A “hotel crisis” awaits Qatar next year


The British newspaper “Daily Mail” said that Qatar will hire noisy fans to attend the World Cup matches next year, which spent an estimated 5.3 billion pounds on preparation, some of which went to some world stars who are serving as ambassadors for the first tournament in the Arab region and the Middle East.
A picture of Neymar promoting one of the famous Qatari banks appears on every escalator and walkway in the metro station at Lusail Stadium, where the final will be played. Robert Lewandowski features prominently in the state-owned airline’s latest safety video.
He is expected to collaborate extensively with the famous Englishman, David Beckham, Qatar’s 2022 ambassador, when he arrives in Doha for the Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix next weekend.
In short and focused points, the newspaper “Daily Mail” revealed in an investigation that shows Qatar’s readiness to host the tournament and the huge challenges still facing this small country, most notably the absorption of more than one million fans in about a month, and the widely spread newspaper revealed the following:
* Migrant construction workers have been told they must leave the country by next August with only cleaning and orchard workers allowed to stay.
*Vast swathes of the city are currently being excavated, as Qatar struggles to install a drainage system and build accommodations to accommodate the huge number of audiences expected to attend.
*Tour operators expect hotel rates to rise, with only 130,000 rooms available and 1.3 million fans expected from all over the world.
*Desert tent accommodation operators are hoping for around £150 per night from fans.
* Qatar has chartered two cruise ships to house 4,000 fans in “floating hotels.”
*10,000 European hospitality staff have been flown to service the new apartment buildings.
* The Qataris admit that the chanting will not be normal and that noisy fans may have to be “hired” to add more excitement to the matches.
This raises the question of whether Qatar will fill the stadiums it has built with such extraordinary expenditures and already create a raucous crowd when the biggest football tournament kicks off 12 months from now.
The answer, as with all things in Qatar, is money. Saud, a 15-year-old Qatari fan, says: “There is talk of the Qatar Football Association renting ultras to make noise in the World Cup stadiums. Yes, maybe they will need to do it because we are shy.”
Preparation is still in progress
With five teams plus Qatar qualifying for the finals so far, preparations are still underway to host the tournament, and huge areas are being excavated in Doha, it is clear that there is a huge amount of work to be done in the nine months to date of the migrant workers’ departure.
The Qatari government has not explained why there is so much drilling and excavation near the World Cup stadiums, although concern about Doha’s sewage system appears to be one of the factors behind this.
Qatar receives little rain in the winter, but chaos ensues when heavy rains fall in October, and if it happens again during the World Cup, it will certainly be a disaster.
Building enough hotels appears to be the most pressing challenge. The idea of ​​organizing the world’s second largest sporting event in a small country has always seemed a difficult task and even the dozens of new hotels under construction now – most of which are currently steel frame structures under construction – would not suffice.
The World Cup begins about a year later, and you have to drive half an hour from the £443m Al Janoub Stadium, the southernmost of the tournament’s eight stadiums.
On the other hand, there is no evidence yet of cruise ships that are supposed to serve as “floating hotels” in Doha Port either. But a deal was signed to lease two aircraft for flights with a capacity of 2,000 each. Port officials say traditional wooden sailing boats are also being set aside as a luxury alternative to two weeks on deck with large numbers of fans.
“There will be boat buses to take fans from cruise ships to the stadium,” one port official says confidently. It sounds crazy but Qatar is ready for it.”
Hotel alternatives
Tents and ships are a ready alternative to expensive hotel accommodation. Tour operators say they have not been able to book yet, as the World Cup Local Organizing Committee has booked all hotel rooms.
To deal with the volume of visitors to a country that includes only 300,000 Qataris and more than 2.3 million immigrants and former immigrants, Qatar has signed an agreement that will provide French hospitality company Accor with 10,000 employees to service 60,000 apartments and villas.
However, it is difficult to see how Qatar can accommodate fans of 32 countries and fans may decide to stay in Dubai and take a 70-minute flight to Qatar to watch the matches.
Nevertheless, Qataris tout the size of their small country as a way to watch several matches on the same day – another factor that will contribute to this being the strangest of the World Cup tournaments. Our test run of the new metro system has proven that a fan can attend nearly all four matches each day in the group stage on public transport, with a little help from buses and appropriate sneakers. A daily metro ticket costs just £2.
The four kick-off times varied, so with World Cup day two as a test run, the schedule is a fun breakfast before 1pm in the south. Then, various combinations of red, green and gold metro lines, as well as buses at either end will drive fans to 4pm at Education City Stadium to watch a game at 7pm on the waterfront at Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, then start at 10pm. Evening in Lusail at the northern end of the Red Line.
Concerns about Qatar’s alcohol ban appear to be exaggerated. There will be cheap beer in the fan gardens and most hotels offer them. The heat will not be a problem either, as the temperatures in Qatar in December are the same as in Britain in June.

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