The official said it is time for people to stand with the Gulf nation and not follow the ‘made-up’ stories.
Chairman & CEO of Europe’s largest hotel group Accor, which is responsible for managing 60,000 accommodations for the World Cup, told Doha News he is “sick and tired of Qatar-bashing.”
“I will tell you something a bit differently since I’ve been a friend of the country for over 30 years, I am sick and tired of Qatar-bashing. Enough. Enough of this. There’s no reason,” Sébastien Bazin told Doha News in an exclusive interview during this year’s Qatar Economic Forum [QEF].
“A lot of stories are purely invented and not basically real at all.”
Ranked the sixth-largest hotel group worldwide, the French multinational hospitality company owns, manages, and franchises hotels, resorts, and vacation properties around the world.
Last year, ACCOR made a deal with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy to have full control to run operations and services across Qatar’s tournament-related real state until the end of 2022.
Such an initiative aims to make the country’s real estate “a sustainable hotel market that does not leave Qatar with excess permanent hotel rooms post-2022,” said Hassan al Thawadi, head of the committee.
As part of the deal, over 60,000 rooms in apartments and villas across the country will be managed by staff assigned by the European company. Bazin told Doha News that to manage the accommodation, which amounts to about 600 hotels, the company has to hire over 12,000 people.
“When I came here a month and a half ago, we had 32. As of last night, we had 3000. But in order to go from 3000 to 12,000 that means we’re gonna have 100 new people working for ACCOR every day, entering Doha,” the official explained, describing this as the biggest challenge.
However, with less than just 5 months until the whistle is blown on the pitch, the company is in full gear to ensure everything is ready on time. Part of its preparations, Bazin stated, is training all staff on how to provide the best service possible.
“We have to explain to them what they have to do. We have to show them what Qatar is like in different districts. So it’s a massive amount of work, but again, I’m smiling because ACCOR hires, 80,000 people every year. So, actually, 12,000 is nothing,” he said.
“This is the year of Qatar, my dear. This is 2022. You’re gonna shine. And you’re gonna show the world, the beauty of this country and natural heritage, museum, and library,” he added.
Around 1.5 million football enthusiasts are expected to flock to the Gulf state in November to witness Qatar’s historic football tournament live.
Though some concerns regarding accommodation availability have been raised from fans around the world, the government has assured that all visitors will have a place to stay during the World Cup.
Currently, the host nation has around 130,000 rooms available rooms for visitors, including hotel rooms, floating hotels, villas, apartments, as well as fan villages.
The hospitality sector is also expected to add around 5,000 hotel rooms before the sporting event kicks off, as per a recent report by real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield.
The number of hotel and serviced apartment rooms is set to expand to around 45,000 ahead of the World Cup in November.
Earlier this month, organisers in Qatar also announced plans to install 1,000 “Bedouin style” tents in the desert for incoming fans.
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.