The Qatar Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Market size was valued at US$ 1.67 Billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 3.51 Billion by 2030, grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2% from 2023 to 2030. The market refers to all activities related to hosting meetings, corporate incentive trips, large-scale conferences, conventions, exhibitions and trade shows in Qatar. It is a key component of business tourism and MICE tourism.
The market has seen steady growth due to rising business events and demand from corporations. Qatar has invested heavily in developing state-of-the-art venues, hotels and infrastructure to attract international events. The country aims to establish itself as a leading MICE destination.
The market is driven by government support through Qatar Vision 2030, investment in infrastructure, increasing MICE activities, and rising business travel. Key segments in the market are by event type, area, revenue source, meeting size and location. By event type, the exhibitions segment accounts for the largest share. The large number of trade exhibitions held annually in Qatar is driving growth of this segment.
Qatar Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Market Drivers:
Government Support and Infrastructure Investment:
- The Qatar government has outlined a clear vision and strategy to develop the country as a leading destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions in the Middle East region. This is evident through the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, which aims to attract over 7 million MICE tourists annually by 2030.
- Significant investments have been made into developing state-of-the-art venues, hotels and supporting infrastructure. Iconic projects like the Qatar National Convention Center, Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, Katara Cultural Village, Msheireb Downtown Doha and Lusail City have provided world-class facilities and increased capacity.
- The government has also invested into expanding the Hamad International Airport and enhancing connectivity. Such initiatives strengthen Qatar’s appeal for regional and international events.
Rising MICE Activities and Demand:
Over the past decade, Qatar has witnessed substantial growth in meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions activities. Some key facts supporting this:
- Number of association conferences held annually increased from 99 in 2014 to 193 in 2019, reflecting growing demand from international associations.
- Exhibition space rented out increased from 1 million sq. ft. in 2011 to around 2.5 million sq. ft. in 2021, indicating rising trade shows and conventions.
- Average length of stay of MICE tourists reached 3.7 nights, higher than 2.4 nights for overall visitors.
- The number of MICE focused 5-star hotels increased from 5 in 2011 to 15 by 2022.
Such metrics point towards positive momentum and potential for further growth in Qatar’s MICE industry.
Business Friendly Policies:
- Qatar has implemented business friendly visa policies such as visa-on-arrival for 80+ countries which have made it easier for international MICE participants to visit.
- The government has also offered subsidies and financial incentives for hosting large events and conferences in Qatar. There are no restrictions on repatriation of profits and foreign ownership of local companies.
- Such policies coupled with low taxes create a conducive environment for corporations and event organizers. This stimulates rising demand for conventions, seminars and corporate meetings being held in the country.
Strategic Geographic Location:
- Qatar occupies a strategic geographic location in the Persian Gulf region providing easy accessibility to major source markets across the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
- The country serves as a convenient gateway and business hub connecting the emerging markets of the Middle East and developing nations across Africa and Asia.
- This strategic advantage helps Qatar attract international events looking to target these high-potential markets. The installation of a transit visa system has made it easier for participants to travel through Qatar.
Qatar Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Market Opportunities:
- Promoting Cultural and Medical Tourism: Qatar possesses a rich cultural heritage and history which can be showcased to boost cultural tourism. Iconic attractions like Souq Waqif, Katara Cultural Village, National Museum of Qatar and upcoming Qatar National Library offer unique settings for gala dinners, product launches and corporate events. The country is also investing heavily into developing a world-class healthcare and medical facilities. Organizing medical conferences and forums provides an avenue for Knowledge sharing and collaboration between regional healthcare institutions.
- Attracting Newer Markets: In addition to the traditional source markets across the GCC, Europe and North America, Qatar has the potential to tap high growth markets for MICE tourism including China, India, Southeast Asia, Africa and Oceania. Targeted marketing initiatives including participation in trade exhibitions, hosting familiarization trips for media and buyers and appointing representatives in respective countries can help attract associations, meeting planners and corporates from these emerging regions.
- Developing Niche Offerings: Qatar can complement its existing MICE offerings by developing customized niche events targeted at specific sectors, industries and interest groups. For instance, the AI and digital economy are emerging sectors where bespoke technology conferences can be hosted. The upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 also offers avenues for hosting football related corporate hospitality events.
- Knowledge and Learning Hub: Qatar has an opportunity to position itself as a knowledge and learning hub by hosting conferences, seminars and events catering to academia and think tanks across the Middle East and globally. The presence of leading educational institutions including Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar University, Georgetown University and partnerships with global entities like Brookings Institution provide the right foundations.
Qatar Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Market Report Coverage
||Market Size in 2023:
||US$ 1.67 Bn
|Historical Data for:
||2018 to 2021
||2023 - 2030
|Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR:
||2030 Value Projection:
||US$ 3.51 Bn
- By Event Type: Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions
- By Area: Corporate, Association, Government, Social
- By Revenue Source: Participant Fees, Sponsorships, Exhibit Space Rental, Advertising
- By Meeting Size: Small (less than 100), Medium (100 to 500), Large (500 to 1000), Mega (more than 1000)
- By Location: Hotels, Convention Centers, Unique Venues, Universities
Kempinski Residences & Suites Doha, The Ritz-Carlton Doha, Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, Hilton Doha, Shangri-La Hotel Doha, Marriott Marquis City Center Doha, Qatar National Convention Centre, Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, Four Seasons Hotel Doha, Movenpick Hotel Doha, Wyndham Grand Regency Doha, Ezdan Hotel, Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel & Villas
- Government Support and Infrastructure Investment
- Rising MICE Activities and Demand
- Business Friendly Policies
- Strategic Geographic Location
|Restraints & Challenges:
- Impact of Geo-political Tensions
- COVID-19 Pandemic Challenges
- Visa Availability and Accessibility Issues
Qatar Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Market Trends:
- Growing Adoption of Hybrid Events: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of hybrid event technology enabling remote participation along with in-person events. Qatar’s hotels and venues have invested into developing hybrid meeting capabilities. Hybrid events help to expand audience reach, provide convenience and enable participation even with travel restrictions. They can make events more cost-effective, sustainable and accessible.
- Increasing Use of Technology: Advances in event technology are creating more immersive and engaging audience experiences through solutions like augmented reality, 3D product projections, interactive displays and virtual environments. Qatar’s new generation venues offer state-of-the-art connectivity, audio-visual capabilities and equipment allowing event organizers to leverage such technologies.
- Focus on Health and Safety: Health and safety have become the topmost priority coming out of the pandemic. Qatar’s venues have implemented stringent protocols and hygiene measures following global standards and best practices. Contactless solutions, social distancing, enhanced cleaning, medical support and Covid-19 insurance are some innovations being provided to reassure event participants.
- Emphasis on Sustainability: There is increasing focus on environmental sustainability with venues and corporates using renewable energy, reducing waste and carbon footprint. Qatar aims to have several green convention centers obtaining LEED certification. Eco-friendly construction materials and practices are being mandated for new projects.
Qatar Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Market Restraints:
- Impact of Geo-political Tensions: Diplomatic tensions between Qatar and some neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt have impacted travel and trade links with these markets since 2017. Meetings and events have lower participation from affected regional markets.
- COVID-19 Pandemic Challenges: The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty leading to many events getting postponed or cancelled since 2020. Recovery is gradual with some continuing international travel restrictions.
- Visa Availability and Accessibility Issues: Despite visa-on-arrival access for several countries, MICE participants from some emerging economies still face barriers due to lack of Qatar embassy presence. Complex procedures for certain nationals also constrain demand.
New product launches
- In October 2022, Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel opened Qatar's largest ballroom, the Al Mansour Ballroom spanning over 10,000 sqm. This expands its offerings for mega conferences and events.
- In January 2021, Steigenberger Hotel Doha launched 'Hybrid Meetings', allowing attendees to participate virtually in meetings and conferences. This caters to demand stemming from the pandemic.
- In June 2020, Hilton Doha launched the Hybrid meetings facility, with virtual participation options integrated with safe in-person events.
Acquisition and partnerships
- In March 2022, Qatar Airways and ICCA entered a 3-year partnership to promote Qatar as a global MICE destination and bring more international association conferences.
- In June 2021, Qatar Convention Bureau partnered with American Society of Association Executives to attract US-based events and associations to Qatar.
- In May 2019, Qatar National Tourism Council acquired GIBTM, a meetings and incentives exhibition. This expanded its portfolio of business events held annually in Qatar.
Figure 1. Qatar Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Market Share (%), By Area, 2023
Top companies in Qatar Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Market
- Qatar National Convention Centre
- Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre
- Sharq Village & Spa
- The Ritz-Carlton Doha
- Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel
- Hilton Doha
- The St. Regis Doha
- InterContinental Doha
- Mondrian Doha
- W Doha Hotel & Residences
- Four Seasons Hotel Doha
- The Torch Doha
- Shangri-La Hotel, Doha
- Movenpick Hotel Doha
- Wyndham Grand Regency Doha
- Ezdan Hotel
- Millennium Hotel Doha
- Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel
- Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel & Villas
- Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha
Definition: The Qatar Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) market refers to all activities related to hosting corporate meetings, business conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, and corporate incentive trips in Qatar. It is a key segment of business tourism.
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