With less than 50 days to go before the FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks off in Qatar, fans looking to book last-minute accommodation deals can still get their hands on rooms onboard cruise ship hotels and in luxury hotels and fan villages.
According to the tournament’s official website, there is still limited availability for hotel room bookings for the tournament’s early stages.
The Qatar Supreme Committee responsible for the tournament infrastructure and the FIFA governing body had previously held back the rooms to prioritize teams, sponsors and their guests, royal guests, officials, and fans who had booked hospitality packages.
As the World Cup nears, several unallocated rooms are now being released.
Additionally, hotels are expected to open more rooms in early October.
Al Arabiya English reported last month that Qatar was gearing up to open three new five-star hotels as the country prepares to host more than a million international football fans for the world’s largest football tournament.
They include the Wyndham Grand Doha West Bay Beach – a 278 -room resort near Doha Corniche – and the St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island on the Pearl-Qatar – a resort spanning a whole island
Popular hotel booking spots include Downtown Doha, al-Sadd – a district just west of Doha's old town - West Bay – home of Qatar’s iconic cityscape – and the high-end Pearl-Qatar area.
Budget hotels – from about $160 a night – to premium accommodation such as the five-star Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas is still available, from about $700 a night, according to the website. However, many of the hotels are now showing limited or no availability.
Cabin-style and casual camping accommodations are also still available ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Fan villages are located on the outskirts of Doha but are still accessible via public transport or rideshares, and include a variety of on-site facilities as well as a number of food outlets offering a range of cuisines.
Starting from $200 a night, options include the Qetaifan Island Fan Camp - 7km away from Lusail Stadium. It consists of 1,800 tents, each containing 2 single beds. Campers are offered complimentary access to the adjacent Qetai-Fan Beach Festival, serving “international beverages and offering 50 dining options and a supermarket,” according to the site. The fan village is also to host “various artists and international DJs” at live concerts during the month-long football tournament.
The Fan Village Cabins Free Zone – six kilometers from the airport – also offers a choice of a double or twin en-suite bedroom, sleeping up to two people, from $200 a night.
For a more upmarket offering, Fan Village Al Khor – about 40 minutes from Doha - offers outdoor camping for fans in a style reminiscent of a traditional Qatari tent for about $420 a night.
Serviced apartments and villas
The tournament’s official website said there are still Airbnb-style serviced apartments and villas to rent, with one to six-bedroom properties available. Prices start from about $200.
Fans can also choose at least two cruise ships with almost 4,000 cabins.
The MSC World Europa cruise ship hotel – which has “a state-of-the-art architectural 11 deck dry-slide, six pools, 14 whirlpool baths and 13 dining venues’ is still showing availability, from about $350 a night, as is MSC Poesia cruise ship hotel, which will be moored at Doha's Grand Terminal. Prices start from $180.
Fans to stay in neighboring countries
About 1.2 million fans, roughly half the population of Qatar, are expected to descend upon the country during the event, but providing sufficient rooms for visiting fans, teams, and tournament staff has been a key challenge for Qatar.
Organizers have tried everything from cruise ships and desert camps to help ease the accommodation squeeze.
Many fans are expected to choose to stay in Dubai, where there are about five times as many hotel rooms.
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