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To Lure Indian travellers, Qatar Starts Tourism Office in Mumbai

After Qatar waived entry visas for Indians last year, it has become an increasingly accessible destination for Indian travellers, with more than 110,000 visitors in the first quarter of 2018.

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The Qatar Airways has 100 weekly direct flights connecting the capital Doha to thirteen major cities across India and 67 flights from India to Qatar by major airlines like Air India Express, Indigo Airlines and Jet Airways.
Qatar flag, Pixabay

Eyeing a chunk of tourists from India, the world’s second largest outbound tourists market, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has opened an office here on Thursday.

QTA’s Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer Rashed AlQurese said the decision was taken in view of the rapid growth of India’s outbound tourism market in recent years, coupled with QTA’s intensified efforts to diversify and grow visitor source.

“The steps taken to make accessing Qatar easier are particularly targeted at visitors seeking to experience our country’s luxury hospitality and unique cultural offerings, all while benefiting from the convenience of relatively short flights,” AlQurese told media persons.

Eyeing a chunk of tourists from India, the world's second largest outbound tourists market, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has opened an office here on Thursday.
Mumbai, representational Image

The QTA has about a dozen offices worldwide including in Moscow, Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, the US, China, Russia, the Gulf Cooperation Council markets and South East Asia, he added.

According to a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimate, India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020.

Similarly, the market for travel and tourism in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 7.23 per cent during the period 2016-2021.

QTA’s office here will oversee a wide range of promotional initiatives, including workshops, sales visits, travel agents destination training, partnerships with tour operators, familiarisation trips, media campaigns and other innovative activities to boost Qatar as a leisure and business tourism destination.

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After Qatar waived entry visas for Indians last year, it has become an increasingly accessible destination for Indian travellers, with more than 110,000 visitors in the first quarter of 2018.

The Qatar Airways has 100 weekly direct flights connecting the capital Doha to thirteen major cities across India and 67 flights from India to Qatar by major airlines like Air India Express, Indigo Airlines and Jet Airways.

Indian nationals can enter Qatar visa-free, for 30 days’ stay, which can be extended by another similar period. (IANS)

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President of Egypt Calls for Collective Action Against Countries Supporting Terrorism

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Terrorism egypt
The president of Egypt Urges world leaders to take decisive action against states supporting terrorism. Pixabay

Egypt’s president Wednesday called for “decisive” and “collective” action against countries supporting “terrorism” in an apparent reference to Turkey and Qatar, who back the Muslim Brotherhood group, which is outlawed in Egypt.

The three countries also support opposing factions in the war-torn Libya.

Addressing a two-day forum on peace in Africa in the southern city of Aswan, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi also said achieving sustainable development in Africa is needed, along with efforts to fight militant groups in Egypt and the Sahel region that stretches across Africa south of the Sahara Desert.

“There should be a decisive response to countries supporting terrorism and a collective response against terrorism, because the terrorist groups will only have the ability to fight if they are provided with financial, military and moral support,” he said.

Abdel Fattah Al Sisi Egypt
The President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. VOA

The gathering in Aswan is attended by the leaders of Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Senegal along with officials from the U.S., Britain and Canada.

The Sahel region is home to al-Qaida and Islamic State group-linked militants. El-Sissi said Egypt could help train forces and provide weapons to countries in the region to fight extremists.

Egypt has for years been battling an Islamic State-led insurgency that intensified after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Muslim Brotherhood President Muhammad Morsi in 2013 amid mass protests against his brief rule.

Militant-related violence in Egypt has been centered on the Sinai Peninsula, as well as in the country’s vast Western Desert, which has witnessed deadly attacks blamed on militants infiltrating from neighboring Libya.

Since Morsi’s ouster, tensions have grown between Egypt and Turkey and Egypt and Qatar. The political party of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo designated as at terrorist group in 2013.

Upcoming conference

El-Sissi also said a “comprehensive, political solution would be achieved in the coming months” for the conflict in Libya, which descended into chaos after the 2011 civil war that ousted and killed long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi. He did not elaborate.

Egypt
This photo provided by the office of Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, dignitaries including Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, gather, for a photo during a two-day forum on peace in Africa in the southern city of Aswan, Egypt. VOA

He said that would put an end to a “terrorist hotbed that pushes militants and weapons to (Libya’s) neighboring countries including Egypt.”

El-Sissi apparently was referring to an international summit in Berlin that aims to reach an agreement on actions needed to end the conflict. The conference had been scheduled for October, but it has apparently been postponed.

After the 2011 civil war, Libya split in two, with a weak U.N.-supported administration in Tripoli overseeing the country’s west and a rival government in the east aligned with the Libyan National Army led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

Maritime border agreement 

El-Sissi’s comments came amid heightened tensions with Turkey after a controversial maritime border agreement it signed last month with Libya’s Tripoli-based government.

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Greece, Egypt and Cyprus, which lie between the two geographically, have denounced the deal as being contrary to international law, and Greece expelled the Libyan ambassador last week over the issue.

Hifter has for months been fighting an array of militias allied with the Tripoli authorities to wrestle control of the capital.  He is backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France and Russia, while the Tripoli-based government receives aid from Turkey, Qatar and Italy. (VOA)