The 17th Annual GWS Brings
International Delegates to The Middle East

In the sixteen years of the Global Wellness Summit (GWS), we have been delighted to gather groups of esteemed, high-level delegates in different locations around the world, from Switzerland to Bali to Morocco to Mexico and more.

With the theme “A Time of Transformation,” this year GWS is gathering delegates from the rapidly changing wellness industry to gather in a country—a region—experiencing rapid development and significant change. Qatar is an enchanting destination for any traveler and the perfect hub for wellness industry professionals to learn about the many business opportunities in the region. Let us introduce you to this extraordinary place.

Qatar is on a peninsula that juts out into the Arabian Gulf between Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, bordering Saudi Arabia by land.

What’s the High-Level Plan?

The annual Summit includes three full days of keynotes and talks, but as our returning delegates know this signature event is so much more. Please find the Summit Overview here which provides the key dates and events before, during and after the Summit for travel planning. Check back for updates as we get closer to the Summit.

How Do You Pronounce “Qatar”?

Qatar featured prominently on the world stage last year as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the debate about how to pronounce the country’s name was as hot as the debate on whether Messi could lead Argentina to win their first World Cup since 1986 (he did). From “cutter” to “Kuh-TAH” to “guitar,” the debate continued until a Qatari government media attaché cleared it up last year: “Kuh-TAR” is the preferred pronunciation by locals. Is it perfect? No, as Qatar’s Arabic name, دولة قطر, is three letters, including two sounds that are totally foreign to most non-Arabic speakers and very difficult to enunciate.

A Model Of Transformation

Led by HH The Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (1995 – 2013), Qatar underwent massive economic, social and cultural development resulting in a 24-fold increase in GDP and a sixfold increase in per capita GDP.  Qatar is consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest nations in the world. During his tenure the country’s permanent constitution was promulgated, and “Qatar National Vision 2030”, which seeks to promote a drive towards a knowledge-based economy and transform Qatar into an advanced country capable of achieving sustainable development and ensuring the continuation of a decent life for its people, generation after generation, was framed. This transformation continues under the current leadership of HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

Practical Information

As you start planning your experience, explore below some basic information about traveling to Qatar:

  • Safety: With one of the lowest crime rates in the world, Qatar is a safe and worry-free destination. The vision for safety is deeply embedded in the country’s development, and Qatar seeks to promote tolerance, openness, and constructive socio-cultural dialogues within the context of its Arab and Islamic roots. Doha is one of the safest (and cleanest) cities you will find in the world.
  • Travel: Qatar provides visa-free entry to the country for citizens of over 100 countries, and an easy visa process for others. Check entry rules here. Hamad International Airport located just east of Doha welcomes flights from numerous airlines including British Airways, American Airlines and the luxurious Qatar Airways.
  • Currency: The monetary unit of Qatar is the “riyal” (abbreviated to QR or QAR). The exchange rate is fixed at US $1 = QR3.64. ATMs can be found in many locations and most shops and restaurants accept major credit cards.
  • Business Hours: The workweek is from Sunday to Thursday, with most offices closed on Friday and Saturday. Ministries and Government Entities are generally open from 7am to 2 pm on work days, while Private Companies and Organizations open from 8am to 12pm, and from 4pm to 8pm. Banks are generally open from 7:30am to 1pm.
  • Time Zone: Local time is GMT +3 hours.
  • Key Facts: The population is 2.5 million, with only 300,000 being native Qataris. The capital city is Doha. Arabic is the official language, although most speak English. The local religion is Islam. The government is a constitutional monarchy, led by an emir as head of state and chief executive and a prime minister as the head of government. Qatar has a very stable political environment. Qatar has a thriving market economy.