Qatar aims for 10,000 rooms by 2010: GTA<!-- -->


Qatar plans to make a direct investment of $20 million this year in promoting tourism and aims to have 10,000 hotel rooms by 2010, a top official said.

Qatar also aims to increase tourist arrivals from 500,000 in 1999 to 1.25 million by 2005, General Tourism Authority (GTA) vice-chairman Ibrahim Hassan Al Asmakh said.

He said tourism currently contributed 1.5 per cent to the country's GDP and "it is our aim to sustain that level".

The main investments would be in infrastructure development, Al Asmakh said.

"Building a single hotel room could cost between $70,000 to $140,000 and so you could imagine the money needed for adding another 7,000 rooms by the end of the decade," he said.

There are currently 3,000 hotel rooms in the country, he said.

There would also be a lot of indirect investments in projects like the new airport terminal, which should be ready by 2005-06, and the facilities for the Asian Games, to be hosted by Qatar in 2006.

The government has also liberalised legislation to encourage investments in tourism-related projects.