Qatari organizers of the 2022 World Cup have responded to questions about accommodation by unveiling a proposal to use Bedouin-style tents in desert areas close to stadiums.
The country’s successful bid for the competition included a pledge to develop more than 55,000 hotel rooms to accommodate supporters. However, in January, Qatar 2022 revealed that only 46,000 rooms would be ready, despite football’s global governing body FIFA’s requirement for 60,000 rooms to be available.
Falling oil prices have been cited as one of the key reasons behind infrastructure projects in Qatar. As well as the construction of hotels and apartment complexes, other projects impacted include a $12bn (€10.9bn) bridge and underwater tunnel link across Doha bay.
A spokesperson for Qatar’s World Cup Supreme Committee said that a proposal to use luxury Bedouin-style tents to accommodate fans will enable the country to meet minimum room requirements.
He added: “At the heart of this World Cup is a commitment to showcase the hospitality and friendship of the Middle East. As a result, we are actively researching the concept of supporters sleeping under the stars.”
However, the Supreme Committee did not confirm if the desert camps will form part of designated ‘fanzones’, in which fans will be allowed to consume alcohol. Public drinking is strictly banned in the nation, with the sale of alcohol mainly limited to luxury hotels.
Qatar 2022 is also said to be considering private letting services such as Airbnb as another option for supporters planning on attending the World Cup. Airbnb is becoming a popular option for major event organisers and having been utilised for Brazil’s staging of the 2014 World Cup, it will partner with an Olympics for the first time at Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 summer Games.