Qatar pulls out all the stops to welcome World Cup supporters | Africanews

With 50 days to go before the World Cup kicks off on November 20 in Qatar, workers continue to pour concrete or paint walls day and night to get major hotels and other accommodation ready on time.

Before the arrival of more than a million supporters for the first World Cup organized in Middle Easthundreds of immigrant workers work tirelessly inside the Katara Towers.

These 211 meter twin towers high forming a kind of arc must welcome the VIP guests of Fifa who will stay, sometimes for thousands of euros a night, in rooms supposed to be available in October.

Beneath the two skyscrapers, mountains of sand line the front steps of Lusail Seanear the stadium of the same name which will host the final on December 18.

Everyone works 24 hours a day, assures an engineer participating in the project. “We will have to wait to find out if everything will be installed in time to satisfy people who pay so much“, he adds on condition of anonymity.

40 kilometers from Lusail, in the almost desert district of Barwa Barahat Al-Janoub, another army of workers struggles under floodlights at night or under a blazing sun during the day.

In this new district, small apartments are built for less wealthy supporters who will still pay almost 90 euros for a night on a steel bed in a dormitory, located 10 kilometers from the first metro station.

Boats and prefabs

This complex, supposed to be later reused to house thousands of poor immigrant workers who drive the economy of the rich gas state, is expected to host more than 7,500 supporters during the World Cup.

We cannot say with certainty that everything will be ready.”says a source working on the project, stating that more than 2,000 rooms have yet to be completed.

Qatari World Cup organizers promise that all accommodation will be ready on time, as some fans have already complained about prices and lack of room availability in the tiny emirate of just under three million people .

Other Gulf cities, especially Dubaipoint to a World Cup boom fueled by fans who are reluctant to book accommodation in Qatar, partly also due to the perception, disputed by Doha, of non-compliance with LGBTQ community rights and lack of alcohol.

Qatar continues for its part to prepare a range of accommodation to cope with the influx of visitors. Thus, prefab cabins Brightly colored, located near the airport, can be rented for around $200 a night for two people.

In the port of Doha, three cruise ships will be able to accommodate up to 13,000 people for 180 to 800 euros per night.

For just over 400 euros a night, some supporters will be accommodated in traditional tentsbut luxurious, beachfront in Al-Khor, north of Doha, with bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and other luxury accessories.

$50,000 a night

Some 1,000 Bedouin-style tents have also been set up to allow fans to experience Qatari-style camping without air conditioning.

Some Qatari landlords are trying to take advantage of the World Cup windfall by renting around 4,000 euros per night for apartments in Doha. A two-bedroom chalet is offered on for nearly $50,000 a night.

While 80% of Doha’s 30,000 hotel rooms are booked by the Fifa itself, the few remaining suites on the market are advertised at more than 5,500 euros per night.

There are a lot of price negotiations going on“, tempers a tourism official in Doha.

Official accommodations are subsidized to prevent prices from skyrocketing, said the head of the World Cup organization in Qatar, Nasser Al-Khater, in a TV interview this week. “But the private sector, which also provides accommodation, has the right to set the price it deems appropriate.“, he added, however.

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Qatar pulls out all the stops to welcome World Cup supporters | Africanews