InterCon Doha lures GCC travellers

Al Ghanam.

During Ramadan, the InterContinental Doha is offering a discounted rate of QR300 ($82) per room per night to resident and nationals of GCC countries.

For Qatar residents, the rate is QR 250 ($69) per room per night.

Regional director of sales and marketing, Northern Gulf, Waddah Abu Al Ghanam says the rates include use of all the hotel's facilities, such as the pool, gym, beach, tennis and squash courts.

The Italian and international restaurants will be serving Ramadan delicacies, which will be in addition to the traditional tent set up during the holy month.

Al Ghanam said the discounted rate is valid for any night of the week, or weekend throughout Ramadan.

The hotel is also toying with the idea of building a "permanent" tent this season.

"Unlike other 'temporary' tents that are constructed in any available space, our tent will be purpose-built on a special area in the gardens with concrete flooring. The tent can therefore be easily accessed as it has its own private parking nearby," said Al Ghanam.

"In the last two years, we have built tents that were the largest in town, and this year will be no exception."

As for the response he expects during the 2002 season, Al Ghanam says that the market trend in Qatar is to either stay at home during Ramadan, or else to travel abroad.

He added that the InterContinental was working to change these habits, but occupancy levels throughout Ramadan last year were still low, although a definite improvement on 2000.

"On the food and beverage front we have had more success and we notice that particularly during the last two weeks, business in our tent really picks up. Last year we had to turn away guests on most Thursday evenings, despite being able to accommodate 350 in the tent," said Al Ghanam.