The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will accommodate an anticipated 1.5 million visitors at the region’s first-ever World Cup.
World Cup organisers in Qatar hired a third cruise ship to function as a floating hotel for fans visiting the Gulf state during the upcoming World Cup, Geneva-based MSC Cruises announced on Monday.
The agreement adds much-needed rooms for more than 1 million visitors expected to flock to Qatar for the biggest sporting event in the world.
It comes comes six weeks ahead of kick off for the opening game between Qatar and Ecuador on November 20 at the Al Bayt stadium.
The 1,075-cabin MSC Opera will be available from November 19 to Devember 19, Associated Press( AP) reported.
Prices for the Opera were posted on the MSC website on Monday, with a two-night minimum stay starting at QR 1710 per person per night during the group stage.
As half of the teams depart later in the tournament, the cost of staying onboard the cruise ships decreases. The cheapest rooms on MSC Opera cost QR 1310 during the Round of 16 and quarterfinals, and QR 800 during the final week.
Two more giant cruise ships will also serve as floating hotels during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, both of which are set to reach Doha Port on November 10 and 14, Qatar officials announced in August.
Both cruise ships, with a combined capacity of 4,000 rooms, can accommodate up to 9,400 people. The cruise ship hotels will offer a variety of cabin options, from traditional and ocean-view cabins to balcony cabins and luxurious suites.
After being built in France, the luxurious flagship MSC World Europa will begin operations during the World Cup.
The basic rates include breakfast on board, with the option of paying a daily supplement of QR 316 for all meals. Alcohol will also be available on board, according to reports.
Meanwhile, fans are also considering staying in neighbouring countries where they will be able to fly in for specific games using daily ‘shuttle flights’. Dubai, which is only a short flight away, anticipates an extra boom in tourism.
Some football fans are set to fork out on superyachts in Dubai that cost $20,000 per night to watch the much-anticipated World Cup matches on enormous screens while sailing in the Arabian Gulf, according to reports.
A million World Cup supporters are expected to visit Dubai, according to the Dubai Sports Council. Qatar also anticipates around the same number.
The neighbouring emirate has designated fan zones at parks, beaches, and the financial district in preparation for the rush, and hotels are promoting special deals.
Prior to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, cruise ships were mentioned as a potential remedy for a lack of hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro. With only seven of the 64 games taking place in the city, the organisers ultimately decided not to hire them.
The American basketball teams did, however, stay on a cruise ship that was anchored in Rio for the 2016 Olympics. A second ship served as an accommodation for Olympic participants.