Infrastructure

Qatar to build desert camp for 2,000 World Cup fans

Country looks to plug shortfall in hotel room availability with unique accommodation venues

www.sc.qa / Instagram

A Bedouin-style desert camp could house thousands of football fans during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as the country plans to fill in the accommodation gaps for visitors to the event beyond the limited number of hotels and apartments that will be available.

Around 2,000 fans could be housed in a specially constructed ‘village among the sand dunes’ close to the Saudi border, according to Qatar’s World Cup organising committee.

“We will allow visitors from outside the country to enjoy Qatar and their football experience in an entirely new way,” said the committee’s Abdulaziz Al Mawlawi. “There will be options for all kinds of budgets.”

Qatar is expecting more than 500,000 fans to travel to the country for the World Cup, with most staying in hotels and apartments. An earlier announcement also suggested that thousands could also camp under canvas in desert areas close to stadiums.

In its World Cup bid in 2010, Qatar had said it would create more than 55,000 rooms for fans but according to the latest statements by the country’s authorities, only 46,000 would be ready. This has prompted concern about a potential shortage of accommodation during the tournament, which the country is looking to plug by promoting private letting services such as Airbnb, as well as by putting up spectators on cruise ships docked along the coast.

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