The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS), historically Europe's largest motoring event, will spawn a biennial event in Doha as part of a new tie-up between the show's organisers and Qatar Tourism.
The event will be held in Switzerland as normal on 19-27 February 2022, with a related show at the new Middle Eastern venue from either autumn 2022 or 2023. Show organisers have clarified that the Geneva event will continue on an annual basis.
It will now be known as the Qatar Geneva International Motor Show, with the co-organising bodies hailing the new calendar addition as a "new world-renowned motor show for the Middle East".
The Geneva motor show has been held near-annually since its inception in 1905, although the 2022 running will be the first in three years, after the 2020 and 2021 shows were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Final dates for the first Qatari running of the show will be confirmed in the coming weeks, said show organisers, who intend to host the show biennially. A "full concept" for the show's new format will be presented at Geneva in February.
Akbar Al Baker, chairman of Qatar Tourism and CEO of the country's flag-bearing airline, Qatar Airways, said: "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.”
“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. 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.”
Meanwhile, 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. 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.”
Shortly after cancelling the 2020 event as the pandemic took hold, the show's organisers rejected an offer of a £14.1 million bailout package from the Canton of Geneva, deeming the terms "contradictory" to the show's values.
As a result, the 2021 running of the show was said to be "very uncertain", even several months before it was officially axed due to the ongoing pandemic. While no financial figures relating to the Qatar deal have been published, it is highly likely show organisers saw Qatari investment as a means of securing the event's future.