The countdown started: Qatar prepares to host World Cup fans

Doha expects its economy to grow between 1.6 and 2.9 percent
The countdown started: Qatar prepares to host World Cup fans
World Cup Qatar

Preparations are in full swing in Qatar to accommodate the large number of visitors expected to reach 1.2 million to attend the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

This global sports activity will contribute to raising the country’s economic growth levels this year, and to enhance Qatar’s tourism image in the world.

On November 21, the world will see the World Cup final at Lusail Stadium in Qatar.

The recent Arab Cup 2021 matches were a rehearsal for the World Cup, so will this global event succeed in providing services to visitors?

Room availability


The organizers of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 are working to provide up to 130,000 residential rooms, ranging from hotel rooms to apartments. Construction continues on the ‘Madinatuna’ project site, which developers could complete soon and accommodate apartments for up to 27,000 fans.

Practically speaking, this means there is a possibility that football fans coming to Qatar from all over the world may face difficult times trying to get accommodations if no other solutions are available.

Innovative and temporary solutions that authorities are implementing may contribute to covering this gap, such as huge floating boats that can provide about 4,000 private cabins, fan villages, and complete housing plans for fans who would consider housing arrangements after the launch of ticket issuances – which began days ago.

Alternative hospitality


In this context, it’s important to note that a review conducted of the real estate market by Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate consultancy, revealed the recent increase in the prices of apartments and villas by 5 and 10 percent.

Moreover, Qatari officials have also launched a holiday home scheme that allows people in Doha to apply for licenses to rent their homes on platforms such as Airbnb or VRBO.

Whereas observers described camping in the desert as a way to create space for the masses, they no longer list this option as a priority.

The Higher Committee said, “The availability of the campsite will constitute a small percentage of the total accommodation options in Qatar. We have always viewed the camp as a display of traditional Qatari hospitality, and not as a solution to the lack of accommodation.”

Furthermore, most of the rooms have been reserved by the World Cup organizers to ensure they are available to teams, FIFA officials, sponsors, and the media.

Data modeling based on travel patterns from previous World Cups showed that Qatari officials now expect 850,000 visitors from abroad to need rooms.

The option to travel in and out of the country for each match may be the only viable option for many fans, but the cost is of course high.

The growth of the Qatari economy


Naturally, Qatar will achieve great economic benefits as a result of hosting the World Cup, as this sporting event is considered a key driver for achieving its future vision 2030.

Driven by the prospects of booming activities related to the event, the country expects its economy to grow this year at rates ranging between 1.6 and 2.9 percent.

The Ministry of Finance had previously estimated that the Qatari government would spend $200 billion until 2022 on building infrastructure, in addition to constructing and developing stadiums.

According to the forecasts of the Qatar Planning and Statistics Authority, there is a possibility of growth of non-oil activities, especially those related to the tourism sector, at rates ranging between 2.8 and 4.7 percent during 2022.

This is in addition to the long-term economic benefits, as a natural result of the increasing spread of Qatar’s tourist image in the world.

It appears that Qatar and FIFA are taking all precautionary measures to contain any new outbreak of the Coronavirus and its variants. They decided to impose strict procedures for arrivals, including quarantine, in addition to issuing a Hay’ya Card (Fan ID) to enter the stadiums, which contain information about its holder, including the vaccination certificate.

The whole world is watching the countdown clock on the Doha Corniche these days, readying for the launch of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the first of its kind in the Arab world and the Middle East.

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