Qatar hopes to attract 1.2mn World Cup visitors
October 23 2021 04:05 PM
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Fatma al-Nuaimi, head of communications at the Supreme Committee, speaking during a press briefing. Handout / AFP

AFP/Doha

Organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar hope to attract 1.2mn tourists to the Gulf country, an official said, hosting them in traditional hotels and "innovative" accommodation.
"We hope that during the World Cup, more than 1.2 million visitors from around the world will attend," Fatma al-Nuaimi, head of communications at the Supreme Committee that is organising the 2022 tournament, told AFP.
"They will not (all) be in the country at the same time, as the event extends over a period of 28 days."


Fireworks illuminating the venue during the opening ceremony of the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on October 22

Qatar, with a population of approximately 2.75mn, will be the first ever Middle East World Cup host nation between November 21 and December 18 next year.
In addition to the hotels already available, al-Nuaimi said there were other "innovative and temporary" solutions to hosting visitors.
Those include accommodation on cruise liners, hotel apartments, fan villages with an Arabian desert vibe, as well as stays in private homes.
Officials have said 16 floating hotels will also be built, providing around 1,600 rooms in total.
Al-Nuaimi said the "Host a Fan" initiative will give visitors an opportunity to learn about Qatari culture.
"We are a hospitable people, and this will be applied to the World Cup as well," she told AFP.
On some reports about treatment of migrant workers, she said: "We try not to let these criticisms hold us back."
Qatari authorities have repeatedly insisted that they have done more than any country in the region to improve worker welfare and say they have "always been transparent about the health and safety of workers".
Qatar has so far made ready six of the eight stadiums that will host the World Cup.
The 40,000-seat Al-Thumama stadium, 12km south of central Doha, was the latest to be opened, hosting a domestic cup tie on Friday.
Al-Nuaimi stressed that "98% of the construction was ready, and preparations will be completed by the end of the year".
Qatar, which says it has vaccinated more than three quarters of its population, will review coronavirus infection data ahead of the Arab Cup regional test tournament due to kick off in November.

Last updated: October 23 2021 09:58 PM


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