Interview with H.E. Mr. Nuran Niyazaliev, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic in the State of Qatar


Interview with H.E. Mr. Nuran Niyazaliev, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic in the State of Qatar

- Qatari-Kyrgyz relations have witnessed significant enhancement in recent years. What are the most important agreements in terms of promoting the strategic relations especially the touristic ones between the two countries?

Answer: Indeed, the Kyrgyz-Qatari relations are getting closer and stronger with every passing day since the opening of the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in Doha in 2016. Up to now we have signed as many as 19 agreements in the area of political and economic cooperation, trade, investment, culture, education, etc. One of the most important agreements is the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Tourism Between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of the State of Qatar, signed on 8 December 2014 in Doha. In accordance with this agreement we are actively developing interaction in the tourism sector, which has a great potential in the both countries. Work is carried out to attract Qatari tourists to the Kyrgyz Republic and vice versa. Taking this opportunity, I would like to invite local travel companies to jointly create tours to Qatar and Kyrgyzstan, which, I am confident, will become very popular and relevant, keeping in mind huge interest for touristic opportunities in the two countries.


- Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has been promoting for the local tourism in many new markets such as China, Russia, Germany, where the Kyrgyz Republic stands from such step?

Answer: First, I should say that Qatar Tourism Authority did a great job in promoting local tourism and attracting foreign tourists to Qatar. Whenever I read reports of QTA or statements by Mr. Hassan Al-Ibrahim, Acting Chairman of QTA, I am amazed of enormous efforts made and successful result reached in the past couple of years in developing tourism sector of Qatar. The most recent decision of His Highness the Amir of the State of Qatar to establish National Tourism Council, I am sure, will enhance implementation of the national strategy for tourism and turn it into the leading sector of the Qatari economy. Doha becoming one of the most popular touristic destinations for many countries, including the Kyrgyz Republic. There are a large number of those who wishes to visit Qatar, especially in winter time, when it gets really cold in my part of the world. In May 2017, the Days of Culture of the State of Qatar in the Kyrgyz Republic were successfully held in Bishkek, which brought more attention to Qatar and its culture, traditions and touristic opportunities. I would suggest to National Tourism Council to open its regional office in Bishkek, capital of the Kyrgyz Republic, to bring more tourists from Central Asia with population of more than 75 million people. Could you imagine how big this market is? If only 1% of them will visit Qatar it could make a huge contribution to tourism sector of Qatar. The newly established National Tourism Council should not ignore this opportunity.

-The state of Qatar is diversified and rich with its culture, what can you in this regard from your own experience? What is your advice to the tourists who chose Qatar for tourism?

Answer: In the past, my first advice was to visit Qatar in winter time. But now with opening of many luxury hotels, huge malls and attractions, regular festivals and cultural events Qatar is getting more attractive for summer visits too. Indeed, there are many people in Central Asia, including the Kyrgyz Republic, wishing to spend their winter holidays in Qatar. So I usually advice them to come to Qatar anytime starting from November up to April and enjoy sunny days, beachside, swimming in the Arabian Gulf, desert nights and riding sand dunes as well as Qatari traditions of hospitality. You may not belief me, but absolute majority of my friends and relatives dream about spending winter days in sunny countries like Qatar. But there is only one obstacle - no direct flight connecting Doha with any city of Central Asia, where more than 75 million people live. Certainly, we want Qatar Airways to open a direct flight from Doha to Bishkek that will also help to attract more visitors from such a vast region as Central Asia. I am sure, that this flight will be successful as current ones to Azerbaijan and Georgia.

- What is your impression about Qatar in general? Culture, economic, society?

Answer: There are many similarities between the Kyrgyz and Qatari people. Our traditions and national games are similar. The both people practiced nomadic style of life in the past. We share the same human values as respect to elderly and women, family values and close ties with relatives. Generous hospitality and respect for guests are commonplace for two peoples. Of course we share common religion too. So I feel myself in Qatar as at my own home country. I think all these qualities as well as safety and security, feeling of homey - attract more tourists to the country, and such characteristics could serve as touristic brand for Qatar. I am very happy to be here in Qatar and serve for strengthening the brotherly relations between the Kyrgyz Republic and the State of Qatar. You know, whenever I ask for annual leave from my authorities in Bishkek they always make a joke asking why I need a vacation when I live and work in such beautiful touristic destination as Qatar. I think it is a good image of Qatar.

- What is your favorite places to visit in Qatar in your free time? Is there any hobbies related to this country? Like safari, sport, camping, fishing?

Answer: If I have a free time, which is unfortunately not often, I try to learn more about the host country together with my family. We love to visit Katara Cultural Village, Al Shaqab Equestrian Center, Qatar National Library, museums, and of course a beach side when weather condition permits. We visited Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al-Thani Museum several times and still look forward to visiting it again. My family is a regular visitor of festivals and sport events held all year round in Doha. Upon invitation by the organizers we attended the Artistic Gymnastics World Championship most recently and planning to attend Longines Global Champions Tour at Al-Shaqab too. The kids enjoy play areas in Sheraton Park, MIA Museum Park and Al-Khor Park. Whenever I am invited to local farms or daytime camping I accept it with great pleasure to learn more about the country, people and its traditions. It is shameful, but despite of being in the country for three years we had no chance to experience safari or night out in desert camp. These activities as well as visit to inland sea are in our plans for this winter. I would request your readers to advice me on implementing this plan.

- Falcon is very popular in the Kyrgyz culture, and it has a big place in the Qatari culture? What can you tell us in this regard?

Answer: I have mentioned earlier that the Kyrgyz and Qatari have many similarities. One of them is falconry. Living in harmony with a nature, the Kyrgyz people practice ancient tradition of wild hunting for the centuries, passing it from generation to generation. They use horses, Taigan dogs and eagles or falcons to hunt for wild goats, wolves, foxes, rabbits and birds. Kyrgyzstan is one of the few countries that still follow some traditions of the nomadic civilization and there are many expert hunters who are determined to keep this ancient practice alive. So thanks to falconry we strengthen relations between the Kyrgyz Republic and the State of Qatar. I am regular visitor of Al Gannas Association of Falconry, its annual Marmi Festival and Hunting and Falconry Exhibition. By the way, these events are perfect attractions for foreign tourists that could help to increase number of visitors to the country. The representatives of Al Gannas Association visited the Kyrgyz Republic many times for exchange of experiences, organizing joint events and promoting falconry in general. The falconry is a beautiful ancient tradition of hunting we inherited from our ancestors and it is our duty to preserve it for future generations. In this regard I congratulate the State of Qatar and Al Gannas Association for their successful programs and events. It is important not only for the Qatari, but the Kyrgyz people too.