The third edition of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Tourism Fair will be held later this year as part of Qatar Travel Mart 2023.

NeXTfairs for Exhibitions and Conferences and the Islamic Center for the Development of Trade (ICDT) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to host the third edition of the OIC event at Qatar Travel Mart 2023, which takes place at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre from November 20 to 22.

Commenting on the MOU signing, Rawad Sleem, NeXTfairs Co-Founder and GM, said: “NeXTfairs is honoured to declare the signing of an MOU with ICDT to expand Qatar Travel Mart’s exclusive travel and tourism platform to host the OIC 3rd Tourism Fair and promote the tourism industry in the 57 OIC countries.

“The OIC Tourism Fair is aligned with QTM and strives to encourage investment in the travel and tourism sector. It also aims to showcase the real image of Islam as a religion that promotes peace and tolerance. As the host of the World Cup 2022, Qatar is a fantastic destination to highlight how tourism can significantly boost a country’s economic growth and development.”

Latifa Al Bouabdlioui, Director General ICDT, said: “We look forward to bringing the OIC Tourism Fair to Qatar, a country that has set ambitious tourism goals. We have witnessed the country’s transformation journey, which has seen the evolution of cultural destinations, family-friendly venues, superior hotels and huge investments in infrastructure. It’s an impressive feat, which will bring a lot of inspiration to the fair’s participating countries. Events such as these enable us to build bridges while bolstering investment and trade.”

Islamic tourism is a recent phenomenon in the theory and practice of the global tourism industry. Traditionally Islamic tourism was often associated with Hajj and Umrah only. However, recently there has been an influx of products and services designed specifically to cater for the business and leisure-related segments of Muslim tourists across the globe. As a result, the Muslim tourism market has witnessed rapid growth and emerged as one of the fastest-growing segments of the global tourism market. According to a report by Future Market Insights, the global halal tourism market holds a forecasted revenue of USD255bn in 2022 and is likely to reach USD365bn by 2032.

Qatar is expected to welcome 6.24 million tourists in 2028, with visitor spending expected to reach QR102.7bn, an increase of more than nine per cent annually, according to a new report, Qatar Economic and Commercial Activities Guide 2022. The report, launched by the Qatar Chamber and based on research by Capital Economics, shows how the country’s tourism sector is becoming a vital part of the economy. ✤