How tiny Qatar is planning to host a million fans during the World Cup

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Abu Dhabi CNNQatar is expected to welcome a sizeable contingent of guests this winter as it becomes the smallest nation ever to host one of the world’s biggest sporting events – the football world cup.

The Gulf nation predicts over a million fans will travel to Doha duration of the World Cup; that is around 37% of the 2.7 million inhabitants. The country is only about 4,400 square miles, or about the size of Jamaica.

Previous tournament organizers faced several logistical problems in handling the large number of tournaments traveling fans – from transport to accommodation. That the smallness of the country may have some benefits, but the challenges are also plentiful.

Already there are reports of rising costs and a lack of suitable accommodation. For example, online travel agency Booking.com has 21 properties for the first three nights of the tournament, with prices starting at $1,000 per night and rising to a whopping $51,000.

However, this is not uncommon. Reports from 2006 claim Hotel prices have skyrocketed in Berlin and Frankfurt when Germany hosted the tournament. Prior to organizing the 2010 edition, South Africa was plagued by reports of unfinished training campwhile hotels were accused of price hikes during the World Cup period.

“Our goal has always been to offer visiting fans fair and reasonable prices,” said a spokesman for Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) to CNN. “We work closely with key stakeholders to ensure affordable prices for all types of accommodation.”

Host nations have often found innovative ways to accommodate fans and Qatar is no different.

At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, residents lived in the iconic Favela slums opened their doors to tourists, renting out beds, rooms and even entire houses. Some travelers got creative and went for it Stay in sex motels Usually reserved for Brazilians looking for something to do after a night out on the town.

Here’s what Qatar has come up with to accommodate the potentially multi-million football fans:

Two luxury cruise ships will be moored in Doha Port throughout the World Cup. Together they have nine pools, 3,898 cabins, 45 bars, and 10 fine-dining restaurants. Other facilities include a spa, tennis courts and the world’s largest dry slide at sea.

Worried you need to look your best in the group stage between Japan and Costa Rica? Don’t worry, you have access to a hairdresser and a beauty salon.

The ships are a 10-minute shuttle ride from central Doha, but staying in one of the spacious cabins won’t come cheap. They should range from $605 to $2,779 per night — though that’s a steal compared to some other options available to ticket holders, considering it includes a breakfast buffet.

Qatar Accommodation Agency, official accommodation provider for the event, intends to make 100,000 to 130,000 rooms available each night of the 28-day tournament.

Ticket holder deals are already available for one to six bedroom apartments and villas, with ticket holder rates ranging from $84 to $875 per night. Most are easily accessible by public transport, and villas come fully equipped with kitchens, laundry machines, pools, and gyms.

These accommodations, like others provided by the accommodation agency, are rented on a first occupancy basis, via a staggered release according to FIFA’s ticket phases, or in packages from Qatar Airways.

In addition to official housing, it will offer a booking platform similar to Airbnb for residents to rent out their homes to traveling fans. By applying for a license with Qatar Tourism, residents or building owners can also advertise their apartments on other portals such as Airbnb.

Ticket holders can buy accommodation at so-called found villages; described as “casual camping and cabin accommodation”. Priced at $207 per night, the small, simply converted portacabins are pricey, and only offer a kettle, fridge, and two bottles of water per day. They are scattered on the outskirts of Doha, the furthest being 25 miles from the airport. There will be a range of dining and entertainment options on-site, but details on those have not yet been released.

The camping option is not officially available yet accommodation sitebut the head of housing at the SC, Omar Al-Jaber, has announced that he will do so Space for 1,000 “Bedouin-style” tents. in the desert during the tournament. Around 200 of these are classified as “luxury” and cost an “expensive” fee, giving fans an “authentic” experience, Al-Jaber told Reuters. They will have air conditioning to protect fans from the cold desert nights and sweltering morning heat.

Accommodation in Qatar is expected to be so limited that the country has opted to accommodate ticket holders in neighboring countries, flying them in and out on short flights each day.

Qatar Airways announced in May that it has partnered with regional airlines to launch 160 additional daily return flights at “competitive prices” that will transport fans from Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait, Muscat and Riyadh. There will be no baggage handling facilities to expedite transfers and dedicated transport services will be provided to take fans from the airport to the stadiums.

It will also be possible to drive from cities like Riyadh, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, all less than seven hours away.

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