Qatar’s hospitality industry needs to encourage people to stay longer in Doha than they are at present, the first Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) regional briefing on Qatar was told this morning.

“About 90 per cent of airport arrivals in Doha are fly-throughs,” said Nehme Ayoub, Ernst & Young Middle East transaction real estate, hospitality and leisure advisory services manager. “Of the 10 per cent, many just come for one day to do business and then fly out.”

The number of arrivals at Doha International rose by more than 17 per cent to 10.7 million in 2012.

Ayoub said Ernst & Young forecasts that the number of hotel rooms in Qatar will grow to 19,431 in 2016.

“Three- and two-star hotels are required to diversify the market to deal with the people that will come into Qatar during the World Cup,” Ayoub said.

The AHIC regional briefing on Qatar was hosted by Hilton Worldwide. The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference is a joint venture of MEED and Bench Events.