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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Europe’s biggest motor event set to come to Qatar


The show has been cancelled twice due to the pandemic. 

The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS), Europe’s largest motoring event, is officially coming to Qatar for a spin-off show.

“The first edition of the expo will take place in either Autumn 2022 or 2023, taking place every two years thereafter at the Doha Exhibition and Conference centre,” Auto Express news stated. 

While organisers yet to decide an exact date for the first edition of the expo, the final dates are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. 

This comes as part of GIMS and Qatar Tourism new partnership to host a millennial event in the Gulf state, while the main exhibition takes place in Switzerland on 19-27 February 2022.

Show organisers said that the Geneva event will be a biennial show and will come after a two-year suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

It has been designated as the “Qatar Geneva International Motor Show”, with the co-organising bodies describing the platform as a new world-renowned motor show for the Middle East.

“In line with the national strategy, Qatar National Vision 2030, we are expanding our tourism proposition to position Qatar as a world-leading destination and ensure guests enjoy the very best of Qatar,” Akbar Al Baker, the chairman of Qatar Tourism and CEO of the country’s only airline, Qatar Airways said.

“In addition to extensive hotel and resort development, the refurbishment and creation of tourism assets and an expanding culinary scene, hosting internationally renowned events is an important pillar of our strategy,” he added. 

“We’re pleased to partner with the highly distinguished Geneva International Motor Show and look forward to a collaborative relationship to bring this eminent event to our shores.”

Maurice Turrettini, president of the permanent committee of the Geneva International Motor Show, said “we are very proud and honoured that Qatar Tourism has put their trust in us for the conception of the new motor show in Doha.”

He added that “our partnership is the result of very trusting and constructive discussions from day one. The joint forces with Qatar Tourism empower us to focus on the upcoming 91st edition of GIMS in February 2022, where we will be able to gather ideas and learnings for the new motor show in Doha.”

Read also: Get voting! Najah Qatari to award Gulf state’s most inspiring personalities, entities

Following the cancellation of the 2020 event, the show’s organisers rejected financial support of around $11.5 million from the Canton of Geneva to recover from major losses caused by the pandemic. w

“The Foundation thanks the competent authorities of the Canton and State of Geneva for their willingness to grant this loan to GIMS but does not see the terms of the loan as a guarantee of the long-term financial stability of the Foundation in its present form,” a statement read on the rejection of the loan. 

“The reason for this is that the Foundation would be obliged to make a repayment of 1 million Swiss francs as early as June 2021, before having had the opportunity to generate additional funds, as the GIMS 2021 edition cannot take place. It is also considered inadmissible that one condition of the loan is that an event has to be organised in 2021,” explained in the statement. 

“The loan is therefore not accepted. The Foundation has therefore decided in favour of the sale of GIMS to Palexpo SA. The aim is to find a solution that will ensure the regular organisation of an International Motor Show in Geneva. The purchase of the assets would transfer all rights to the organisation of GIMS to Palexpo SA. As a reminder, GIMS is the largest public event in Switzerland.”

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