Premium cafés set to benefit from Qatar’s tourism boost

 Saturday, February 4, 2023 


The 2022 FIFA World Cup, which took place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022, has contributed to a wave of investment in Qatar’s hospitality and tourism industries.

The event attracted more than 1.5 million tourists and is likely to lead to a surge in demand for hospitality operators in the years ahead.

Total investment in tourism is forecast to grow 7.8% annually to reach QR 14.5bn ($4bn) per year by 2028, according to industry trade show Hospitality Qatar.

The organisation forecasts tourism spending will reach QR 40bn ($11bn) in 2023 following the World Cup.

Like the UAE to the east and Saudi Arabia to the west, the demand for premium coffee shops across Qatar continues to provide opportunities for international operators.

The total Qatari branded coffee shop market is estimated at 400 outlets, having increased by 51 net new outlets over the last year at a growth rate of 15%.

The market is led by international brands, with Starbucks and McCafé each operating 49 stores, ahead of US chain The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s 29 outlets.

Although collectively holding a smaller market share, boutique coffee groups have also found success in Qatar with operators indicating consumers are willing to spend more for premium coffee.

UK-based EL&N launched its first international outlet in Doha in April 2021, Japan’s % Arabica currently operates two sites in the Qatari capital and Paris-based boutique café group Café Kitsuné also opened in the city in February 2022.

Meanwhile, independent specialty coffee shop NOMAD Coffee and Instagrammable Cue Café, both domestic Qatari brands, exemplify the appetite for boutique experiences.

They follow in the footsteps of Flat White Specialty Coffee, dubbed Qatar’s first ‘hipster-style café’, which operates six sites in Doha.

World Coffee Portal forecasts the total Qatari branded coffee shop market to exceed 540 outlets by 2027, led by food-focused brands.

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