Qatar is a peninsula and is located along the Persian Gulf shoreline. It is comprised of mainly beaches and dunes except for Doha its largest city. It is famous for many things including natural gas crude oil and before this discovery, it was extremely famous for its pearl diving. Qatar is known for its high-income and tax-free economy, relative to its small and humble population (1).
Qatar has many tourists as its beautiful skyline, a peaceful location steeped in history and tax-free nature draw people to visit Qatar. This has helped develop the hospitality industry. Qatar, as mentioned, is a small and important country and you can see over the years the number of hotels has drastically expanded. In 2010 there were only 66 hotels established, but by 2019 it has been recorded there were over 109 (2).
Even though this sounds like a low number, for the size of Qatar this is a lot. The hotel business is very competitive in Qatar and as a hotelier, it is important to promote your hotel’s unique selling points to remain competitive.
The hospitality industry in the Middle East is full of luxurious hotels. With Qatar being one of the richest countries in the world, it stands to reason they will of course have some of the most stylish hotels in the world. When booking a holiday in Qatar, it is important for visitors that hotels cater to them in order to make them feel welcome and more at ease in their travels. Hotels can and should provide a variety of information in their guests’ native languages including website content, marketing materials, welcome kits, signage and even menus. Providing materials in various languages improves engagement and loyalty with hotel guests.
At GPI we value our important hospitality clients, including the Hyatt Collection, Four Seasons, Atlantis, Kempinski, Hilton, Intercontinental, and many more. We have a few tips and tricks here for best practices for Hotels in Qatar.
Best Practice Translations for Hotels in Qatar
- It is important to evaluate the target markets that visit your hotel.
Seeing where your website visitors and actual guests come from will help you focus your hotel’s marketing and sales efforts to the right country markets. This in turn will tell you what languages/locales to translate hotel materials for.
- What locale of Arabic are you targeting?
You could simply target Qatari Arabic; however, this Arabic is very locale specific to this area. You need to determine where your guests are coming from in order to further market to that region of the Gulf and beyond. We always recommended using MSA (Modern Standard Arabic), as this is universally used and accepted throughout the Gulf region.
- Do not translate certain beverages into Arabic.
It is important to look at your local market and the laws around what can and cannot be translated. Your translation provider will be able to give you some tips. For instance, it is common to exclude alcoholic beverages from Arabic translated menus.
- Is your website or booking engine translated?
Translating your website enables tourists and visitors to explore your hotel and book directly with ease. Some tourists and visitors may book through a third-party booking engine where they will find sites like hotels.com or booking.com translated. This greatly aids them in their destination research, decision making and seamless booking experience. Therefore, to encourage more direct bookings, it is important to have your website and booking page translated into the most popular languages for your region.
- Are your menus, signage, and welcome messages on TV’s and kiosks translated?
Having your menus, signs, and other hotel messages translated creates a welcoming environment for your international tourists and visitors. Many reviews on travel review sites mention the appreciation for translated signs and menus which made a guest and their family experience more enjoyable.
- Have a list of interpreting resources at your concierge desk.
Providing visitors with an interpreting service or a list of interpreters at your concierge desk is a big plus to prevent language barriers from being an issue and encourage guests to enjoy your hotel and beyond your city during their stay.
It is a valuable resource for hotels to provide translation services to accommodate their visitors. The hospitality industry is all about going above and beyond in providing a service, especially in Qatar. Why not get your website and collateral translated in order to put your visitors’ minds at ease, increase your hotel ratings with positive reviews, and attract more visitors from around the world!
1 – Trip101
2 – Statista