Qatar’s historic hosting of the FIFA World Cup next year is hoped to bring the Gulf state over 1.2 million visitors.
Organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), have hopes to attract 1.2 million visitors to the country during the tournament.
Head of communications at the SC Fatma Al Nuaimi told AFP that the event will be drawing in tourists from all over the world, all of whom will be hosted in an array of traditional and innovative accommodation options, including hotels, cruise liners, fan villages, and vacation rentals.
Officials have said that 16 floating hotels will also be built in Qatar, providing almost 1,600 rooms in total.
Al Nuaimi said the SC’s “Host a Fan” initiative will give travellers to Doha an opportunity to learn about Qatari culture.
“We are a hospitable people, and this will be applied to the World Cup as well,” said Al Nuaimi to AFP.
Al Nuaimi also addressed concerns that some fans and commentators have expressed on the Gulf country’s conservative culture and how that fares for the tournament.
While alcohol is not part of Qatari culture, “alcoholic beverages will be available in designated areas,” such as Fan Zones, she said.
Speaking on criticism targeting Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers, many of whom are involved in construction preparation for the tournament, the SC official said: “We try not to let these criticisms hold us back”.
Authorities in Qatar have repeatedly reminded the international community of ongoing work towards improving working conditions and ensuring that workers’ right are protected nationwide.
Since winning the bid in 2010, Qatar has engaged in major work to address such issues, rolling out labour law reforms, protection initiatives and awareness campaigns.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is due to be held in Qatar in November next year, less than 400 days from now. The global event will mark the first such major tournament to be held in the Middle East region.
So far, 98 percent of the construction is ready, and “preparations will be completed by the end of the year,” Al Nuaimi added. On Friday, the 40,000-seat Al-Thumama stadium was the latest to be inaugurated during a match the hosted the Amir Cup final.
Qatar has already opened give other stadiums, including Ahmad Bin Ali, Al-Janoub and Education City stadiums, alongside the refurbished Khalifa ground.
The opening ceremony for Qatar 2022 will be held at Al Bayt Stadium, while the final will be played on 18 December – coinciding with Qatar National Day – of the same year at Lusail Stadium