Football fans snap up Dubai’s luxury short-term lets for Qatar World Cup

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Realtors across Dubai have said football fans are snapping up short-term rentals in the emirate as a base to travel to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with some boasting a price tag of more than $410,000 (AED1.5million) for the month-long football tournament.

Though Doha has invested heavily in hotel accommodation and infrastructure for the world’s largest sporting event, a shortfall remains, meaning many will stay in neighbouring Gulf countries for the tournament, due to kick-off on November 21, and travel to and from Qatar for the games.

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It will mean a bumper tourism season for the GCC, especially the UAE.

In Dubai, estate agents are already seeing a surge in demand.

Harry Tregoning, of Tregoning Property, began fielding enquiring for rentals in Dubai for the duration of the World Cup back in November 2021.

“Firstly, I hope they have booked their air tickets as one-day returns during the tournament on Qatar Air start around $1,200 (AED4,500 return). If that is booked, then staying in Dubai is going to prove to be a very popular destination for fans to stay in.

“To rent a normal five-bed villa on Palm Jumeirah they were looking at rates of nothing below $61,000 (AED225,000) a month and in Jumeirah Islands nothing less than $34,000 (AED125,000) a month.

“These rates seemed high but when you think you are dealing with a high-end clientele four double rooms in a five-star beach hotel would see you being lucky to get change from ($2,720) AED10,000 a night and this would add up to $81,690 (AED300,000) so there will be good value in a villa.

“For four bedrooms with two adults in each, Raffles The Palm is around $68,000 (AED250,000) for 27 nights (their max stay is 28) in November and the cheapest for 27 nights at present is The Retreat Palm MGallery by Sofitel for $34,000 (AED125,000).

“They also have a five-bedroom villa for rent on Frond K for $410,000 (AED1,512,000) for 27 nights and four rooms in the Burj Al Arab is marginally cheaper.

“For agents, there will be big business.”

Vinayak Mahtani, CEO of bnbme, a leading holiday homes management company in Dubai, is witnessing a similar surge of enquiries.

“The short-term rental business has been doing very well over the past 24 months as COVID-19 saw a lot of clients wanting staycations or tourists wanting a property with privacy and a little less crowded as the traditional hotels. I believe the World Cup in Qatar will also attract large numbers because simply Dubai is the place everyone is going to want to be.

“It has everything a perfect holiday destination needs to offer, as well as proximity to the World Cup.”

Qatar currently has only 130,000 or so rooms provided by hotels, cruise liners anchored off Doha and desert campsites, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia will be attractive alternative destinations for fans.

Raheesh Babu, COO,, one of the authorised referral agents for selling hospitality tickets to the FIFA World Cup, agreed, saying: “The initial pickup has started and we are expecting to see great demand in bookings in the coming months from the UAE.

“The FIFA 2022 world cup is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity for many. We are expecting roughly around five to seven per cent (of the UAE population alone) in bookings - for people to go see their favourite teams and players live in action.

“We are currently waiting for flight inventory from our airline partners but we’re sure that people will use other modes of transport also like charters and cruises.”

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December 2022.

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