The Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (QTEA) accorded a warm welcome to passengers of a cruise making a stopover in Qatar.

Passengers from the Deutschland, a tourism ship cruising in the Gulf, were the first to take advantage of the relaxation of entry procedures, and to have an eased arrival in Qatar.

The 400 passengers and 260 crew members were greeted on their arrival on ground with the true Qatari hospitality. Enjoying the traditional Qatari band, tourists could admire a falcon, while sipping Arabic coffee and tasting dates. One German couple said: �We will ever remember our first steps in Qatar, and we are eager to see more of this charming country.�

Organized by Gulf Adventures, the tour agent of this cruise, tourists have been offered a desert safari to Khor Al Odeid, the unique inland sea surrounded by sand dunes, a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art and an extended tour of the capital, including Souq Waqif. Golf addicts could as well appreciate an early round at Doha Golf Club.

QTEA chairman Ahmed Al Nuaimi said: �Our efforts to have new visa procedures for cruise passengers represents a new way of putting into practice our strategy to ask people stay 48 hours in Qatar,� he said.

�It will enable us to attract new travelers to Qatar, and make them discover our culture and our unique landscape. We have been discussing with major tour operators and cruising companies the possibility to add Qatar on the cruising map during their trips in the Middle East,� Al Nuaimi said.

The Peninsula

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