Qatar is expecting a $20 billion economic boost from hosting the World Cup next year, but that number could change as the country looks to accommodate more visitors.
The country’s goal is to attract 1.2 million soccer fans for the event, but the Associated Press found just one available hotel for the entirety of the tournament — the rest are already sold out.
The tournament runs from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18, and the majority of rooms have already been booked in blocks by organizers, ensuring availability for teams and those working the event.
Qatar’s Supreme Committee told the Associated Press that roughly 90,000 rooms will be available for the public via a website.
- The number is a mere fraction of the 850,000 overseas visitors Qatari officials expect to require rooms.
- In its most recent data, the Qatar Tourism Authority said there are 33,208 rooms in hotels in apartments.
- A number of cruise ships will dock in Doha, totaling 4,000 cabins. A campsite will also be available in the desert.
It’ll Cost You, Too
Qatar will require a two-night hotel room minimum for the group stages. Rooms on the open market are going for more than $1,000 per night.
Ronan Evain, executive director of the Football Supporters Europe Group, said some fans may have to travel in and out on matchday.
With eight stadiums in a 30-mile radius of Doha and $300 billion spent on collective building costs, Qatar has prided itself on being the most compact World Cup ever, but it may come back to hurt the country.