The Geneva motor show has existed as a focal point in the automotive calendar for decades now; alongside events like Le Mans and the British Grand Prix, its absence has been keenly felt for the past couple of years. So, for 2022, GIMS - the Geneva International Motor Show - will run not once, but twice. Firstly in Switzerland in February, then in Qatar in either the autumn or early 2023. Yes, really.
That's not a show purporting to be like GIMS in the Middle East, either, but an officially sanctioned Geneva motor show. In Doha. So that means its title will be the Qatar Geneva International Motor Show, which should keep the signmakers happy. Following the inaugural expo in 2022 or 2023, it's set to run every other year at the Doha Exhibition & Convention Centre. The organisers are promising a show that "will stand out as an essential calendar event for exhibitors and car lovers from around the globe."
Which is all well and good, but those wondering why a Geneva show might happen more than 3,000 miles from Switzerland aren't alone. The losses from not running Europe's flagship motor show in 2020 and 2021 may well have contributed to the decision, the support from Qatar Tourism surely welcome in tough times. Officially though the justification is as follows: "This collaboration is considered a natural fit for a new progressive show, given that GIMS has been pioneering the automotive space since 1905... and that Qatar stands out globally for its outstanding experience offer and infrastructural capabilities."
The appeal for Qatar is obvious; as part of its National Vision 2030, it wants to diversify its tourism offering. See next year's football World Cup, for example. The motor show should complement that event, aiming to attract car fans from all over the globe to a destination they might not typically choose to visit. Moreover, the Doha is said to be just a six-hour flight from 80 per cent of the global population. So you've got that to look forward to.
Qatar Tourism's Chairman, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, 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."
For now, an official date hasn't been set for GIMS in the Gulf, with the organisers suggesting that "fans will need to exercise patience while GIMS accelerates to Doha behind the scenes." We're told to expect a date in the next few weeks, with a reveal of the "full concept" expected during the next Geneva motor show, which takes place from February 19th to 27th next year. In Geneva.
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