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The Geneva Motor Show was held outside of Switzerland for the first time in its history. Qatar hosted the event which brings together the biggest car brands in the world. It’s the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS)—but with a Middle Eastern twist. The prestigious auto event was held in Doha, Qatar’s capital, this year. It’s the first time it’s been hosted outside of Switzerland since the show was established in 1905.
“Going forward, GIMS Qatar will be hosted every two years in Doha, providing an unrivaled opportunity for brands to present their latest technologies, most innovative ideas and concepts, as well as inspire the next generation of automotive talent,” says Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Tourism.
More than 30 of the world’s biggest car brands showcased their latest models.
“We want to be a bridge between the West and the East. It’s true that we know that there is a shift in the automotive industry with a lot of Chinese brands that are coming into different markets. Here, I think it’s not so predominant, but we see already some new Chinese brands that are coming and willing to enter the Middle East market,” says Sandro Mesquita, CEO of the Geneva International Motor Show.
The main show was at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, but there were also events at the National Museum of Qatar. The motor show also took full advantage of its desert setting with off-road drives through the dunes, test drives and other activities.
It comes at an appropriate time on the Gulf nation’s motoring calendar with the Qatar Grand Prix scheduled on October 8.
Qatar’s tourism body views the motor show as part of its plans to turn the country into the fastest-growing destination in the Middle East by 2030.
Around 200,000 people were expected to visit. Next year, the event will return to Geneva. GIMS Qatar ran from October 7-13.
This article was provided by The Associated Press.