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Wed 24 Dec 2008 10:34 AM

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Qatar tourism chiefs eye cruise ships move

Officials from Gulf state in talks with major operators in bid to put Qatar on the map.

Qatar tourism chiefs have held talks with major cruise ship operators with a view to adding the Gulf state to their list of stopovers.

The Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority is currently reviewing procedures for cruises lines to visit the country following meetings in Dubai.

Bahrain, Dubai and Oman are also interested in welcoming more cruise ships to their coasts in a bid to boost tourism trade.

Qatar tourism officials discussed opportunities with major tour operators and cruising companies, including having Qatar added to the cruising map of the Middle East.

Salman Mohammed al-Hammadi, head of licensing and classification tourism activities at Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, said: "The fruitful meetings we had will enable Qatar to attract new travellers and make them discover our culture and our unique landscape.

"Qatar will become a not-to-be missed stage on the Middle East maritime routes."

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