Qatar World Cup: Accommodation worries for football fans
Qatar World Cup: Accommodation worries for football fans. Paul Clegg has traveled extensively over the previous quarter-century to witness the exploits of the England national football team in many arenas.
Three World Cups down, and he’s getting ready to go for four in Qatar.
He has bought tickets to all of England’s games through the finals (should they make it) and plans to follow them closely, as he has in previous tournaments.
The only difficulty he will face is deciding where to sleep for the duration of the competition.
“I just booked the first four nights at a very expensive hotel. There aren’t any affordable possibilities, so I don’t know where I’ll be staying after that” the man explains.
There are thousands of others who share Paul’s predicament.
More than a dozen fans who had not yet secured lodging spoke to the BBC. There are now fewer than two months till the event, and their worries have only increased since then.
In March, Qatar only had 30,000 hotel rooms, but Fifa had already secured 80% of them for football teams, officials, and sponsors for the World Cup.
As an additional housing choice, the organizers are providing rooms to rent in empty apartments, villas, fan villages, and traditional tents in the desert.
Doha’s port will soon have two former cruise ships docked there as hotels. It is anticipated that these actions will bring an additional 70,000 hotel rooms to the industry.
The Gulf state will supply up to 130,000 rooms in time for the event, according to a statement released to the BBC by the country’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.
Fans, teams, and sponsors of Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 will find this inventory “comfortable.”
This news comes despite the scarcity and high cost of accommodations in Qatar.
Fan towns, constructed in the desert on the outskirts of Doha, sell prefab cabins as a low-cost alternative to hotels. Some fans claim they are not worth the $207 (£184) a night price tag.
Anas Filali, a visitor from the United States, believes that there is nothing suitable for people on a tight budget.
“These cabins in the fan village costing $200 per night are outrageously overpriced. Hotel rooms on Airbnb are just as outlandishly priced. When I go there, I’m crossing my fingers that I can locate some more affordable solutions “In his words.
The BBC had asked permission to visit the fan villages, but the authorities had denied their request. It seems that the sites are still in the works.
Fans can now stay at the houses of locals, but they have to pay a significant fee. There are almost no sub-$200 per night possibilities on Airbnb.
Leo Caglilio, visiting from Australia with his brother-in-law, is spending $265 a night for a room in a private residence. He travelled to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup and claims he had no trouble locating a cheap hotel.
“It has been a very trying period. Since April, we’d been looking, but the price never seemed to go down “he explains
Qatar is the smallest country to ever host the World Cup in terms of total land area.
Since winning the bid in 2010 to host the tournament, the government has allegedly spent $200 billion (£177 billion) on infrastructure and stadiums.
Four games each day will be played in stadiums surrounding Doha during the group stage, making it the busiest part of the tournament.
Nearly 2.5 million out of 3 million tickets have been sold, according to FIFA, and a record 1.2 million people, or nearly 40% of Qatar’s population, is expected to attend.
Boon for neighbors
Because of a severe lack of available lodgings in Qatar, thousands of spectators have been forced to look elsewhere, with many settling in nearby nations.
Daily shuttle flights will transport supporters to the host country from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman.
Demand for hotel rooms in Dubai has increased significantly in the lead-up to the World Cup. Doha may be reached by shuttle flight in under an hour from the city.
British supporter Simon Witney is currently residing in Dubai, and will only be in Doha for games. He is staying in a “far better room” in a posh part of town for less than $100 per night, he says.
“Even with the airfare, I will be making significant savings,” he explains.
The Dubai Sports Council predicts that one million World Cup fans could visit the city, while some critics have called this prediction into question on the grounds that Qatar is also anticipating roughly the same number of tourists.
Despite the confusion surrounding lodging, many fans are still planning to spend at least part of their trip in Qatar.
“I want to take in all the World Cup vibes,” he says. I can never get that kind of experience living in another nation.