35-room, three-storey property, which was designed by the Arab Engineering Bureau. It additionally features a 980-seat indoor amphitheatre and a 300-seat outdoor rooftop theatre. Al Najada is a 22-room property, occupying a space which was once three Qatari homes (built in 1930) and is now fused into one building. While the hotel features high ceilings, open courtyards, rich woods and gives an authentic Arabic feel, the interior bristles with 21st century technology and a modern design orientation, says Loughland.

Musheirib is 14-room property, featuring traditional Arabic design with gold and the majlis style set up and is targeted at families. “The 14-room Arumaila, will appeal to the younger segment with its funky interiors and is targeted at fashionistas and media,” he added. “Our proposition is ‘choose your own flavour.’ We are not competing with other rightly admired brands and concepts.

Experiences will be tailored for each client, especially, return clients.”

Room rates will range from QR 900 ($247) up to QR 2,000 ($549). “We want the company to be recognised as authentic Qatari hospitality but with a twist (in terms of Arumaila). Hence, the initial strategy is to first market the concept throughout Qatar and consolidate our home market, followed by the GCC and then international travellers,” he said. He sees great demand in the years to come.

“The entire market will change in the next 10 years, when Doha will host the World Cup. At that point, every hotel in Doha, no matter how many come up, will be full.”

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