Qatar unveils desert camp accommodation from $200 a night

Qatar World Cup organizers have unveiled desert camps for football fans around the world.

A live portal Monday showed booking was available for prefab cabins in special “fan villages” at three locations.

The cost of a two-person cabin starts at $207, with two single beds or one double bed offered. They have a bathroom, fridge, Wi-Fi and housekeeping, with restaurants and takeaways available in the village.

The camps, in Zafaran, Ras Bu Fontas and Rawdat Al Jahhaniya, are outside the city.

“The Fan Villages are located on the outskirts of Doha but are still accessible via public transport or carpooling, giving you easy access to all popular cultural attractions, as well as Cup stadiums and activations FIFA World Cup,” said the Qatar accommodation agency.

The camps were touted as a low-cost alternative to hotels and Airbnb accommodations, which were quickly bought up by major sponsors, broadcasters and thousands of foreign officials.

The total price for a stay for two throughout the full tournament could be as high as $5,598, according to the portal, although few traveling fans expect to stay longer than a few days.

Zafaran is furthest from Doha International Airport in the far north, outside the town of Lusail, where the Qatar government has built a complex from scratch for the World Cup.

Ras Bu Fontas is to the south of the city, behind the airport and close to the Gulf Coast. It has a stop on the main Doha metro line.

Rawdat Al Jahhaniya is west of Doha towards the desert. It’s a 20-minute drive from the Corniche, but nearly an hour by public bus.

Last month, Fifa President Gianni Infantino said he expected Abu Dhabi and Dubai to be among the Gulf cities to experience an increase in tourism as fans stay and visit there. fly to Doha for the games.

Fans with tickets struggle to find accommodation

Tickets for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are among the most sought after in the tournament’s history, with 804,186 awarded in the first round of applications out of 17 million applications.

A second sales window closed on April 28 at noon.

In total, just over 3 million tickets were made available, but 1 million were reserved for Fifa and its partners.

England fan Laura Roxburgh, who lives in Dubai, had high hopes of attending her second World Cup but problems booking accommodation and flights forced her to consider abandoning her trip.

“Most places are a three night minimum stay for accommodation on the Fifa accredited site, other options are on cruise ships but these are also expensive – a windowless cabin for around $350 a night “, she said.

“Apartment buildings post availability, but it’s unclear where they are, how safe they are, and if they’re even finished — even those rooms are $450 a night.

“I haven’t booked anywhere yet as I don’t want to rush to book to stay in an area I don’t know.”

Ms Roxburgh, a physical education teacher in Dubai, secured a ticket to the semi-final ballot, along with four friends, for $500 each.

So far, she said the process has been much more complicated and considerably more expensive than her trip to Russia for the World Cup in 2018.

“Flight prices are astronomical, around £800 [£1,006] for a return flight from Dubai to Doha seems like the average so we are thinking of driving,” said Ms Roxburgh, who has been in the UAE for six years.

“In Russia I got tickets for the England-Croatia semi-final after they came on the resale market and I got an indirect flight from Manchester to Moscow and it was easy to find accommodation .

“Here we are only 40 minutes away and it is proving very difficult to book anything that is affordable.”

A three-night stay on an MSC cruise ship to watch the November 21 opener will cost $347 per person per night.

The MSC World Europa cruise ship hotel is a new ship, with six swimming pools, 14 ocean-view Jacuzzis and a Balinese-style wellness center. It also has 13 restaurants on board.

The ship will be docked at Doha’s Grand Terminal, just minutes from sights such as Souq Waqif and the Museum of Islamic Art by shuttle bus.

Hotels are likely to be allocated to qualifying teams before they are announced for paying supporters, as many are already booked for the duration of the tournament.

Airbnb accommodation is another option for fans, although prices have more than quadrupled from start to finish of the tournament.

A three-bed townhouse overlooking the marina in the Pearl Quarter is currently available for Dh542 ($147) per night, but during the first week of the World Cup in November, an apartment in a similar location that can sleep three people is announced for 6 Dh. .143 per night.

A Hayya card gives fans in possession of a match ticket a visa to enter Qatar, access to the stadium and free public transport. But to register they need to provide their accommodation details.

Updated: May 02, 2022, 12:14 PM

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