Qatar’s lack of accommodations is benefiting neighboring countries.
Many fans are staying in Dubai, which is 70 minutes away from World Cup site Doha via a direct flight.
- Daily scheduled flights from Dubai to Doha have risen from fewer than 10 pre-tournament to more than 40.
- Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh and Jeddah, Kuwait City, and Muscat, Oman, have also all added flights to Doha during the World Cup.
- The arrangement has led to some awkward scheduling, with some fans flying out of Doha following matches that end near midnight local time.
While alcoholic beverages are not sold at World Cup games, near stadiums, and are generally difficult to come by outside of designated fan zones, the more liberal Dubai allows people to purchase alcohol and drink in certain areas.
Dubai is hosting an official FIFA Fan Festival, as are Mexico City, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, London, and Seoul.
With over 1 million tourists coming to a country of around 3 million people, the lack of accommodations has affected much of Qatar.
Some fans are staying in tents, trailer park homes, and shipping containers made into basic rooms.
Tenants in Doha have been booted from their homes, sometimes with just a few days notice, so that landlords can cash in on the saturated market.