Around 1.2 million tickets sold, accommodation not an issue ahead of Qatar 2022

Doha: Around 1.2 million match tickets for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 have been purchased so far, H E Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), disclosed yesterday at the Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg.

Thawadi also dispelled talks of inadequate accommodation for visiting fans, with Qatar set to welcome between 1.5 to two million visitors during the football event from November 21 to December 18, 2022. 

The latest phase of ticket sales, a random selection draw, closed at the end of April with 23.5 million ticket requests. Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United States recorded the largest demand, according to FIFA.

“In terms of demand, I think it’s record-breaking demand. In the last phase of ticket sales, we had about 27 million requests for about two million tickets available. About 1.2 million tickets have already been purchased. So people are buying and excited to come,” Thawadi stated during a session titled ‘Delivering the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar.’  

“There’s no doubt that regarding the availability of accommodation, we’ve tried to ensure that we provide different offerings on different categories. From the affordable, this ranges from $80 to $100 a night to pricier ones, whether in five-star hotels or luxury offerings. So, we’re trying to create a wide range that caters to everybody. Of course, again, more hotels are coming into the pipeline,” he added.

Thawadi stressed that the major infrastructure for the tournament is already in the ‘operational phase.’ 

Besides, authorities are committed to organising an accessible and affordable tournament and will centralise the accommodation offerings and manage prices to ensure fans enjoy their experience. 

“The major infrastructure has already been constructed and completed. I think we’re now in the operational phase. So in this phase, there are a lot of different elements. 

"One of them is accommodation and ensuring that the itinerary relevant for the accommodation is in place ahead of time and trying to manage as much as possible or avoid price gouging. We’re trying to create an environment where the business community benefits but also make it affordable and accessible for the fans.”

Regarding workers’ welfare and labour reforms, Thawadi said Qatar is a benchmark in the region with its reforms. 

He added that the business community in Qatar has committed to repay $28m to workers who paid recruitment fees to secure employment, of which $22m have already been repaid to workers.

“I think our commitment towards progress on this is unwavering. It’s been there for the last ten or 12 years. I think the progress for the people on the ground, the experts on the ground, has been recognised. Today we are a benchmark in the region.”

Thawadi also emphasised that the World Cup is open to everyone and highlighted the significance of the World Cup as the first in the Middle East and Arab World as a gateway for fans to witness Arab hospitality and enjoy Qatari culture.