David Beckham spends 48 hours in Qatar for new tourism campaign

Footballer has a kickabout with a local female footballer in the video from the country's tourism board

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As it gears up to host the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 in a little over 12 weeks, Qatar is embracing all things football with a new tourism ambassador famed for his trusty right foot.

David Beckham is the star of Qatar Tourism’s new holiday campaign, where he mingles with pearl divers, tours ancient spice markets and explores the art world in Doha.

The English football star also meets with local personalities during his 48-hour, action-packed tour of the Gulf state.

“The food culture is very exciting,” says Beckham, as he wanders around Souq Waqif alongside Qatari chef Noor Al Mazroei.

He learns more about the country’s traditions from Saad Ismail Al Jassim, one of Qatar's last living pearl divers, and whips up some tacos with Qatari flavours alongside Mexican chef Aquiles Chavez.

Beckham gets set to explore Doha by motorbike. Photo: Qatar Tourism

Beckham also heads into the desert near Khor Al Adaid to see professional falcon trainers at work and tucks into a traditional Qatari meal by a campfire.

He ups the tempo with a motorbike tour around The Pearl Qatar, accompanied by Qatari motorcycle champion, Saeed Al Sulaiti.

“The people of Qatar are really passionate about their culture and the mix of modern and traditional creates something really special," he says in the clip. "I saw so much during my trip from spice markets to museums to enjoying a ride on my motorbike, which was one of the highlights."

Beckham also heads to Katara Amphitheatre for a kickabout with Qatari footballer Noora Nasser and the pair discuss women’s football and the Fifa World Cup.

“There seems to be some kind of movement here with the women’s game and that’s great to see,” says Beckham.

Six million visitors by 2020

Souq Waqif in Doha, Qatar, has been readied for the influx of Fifa World 
Cup visitors. Photo: AFP

The campaign is part of Qatar’s plans to attract more than six million visitors a year by 2030.

“It has been a pleasure to welcome David to Qatar, where he has immersed himself in the culture and experienced first-hand the warm hospitality of our people," said Akbar Al Baker, chairman of Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways chief executive.

"I encourage the millions who transit through Qatar every year to follow in David’s footsteps and create their own exciting adventure and memories.”

The campaign positions Qatar as a stopover destination and a place for GCC residents to go for a weekend getaway. The video will also be hosted on Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment systems.

The country is gearing up for an influx of visitors, as flight bookings to Qatar from across the Middle East have jumped 4,000 per cent ahead of the opening day of the Fifa World Cup.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the World Cup stadiums in Qatar

Updated: September 28, 2022, 8:43 AM