There have been growing concerns over accommodation prices and its availability in the country.
Hotels in Qatar are expected to add around 5,000 rooms before the start of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, according to a report released by real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield.
The number of hotel and serviced apartment rooms is anticipated to expand to 45,000 before the World Cup with this additional development.
Cushman & Wakefield also anticipated a considerable increase in tourism from international markets over the next five years in their report. Some of it is also credited to the return of the Saudi market of tourists. As supply grows, strong growth in tourism numbers will be required to maintain occupancy rates and earnings.
“It is expected that 5,000 new hotel keys will be completed ahead of the FIFA World Cup in November. This new supply, coupled with existing hotel supply and serviced apartments, will deliver approximately 37,000 keys, or 45,000 rooms,” said the ‘Q1 Real Estate Market Review’ report.
According to data from the Planning and Statistics Authority, hotels of all classifications, from five stars to two and one stars, have seen increases in occupancy rates and revenue per available room.
At the end of last year, there were roughly 30,000 hotel rooms available. Even after the World Cup, the hospitality industry will continue to grow. The overall supply of hotel rooms is predicted to reach 50,000 by 2026, according to the estimate.
“Qatar’s hotel room supply reached 29,386 by year-end 2021, which reflects a 6% compound average growth rate per annum since 2015. By 2026, the overall supply of hotel keys is expected to reach 50,000,” noted the report.
The hotels are expected to perform better in the future as the number of tourists visiting Qatar increases in the coming months as the country approaches hosting the FIFA World Cup. This will help the country’s tourism economy revive.
Qatar’s hotel and hotel apartment sectors performed well, with an overall occupancy rate of 56% in February 2022.
Last year, the hotel industry remained robust. In just 2021, a n estimated 1,980 room keys were added from eight hotel properties. During the fourth quarter of 2021, the Steigenberger Hotel Doha with 206 rooms and Zulal Wellness Resort with 180 rooms were inaugurated.
World Cup accommodation concerns
Qatar has created an online accommodation platform that has around 80% of hotel inventory for World Cup fans. Organisers confirmed that when visitors book a hotel using the designated site, they can be assured that their demand will be satisfied and that no false price rises will occur.
Fans will be able to choose from two to five star hotel rooms, apartments, villas, luxury cruise ships, and desert camps through the accommodation portal.
MSC Cruises has agreed to lease two cruise liners to Qatar during the World Cup.
The cruise liners, which will be stationed at Doha Port and used as floating hotels, will have a total capacity of 4,000 cabins and offer spectators a spectacular view of the West Bay cityscape. Chartering cruise liners is regarded as a sustainable option that Qatar has been considering as part of its World Cup accommodation strategy for a while.
In addition to MSC World Europa and MSC Poesia, MSC Cruises has recently announced that MSC Opera will become as well a cruise ship hotel in Doha.
This new accommodation opportunity for football fans and visitors to Doha can be booked through MSC Cruises website.
MSC Opera offers elegant comfort and unique hospitality for the World Cup, with a variety of lounges and entertainment venues including glamourous lounges, a theatre for evening entertainment, a range of restaurants, a spa, gym, swimming pools and whirlpools located throughout the ship’s nine decks.
The gulf state also agreed to furnish 60,000 rooms and villas with Accor, Europe’s leading hotel operator, throughout the tournament.
World Cup organisers have promised supporters that the event will be “as affordable as possible for everyone,” FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser Al-Khater noted in an interview with SunSport.
The cost of staying in some apartments is about $80 per night, while buying a room in a luxury floating hotel with restaurants and recreational activities is around $180 per night.
The FIFA organisers have also set a limit on room costs that hotels can charge fans. The price of a three-star hotel is capped at around $120.