The hospitality industry in Qatar is expected to continue to grow even after the World Cup, with the overall supply of hotel rooms predicted to reach 50,000 by 2026.
Qatar plans to install 1,000 “Bedouin style” tents in the desert for World Cup fans, organisers announced on Tuesday, as the Gulf country is expecting to host 1.5 million visitors for the month-long tournament.
The tents will be pitched on the desert landscapes engulfing the capital Doha in a bid to offer visitors an “authentic” experience of Qatari camping, said Omar Al Jaber head of accommodation at tournament organiser the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), Reuters reported.
“We will give the opportunity for fans to live in a desert,” Al Jaber noted, adding that 200 of which will be luxurious, indeed with “expensive” nightly fees.
Qatar has around 30,000 hotel rooms, according to the most recent estimates by Qatar Tourism, with 80% of those rooms currently being allocated for FIFA’s guests, Al Jaber detailed.
FIFA will “release” rooms that teams, referees, media and other officials do not need as the tournament approaches, a spokesperson told Reuters.
In a statement the SC, revealed that available rooms for World Cup fans will reach 130,000.
With approximately 1.5 million visitors expected, the Gulf state has been heavily engaged in boosting its non-hotel accommodation.
The available accommodations entail hotel rooms, floating hotels, villas, apartments, and fan villages.
The Supreme Committee has promised 60,000 rooms in apartments and villas, as well as approximately 4,000 rooms on two cruise ships. In 2019, Qatar signed a deal with MSC Cruises to lease two luxury liners called floating hotels, which will be docked at Doha Port during the football event.
There are also plans to establish “pre-fabricated fan-villages” on empty plots, Al Jaber said, according to Reuters.
“In total we have more than 100,000 rooms and still there are some new options,” he assured, further reiterating that there would be an adequate number of accommodation for all.
FIFA organisers have placed pricing caps on the room rates that hotels can charge supporters with. Three star rated hotels are capped at around $120.
As of Tuesday, Qatar’s official accommodation website charged two-bedroom apartments on the outskirts of Doha for $390 a night and a suite aboard a moored cruise ship for $1650 a night at the end of November.
However, some visitors may opt to spend the night in other cities across the region.
More than 180 daily shuttle flights between Doha and neighbouring major cities, consequently easing accommodation pressure in Qatar.
In late May, Qatar Airways announced its partnership with regional airlines to enable World Cup 2022 ticket holders to travel into the Gulf country and back from neighbouring countries just for the day.
The announcement included an extra 30 daily return flights between Dubai and Doha, operated by flydubai, 10 daily return flights between Kuwait City and Doha, operated by Kuwait Airways, 24 daily return flights between Muscat and Doha, operated by Oman Air, and 20 daily return flights between Riyadh and Jeddah to Doha.
This brings the total number of additional flights to 160 in total.