November 28, 2022


World Travel Service

Qatar Is Wooing Wealthy FIFA World Cup Followers With Luxurious Lodge Choices

Qatar Is Wooing Wealthy FIFA World Cup Followers With Luxurious Lodge Choices

With deluxe match packages promoting for hundreds of {dollars} and five-star accommodations doing a brisk commerce, a sheen of glamour coats the FIFA World Cup in Qatar regardless of soccer’s working-class roots.

A penchant for luxurious within the energy-rich Gulf state, which has one of many world’s highest GDPs per head, has rubbed off on an unusually high-end version of a match for the plenty.

In the event you’re in a position to spring US$4,950 (S$7026) for a VIP ticket to a bunch sport, you may get pleasure from drinks, a six-course meal and leisure at a lounge overlooking the midway line at Lusail Stadium, north of Doha.

These with bottomless budgets within the resource-rich area have enticing lodging choices too, with one third-party web site providing $4,000-a-night resort rooms and $26,000 for a “head of state” suite — with a 30-night minimal keep.

Qatar Is Wooing Wealthy FIFA World Cup Followers With Luxurious Lodge Choices
A view of the “West Bay” advanced, from the Centara Lodge, which can host followers throughout the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, in Qatar’s capital Doha. (Picture: Karim Jaafar/ AFP)

Issues are a bit completely different for odd followers. Cheaper choices embrace a metal mattress in a shared room within the semi-desert close to the capital at $84 an evening, or lodging on docked cruise ships from $179 to $800.

Stadium crowds will embrace Qatar’s migrant labourers, who had been provided some tickets at 40 riyals ($11) to look at a sport whose gamers and core supporters are historically blue-collar.

In response to Ronan Evain, government director of Soccer Supporters Europe, the onus on “premium” experiences has left some followers chilly.

“It’s clear that there’s a concentrate on a sort of premium tourism, however the overwhelming majority that go to a World Cup are middle-class,” Evain informed AFP. “They’re not the kind of people that can afford to remain on a cruise liner at $5,000 every week.”

FIFA World Cup in Qatar: Pricing out the much less prosperous?

The hordes of ticketless followers that often descend on a World Cup will probably be diminished in quantity, as solely ticket holders and as much as three friends every can enter Qatar throughout the November 20 to December 18 match.

Many supporters will keep elsewhere within the Gulf and board the estimated 100 to 200 World Cup shuttle flights a day from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman.

Even these choices don’t come low-cost.

In Dubai, an hour’s flight away and anticipated to be a significant vacation spot, an official World Cup package deal prices $1,500 for 4 nights in a shared room, together with one return flight to Doha however no match tickets.

The Qatar World Cup is at the least compact, with all eight stadiums in and round Doha — eradicating the cross-country journey wanted at earlier editions resembling Brazil 2014 or Russia 2018.

qatar world cup fifa
The Qatar World Cup will happen throughout eight stadiums in and round Doha. (Picture: Rhett Lewis/ Unsplash)

“The issue with the World Cup in Qatar is that there are only a few alternate options,” mentioned Evain. “At a World Cup in Brazil or Russia, you may take a practice, rent a automotive, keep 200 kilometres (120 miles) away or come only for the day of the match.

“None of that’s doable in Qatar. Both you may’t discover lodging or lodging is just too costly,” he added. “Persons are on the lookout for an answer and for fairly a couple of folks the answer is to cancel, as a result of they will’t afford this form of finances.”

An emblem of status

Nonetheless, Sue Holt, government director of Expat Sport, the UAE agent for the official World Cup package deal supplier, mentioned there was a spread of lodging “to go well with most budgets”.

The USA, Britain, France, Mexico, China and India had been among the many international locations the place followers had been displaying most curiosity in packages for the UAE, she mentioned.

“Sports activities vacationers typically are usually older and journey in teams, which might be households, buddies or sporting teams,” she mentioned. “A part of the attraction of one of these journey is that it’s a collective, shared expertise watching your favorite staff or participant collectively.”

These supporters “will embrace individuals who have by no means ventured to this area earlier than”, added Holt.

qatar world cup fifa
The Qatar cityscape. (Picture: Radoslaw-Prekurat/ Unsplash)

In response to Robert Mogielnicki, senior resident scholar on the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, internet hosting the World Cup is about “status” for Qatar, a monarchy of simply 2.8 million folks, overwhelmingly expatriate employees.

“What the Qataris don’t need to occur is get caught with an oversupply of tourism infrastructure for a section of vacationers unlikely to be an everyday, constant presence within the nation,” he mentioned, explaining the restricted choices.

“I believe that the Qataris will preserve trying to appeal to wealthier vacationers from elite circles,” added Mogielnicki, who can be adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown College and George Washington College.

“A number of the momentum behind regional tourism initiatives, particularly in Saudi Arabia, does appear to concentrate on high-end, luxurious experiences today.”

This story was printed by way of AFP Relaxnews

(Essential and featured picture: Florian Wehde/ Unsplash)