The number of cinema-goers in Qatar tripled between 2005 and 2009, according to statistics released by the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA).
Aided by an increase in the number of cinemas from nine to 25, attendances leapt from 374,568 to 1,365,000.
The boost in the number of screens also allowed for more diversity in the films being shown with a total of 540 different movies playing in 2009 compared to just 292 in 2005. A peak of 609 was reached in 2008.
The number of Arabic movies screened during this period also jumped.
In 2005 less than seven percent – 20 in total – of all movies screened were Arabic. By 2009 this number had more than doubled to 20 percent, with a total of 108 Arabic titles released.
A number of activities in Qatar recently have served to stimulate interest in cinema with the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, the Doha Film Institute and the Alnoor Film Fund established during the past year.