What does GIMS Qatar mean for the Geneva International Motor Show?

04 April 2023


As motor shows move away from traditional static displays to more interactive and inclusive events, how will the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) benefit from GIMS Qatar?

Autovista24’s Phil Curry spoke to Sandro Mesquita, CEO of GIMS, and Denisa Spinkova, vice president for service excellence at Qatar Tourism. He explored what this year’s event has in store, what it means for the country, and how the new ‘festival of motoring’ will benefit the main event.

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Show notes

GIMS Qatar 2023

Geneva International Motor Show 2022 cancelled

Geneva Show cancelled for 2021 as event sold to Palexpo

Will motor shows survive after the coronavirus pandemic?


GIMS will return to Switzerland in 2024. This will be the brand’s first appearance in Europe since 2019. Yet there will be a GIMS event in 2023, with a new show taking place in Qatar.

The last time GIMS was held, motor shows were in a state of flux. Attendances were down, and static displays were not proving popular. The COVID-19 pandemic led to further changes, with consumers digesting more information digitally. GIMS itself has undergone changes, with new ownership coming off the back of the show’s cancellation in 2020.

GIMS Qatar, therefore, offers a number of opportunities. For the organisers, it is a chance to see a fresh event format in action, and expand the brand into a new market. For Qatar, the opportunity to attract an international audience and promote tourism, alongside the Formula 1 Grand Prix, cannot be missed.

Organisers claim GIMS Qatar will be the ‘ultimate festival of automotive excellence’, offering experiences in and around the central venue of the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC). Visitors will be able to see vehicles on display, and try them out on the Lusail International Circuit or in the desert dunes. There will also be a digital alternative called GIMS TV. It will allow attendees to see what is happening at the show without needing to travel.

GIMS Qatar offers change

‘Our ambition and format in Qatar are set, and one of our top priorities now is to shape the automotive festival in October 2023. We are determined to deliver a new state-of-the-art, exceptional global platform that will be as relevant and impactful as we envision it. We are very much looking forward to Doha and seeing many faces there, both new and returning,’ Mesquita told Autovista24 at a launch event.

‘Many brands have told us that they are very interested in attending GIMS Qatar this October and sharing the magic of the automobile with people from all over the world. Industry executives seem excited to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach out to the media and discover innovations,’ he added.

‘GIMS Qatar adds to our ability to have this rollout of events because of the fact that this is a long-term partnership,’ Spinkova explained to Autovista24. ‘One of the big focuses for Qatar Tourism is continuing to deliver, events, festivals, and more, all of which are extremely popular, but we need to continue bringing in events and festivals that help us attract international visitors.’

GIMS Qatar takes place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Doha, Qatar, from 5 to 14 October 2023.