Dubai setting the Scene for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
The highly anticipated event, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is days away now and final preparations are in place to ensure a smooth debut for the greatest tournament running from the 20th of November to the 18th of December. Nations across the world have already named their squads, and there will be 64 matches played out during the one-month football tournament, which is expected to generate around $5.4 billion in revenue.
The World Cup will be the first ever to be held on Arab soil in the Middle East, and Qatar is expected to play host to over 1.2 million football fans and visitors, having already made proper arrangements to accommodate the fans. Having said that, Dubai is only one hour flight away, ideally positioned for the football fans who prefer to indulge in a little Dubai magic, in between the World Cup matches.
Since the host country is bordering UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already made provisions for special accommodation packages and daily flights to Doha, ahead of the matches. Airports in Abu Dhabi and Dubai anticipate massive increases in travel this season due to the FIFA event, with Dubai already playing as “the major gateway” for World Cup fans. There will be up to 54 flights each day between Dubai and Qatar operated by Qatar Airways and flydubai, allowing fans to fly out for the matches and fly back to Dubai the same day.
Meanwhile, Doha is preparing an additional 70,000 hotel rooms made available to guests via the Qatar Accommodation Agency, along with other options such as serviced apartments, villas, and 6,000 cabin fan villages near the airport.
While FIFA already sold 3 million tickets and 240,000 hospitality packages for the event, preparations for The FIFA World Cup had started 12 years ago.
Qatar’s Preparation Countdown
Resources have been deployed ever since Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup, with complex logistics in operational and infrastructural development and sustainability management fully in place, as the country is eager to establish its level of readiness to deliver a memorable, high-profile event.
In the run-up to FIFA World Cup, Qatar has become the first country to secure an international sustainability certification which will provide fast and efficient solutions to local authorities, guests, and residents in terms of infrastructure accessibility, mobility provisions for people of determination, incident reporting, waste minimization and supplier compliance with the FIFA’s Sustainable Sourcing Codes.
Tasked with hosting such a high-scale event as FIFA World Cup, the authorities in Doha had to accelerate improvements to roads and highways, as well as deliver the construction of sidewalks and cycle paths, to promote accessibility and facilitate seamless commuting to and from stadiums and other locations. Fans will primarily use the metro to get around on match days, along with the railway system, buses, and taxis. Of the eight FIFA World Cup stadiums, five have direct access to the metro while the other four are connected by shuttle buses and the metro.
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Qatar has been practicing and is paying attention across all operations so that fans, players, and local communities can walk away with a positive, long-lasting impact after attending the big event.
Dubai is prepping up to Welcome the World Cup, and Reap the Benefits ahead of the Event
Excitement is at an all-time high in Qatar, UAE, and other GCC countries. People will be travelling from all around the world, to support their favourite teams, and 2.45 million tickets have already been sold. While Qatar is preparing to host over a million guests for the event, UAE is also expecting a heavy influx of visitors and football fans to arrive ahead of and during the tournament, which will no doubt have a “spill over” effect on tourism growth and the Dubai hospitality sector. The benefits will be felt in retail and real estate sectors as well, generating rapid interest for prime properties in Dubai, due to the increased volume of tourists and investors travelling to the region now.
According to UAE officials, The FIFA World Cup is likely to boost the Dubai prime real estate market in a similar fashion to how the Dubai Expo 2020 world fair did back in November 2021.
From a real estate standpoint - short-term rental options are fully booked. Short-term rentals for the World Cup were being sought from as early as the start of summer on account of visitors staying in Dubai for the World Cup.This has exacerbated the supply shortage for properties and pushed prices up further.
In addition, the UAE government has announced multiple entry tourist visa for World Cup visitors, to facilitate ease of travel for fans in between football matches, and to allow visitors to experience the best of what Dubai has to offer, with ease of multiple access. Holders of Hayya Card – a mandatory document for those planning to attend the FIFA World Cup, can fly to Qatar to enjoy the matches and return to UAE before attending the next match they booked tickets for. Visa-exempt nations need not apply for this visa since they can enter the UAE under current regulations. The visa will be valid for 90 days, starting November 1st, 2022, for a one-time fee of AED 100.
Are you planning to travel to Qatar for the World Cup?
The following are the two main options for your consideration before you plan your itinerary. If your country is not eligible for a single-entry visa on arrival, then you need to apply for an entry visa via the ICP website. The cost is AED 100, and the visa is valid for 90 days.
Daily flights are available from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah to Doha Hamad International Airport. Alternatively, if you're feeling adventurous, you may drive from Dubai to the Abu Samra border, which would take around six to seven hours. Once you reach the border, you must park your car in the designated border parking area, which you must book in advance through the Hayya platform. From Abu Samra checkpoint, travellers can board buses to Doha Central Station.
Where to watch all the FIFA World Cup action from Dubai
Even if you cannot travel to Qatar on this occasion, you should not feel like you’re missing out on all the action, because Dubai has lined up live-streaming sessions of all matches across a multitude of venues. Fan zones have been set up across the city for an all-inclusive football extravaganza.
Football Park at DIFC is the perfect example where football enthusiasts can revel in the action of the matches on one of the 30 big screens installed outdoors, with the Dubai skyline panorama shimmering in the background. Vox Cinemas across Dubai will also be projecting the live action from Qatar, while Jumeirah Emirates Towers has staged an impressive experience for World Cup lovers, a luxurious setting overlooking the stunning Museum of the Future. Other venues that have gone all out for football fans, setting up tents with multiple screens and perfect ambiance, are Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Address Beach Resort, Address Dubai Marina, Address Dubai Mall, Dukes The Palm, and many more others to choose from.