World Cup: How Qatar plans to welcome a million fans to football’s biggest event

Already there are reports of rising costs and a lack of suitable housing. For example, there are 21 properties available on online travel agency Booking.com for the first three nights of the tournament, with prizes starting at $1,000 per night and reaching $51,000.

“Our goal has always been to provide fair and reasonable pricing to visiting fans,” a spokesperson said. Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) told CNN. “We work closely with key stakeholders to ensure affordable prices for all types of accommodation.”

Host countries have often found innovative ways to accommodate supporters, and Qatar is no different.

During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, residents living in the iconic the slums of the favelas have opened their doors to tourists, renting out beds, rooms and even entire houses. Some travelers got creative and chose to stay in sex motels usually reserved for Brazilians looking to connect after a night on the town.

Here’s what Qatar has thought of to house football fans who could number a million people:

If you can’t build them, sail them – luxury cruise ships

two luxury cruise ships will be moored in the port of Doha for the duration of the World Cup. Between them, they have nine pools, 3,898 cabanas, 45 bars, and 10 fine restaurants. Other facilities include a spa, tennis courts and the largest dry slide at sea in the world.

Worried you’ll have to be at your best for a group stage game between Japan and Costa Rica? Don’t worry, you will have access to a hair salon and a beauty salon.

The ships are a 10-minute shuttle ride from central Doha, but staying in one of the spacious cabins won’t come cheap. They’re expected to range from $605 to $2,779 per night — though that’s a bit compared to some of the other options available to ticket holders, given that it includes a buffet breakfast.

A home away from home – apartments and villas

Qatar Accommodation Agency, the official accommodation provider for the event, aims to provide 100,000 to 130,000 rooms each night of the 28-day tournament.

There are already listings for ticket holders for one- to six-bedroom apartments and villas, with prices for ticket holders ranging from $84 to $875 per night. Most are easily accessible by public transport and the villas are fully equipped with kitchens, washing machines, swimming pools and gyms.

These accommodations, like others provided by the Accommodation Agency, will be rented on a first-served basis, via staggered release according to FIFA ticketing phases or in packages provided by Qatar Airways.

In addition to official accommodation, it will provide an Airbnb-like booking platform for residents to rent out their homes to traveling fans. By applying for a license from Qatar Tourism, residents or building owners can also list their apartments on other portals, such as Airbnb.

The festival experience – fan villages

Ticket holders can purchase accommodation in what is called fan villages; described as “relaxed camping and cabin-style accommodations”. Costing $207 a night, the small, basic converted portable cabins are pricey and only offer a kettle, fridge and two bottles of water per day. They are scattered around the outskirts of Doha, the furthest being 25 miles from the airport. There will be a number of dining and entertainment options available on site, but details on these have yet to be released.

Desert camping, the Arabian way — Bedouin-style tents

The camping option is not yet available on the official website hosting websitebut SC accommodation manager Omar Al-Jaber said he planned to pitch 1,000 “Bedouin style” tents in the desert during the tournament. About 200 of them will be classified as “deluxe” and will cost “expensive” fees, providing an “authentic” experience for fans, Al-Jaber told Reuters. They will have air conditioning to protect fans from cold desert nights and sweltering morning heat.

If all else fails, sleep in another country

Accommodation in Qatar is expected to be so limited that the country has opted to accommodate ticket holders in neighboring countries and transport them daily on short flights.

qatarairways announced in May that it had partnered with regional carriers to launch an additional 160 daily return flights at “competitive prices” that will transport fans from Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait, Muscat and Riyadh. There will be no checked baggage facilities to expedite transfers and dedicated transport services will be made available to transport supporters from the airport to the stadiums.

It will also be possible to drive from cities such as Riyadh, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which are all within a seven-hour drive.

The summary

Russian stock exchange plans to start trading UAE dirham and Indian rupee

The Moscow Stock Exchange is working on a plan to launch trading in the UAE dirham and the Indian rupee, but there are some “hurdles” from India’s central bank, a stock exchange official said on Thursday, according to Reuters. Daniil Korablev, head of sales to non-credit organizations, said on social media that the launch may not happen this year.

  • Background: Hit by Western sanctions against Ukraine, Russia is actively shifting its trade from dollars and euros to the currencies of what it considers “friendly” countries.
  • Why is it important: The United Arab Emirates and India have not joined their Western allies in sanctioning Russia for its war in Ukraine. Many Russians have moved to the United Arab Emirates since Western sanctions hampered business activity in their country. The United Arab Emirates abstained in February from a United Nations resolution condemning Russia for the war and, along with Saudi Arabia, pushed back against United States calls for increased oil production to tame inflation.

NATO allies condemn cyberattack blamed on Iran

NATO allies on Thursday condemned a recent cyberattack on Albania that the governments in Washington and Tirana blamed on Iran, Reuters reported.

  • Background: Albania severed diplomatic ties with Iran on Wednesday, when Prime Minister Edi Rama accused the Islamic Republic of carrying out the July bombing and gave his diplomats 24 hours to close the embassy and leave the country. In a rare video address, Rama said the cyberattack had “threatened to cripple public services, wipe out digital systems and hack into state records, steal government intranet electronic communications and sow chaos and insecurity in the country”.
  • Why is it important: Relations between Iran and Albania have been strained since 2014, when Albania accepted some 3,000 members of the exiled opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, who settled in a camp near Durres , the main port of the country. Washington, Albania’s closest ally, also blamed Iran and vowed to “take further action to hold Iran accountable for actions that threaten the security of an American ally.”

US targets companies over producing Iranian drones and shipping them to Russia

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on an Iranian company accused of coordinating military flights to transport Iranian drones to Russia, as well as three companies it says were involved in the production of Iranian drones, reported Reuters.

  • Background: The United States accuses Iran of supplying drones to Russia for use in its war in Ukraine, which Tehran has denied. On Thursday, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement: “The United States is committed to strictly enforcing our sanctions against Russia and Iran and to holding accountable Iran and those who support Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”
  • Why is it important: Thursday’s sanctions come as indirect talks between Iran and the United States have made only tentative progress toward reviving a 2015 deal that limited Iran’s nuclear program in return for relief from some penalties.

Around the region

Middle Eastern traffickers have found innovative ways to smuggle the region’s favorite drug, captagon. But a recent attempt in Syria is one for books.

Following a tip-off, Syrian authorities confiscated 24 kilograms of captagon which were ground into a paste and made into hummus bowls using an adhesive.

The trafficker has been arrested and an investigation is underway to identify the others involved in the operation, according to a statement from Syrian Ministry of Interior In Monday.

The ministry did not say whether the traffickers were bringing the drugs in or out of the country.

Experts say that much of the captagon consumed in the Middle East comes from Syria, where it is produced at an industrial level in factories. Saudi Arabia would be its largest regional market. The drug was also used by IS fighters for its effects in battles.
This month, 47 million tablets of amphetamines hidden in a shipment of flour were seized by Saudi authorities from a warehouse after arriving through the dry port in the capital Riyadh, the Saudi Interior Ministry said. It was the biggest drug trade in Saudi history.

By Mohamed Abdelbary

time capsule

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip receive Sheikh Zayed of Abu Dhabi aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia during a state visit to the Gulf States on February 25, 1979 in the United Arab Emirates.

Forty-three years ago, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II made her first state visit to the Gulf Arab states, arriving on the royal yacht Britannia and meeting regional leaders for the first time since the final withdrawal of Britain from the Persian Gulf in 1971.

She met the founder of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed, in February 1979, seven years after the nation was united as a federal country. Her visit was part of a six-country royal tour that started in Kuwait and included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

At the time, the six states accounted for over 5% of UK export trade, reported the New York Times in 1979noting that this was more than Australia, New Zealand and Canada combined.

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth on Thursday at the age of 96, several Arab leaders offered their condolences. UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed tweeted that “Her Majesty was a close friend of the UAE and a beloved and respected leader whose long reign was characterized by dignity, compassion and tireless commitment. to serve his country.

The leaders of Qatar, Oman, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan also sent their condolences.

By Nadeen Ebrahim

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