Even in the best-case scenario, attending the World Cup in Qatar will not be the most economical trip. Indeed, regardless of the organizing country, the strong demand inevitably causes prices to skyrocket, discouraging many potential visitors.
However, with limited accommodation and a lack of alternatives to flying into Doha, many fans will not be able to afford the World Cup in Qatar. The current economic climate only adds to these difficulties. The Qatari riyal is pegged to the US dollar, which is good for US fans, but not for others.
According to the Polish financial services company Conotoxia, not only are the ticket prices the highest ever, but the travel and accommodation costs are also very high. However, the cost of match tickets is the least of the worries of the supporters. People in Qatar can get tickets at a discount, but for other football fans group stage tickets cost between 70 and 220 dollarsand those for knockout matches between 600 and 1600 dollars. Tickets are currently sold out for most matches, with the exception of a few group stage fixtures.
There are far fewer tickets available for the 2022 World Cup than for the 2026 World Cup (held in three countries: Mexico, USA and Canada). This is because the stadiums in Qatar are close to the smallest stadiums allowed by FIFA criteria, with all but two stadiums having a capacity of 45,000 seats or less. In the United States, stadiums are mainly huge American football arenas with a capacity usually around 70,000, although some smaller stadiums are used in Canada and Mexico.
However, even with these small stadiums, the World Cup will push Qatar’s accommodation capacities to their limit, with cruise ships to accommodate visitors.
Conotoxia estimates that the lowest price for a ten-day trip for two during the group stage is around $6,000. This figure is based on the price of flights from New York (1600 dollars per person), on the price of match tickets (600 dollars), on the price of accommodation (about 1000 dollars), on the price of car rental ($600) and food and beverage expenses ($600).
While free public transport and the relatively compact nature of the World Cup in Qatar mean that renting a car is unlikely to be necessary, some of those other expenses are likely to be much higher.
It is possible to find accommodation for just $50 per night in Doha outside of the World Cup period. However, since the hotels are full, the only solution is to stay on a cruise ship docked at the city port. Booking.com prices for a seven-night stay in Doha during the World Cup are around $5,000 and availability is decreasing day by day.
the Qatar official website offers rooms on the MSC Poesia cruise ship from $179 per night, but for most dates the price for a room with a double bed is closer to $500 per night.
Fans can stay at the Fan Village: temporary en-suite rooms are available for around $200 per night and can accommodate up to two people. Glamping tents are also available for a similar price.
With regard to non-football related activities, Conotoxia indicates that many other tourist attractions are also available, but more expensive: a desert safari and a camel ride cost around $400 per person, while a guided tour of northern Qatar costs $700 per person .
As accommodation prices in Doha are high, it has been suggested that it would be best to travel to the World Cup from Dubai. According to Conotoxia, flights from New York to Dubai and then Dubai to Doha are slightly cheaper than direct flights to Doha, and accommodation through normal routes is much cheaper in Dubai. However, given the extra travel time and inconvenience, the game may not be worth the effort.
Attending the World Cup is undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but for anyone traveling to Qatar, the vacation will not be economical.
Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Steve Price
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World Cup in Qatar 2022 | How much will supporters have to spend? -Forbes France