Qatar gears up to host FIFA World Cup 2022
Around 1.5 million tourists are expected to cross borders to land in Qatar for the event, and there are various plans to ensure fans get the best taste of the Qatari culture.
Published: 05th April 2022 10:13 AM | Last Updated: 10th November 2022 12:00 PM | A+A A-
DOHA: Ever since Qatar won the bidding rights to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 twelve years ago, the country is leaving no stone unturned to make it a grand success. It is the first time an Arab country will be hosting the quadrennial event after fighting off stiff competition from countries like the USA, Australia among others to clinch the bid.
The country, which will host the quadrennial competition from November 21 across eight venues, is gearing up for the event. One can expect a carnival-like atmosphere at the fan festivals, which will also comprise music concerts and DJ nights among others. More than 280 music artists are expected to provide an enthralling atmosphere during the four-week-long competition.
With the Football World Cup being one of the most popular events in the world, there has been a good demand for tickets from all over the world. Interestingly, there has been a huge interest from India as well. One of the reasons could be the closer proximity between the two countries as well. The distance between India and Qatar is 2885km, but the last three WCs have been quite far - Russia (almost 5000km), Brazil (14088km) and South Africa (8250km).
"Indian ticket sales have been very strong. India may not qualify, but Indians seem to love football. If you look back at previous (World Cups), it was held in far places (from India) like Rio. But Qatar is not far away. India’s economy has come a long way in the last 20 years. Everyone now watches football in India, and everyone has a favourite team," said Qatar Tourism Chief Operating Officer, Berthold Trenkel.
"For the World Cup, visitors from all countries will need visas. But it is tied to the football ticket and hotel booking. If you have these two, the visa will be automatically processed."
Around 1.5 million tourists are expected to cross borders to land in Qatar for the event, and there are various plans to ensure fans get the best taste of the Qatari culture as well. In fact, the tourist numbers are expected to increase further, depending on which teams go deep into the competition.
"A lot (further influx of tourists) depends on which country advances to the next round. If say Saudi Arabia, you can imagine a lot of their people coming over to Qatar. If a faraway country, with fewer flights, advances, then we will have fewer numbers. You will always have a last-minute mad scramble to see the matches," Trenkel said.
The author was in Doha at the invitation of Qatar Tourism