Qatar-based hotels company Katara Hospitality, formerly known as Qatar National Hotels, has announced plans to more than double its portfolio of properties from 24 to 60 hotels by 2030.

The hospitality firm will open six new hotels before 2016, including its flagship Lusail Marina Hotel in Qatari capital Doha.

Katara Hospitality chairman Sheikh Nawaf bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said the company is cash-rich and plans to fund the expansion with its own capital.

"You will see us spreading rapidly in the near future," al-Thani added.

As part of its key expansion plans, the company will open properties in Europe over the coming years.

In 2013, Katara said it will open the Royal Savoy Lausanne, the Gallia Hotel Milan and The Peninsula Hotel Paris, as well as a second Parisian location with a five-star hotel.

In 2014, the company will open the Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, Tazi Palace in Tangier, Morocco, and a new-build project, the Comoros Beach Resort in the Union of Comoros.

Katara took over the ownership of two Raffles properties in Singapore and Paris earlier this year.

According to a report’s estimates, inbound visitors to Qatar are expected to reach 1.6 million by 2014, up from under one million in 2009.

In the third quarter of 2011, hotel occupancy rates increased despite a surge of new openings last year, reflecting the rising demand and interest in tourism in Qatar.