With a relatively small number of hotel rooms available in Qatar, authorities are getting creative with accommodation for the 2022 World Cup.
If you’re looking to head to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, a new accommodation option may soon be available – floating hotels. Qetaifan Projects and ADAMARES Construction have signed a deal to build 16 of the unique buildings, which will be located within walking distance of the main World Cup Venue. Each four-storey hotel will have 101 rooms, plus a restaurant and a lounge bar, and all 16 will be identical, offering up a combined total of 1,616 rooms.
Designed by Sigge Architects, an award-winning Finnish firm, the hotels will have a modern urban feel, with sustainability front of mind. They’ll be built to the strictest energy standards, and rely on solar energy (with an average of just nine rainy days a year in Qatar, there’s plenty of sun going around).
Qetaifan Island North – the island home for the floating hotels – is the perfect location for World Cup-goers, as it’s within walking distance of Lusail International Stadium. The stadium will host the cup’s opening and closing games. The island’s 130-hectare area holds a huge water park and seven beaches, giving guests plenty to do in their down time.
“These hotels do not require major ports and deep water as their draft is significantly less than large cruise ships,” said Mr Mikael Hedberg, CEO of ADMARES. “After the World Cup, the hotels can be placed at any coastal location where the water is at least four metres deep. We are excited to be part of the solution for the amount of accommodation needed for the FIFA World Cup 2022.”
And the amount of accommodation needed is – without exaggerating – extraordinary. There’s currently a mad scramble in Qatar to accommodate up to 160,000 visitors – the number that World Cup officials expect to play host to on the tournament’s busiest day. And given that in September 2019, Qatar’s 132 hotels had, between them, just over 27,000 rooms, you begin to see the issue.
For avid soccer fans though, this is a big win. Across the country, innovative plans are being put in place to house tourists, from new hotels and apartments to desert glamping and cruise ships. Yes, you read that right – MSC Cruises will be providing two vessels with a combined capacity of 4,000 cabins, as extra accommodation during the competition.
But despite the plethora of options available, it’s still expected to be a tight squeeze, especially during the group phase, which will see all 32 teams (and their hordes of supporters) descend on the country. So no matter what you choose, our advice stays the same: book early.