Qatar: Tender issued for football fan desert camp

Qatar World Cup organisers are considering establishing football fan villages in the middle of the desert, with accommodation in the form of Arabian tents

Image for illustrative purposes.
Image for illustrative purposes.

A tender for a football fan desert camp has been issued by Qatar World Cup organisers.

Tournament organisers first publicly deliberated the idea of a desert camp site for the football fans in March this year as the World Cup governing body FIFA requires 60,000 rooms to be ready for traveling fans and officials during the event in late 2022.

Currently, Qatar has around 20,000 hotel rooms and apartments, mostly in five-star facilities. Nevertheless, experts have forecast that the number of available rooms will not exceed 46,000, even with a hospitality-related building frenzy well underway.

At one stage, cruise ships were also put forward as an option to accommodate the influx of football fans as they were anticipated to be able provide an additional 6,000 guest rooms for 12,000 fans.

Qatar’s World Cup organisers are now seriously investigating the option to house some of its football fans in temporary encampments in the middle of the desert.

This week local newspapers ran tenders for the construction of a pilot version of the suggested lodgings, under the direction of the Supreme Committee of Delivery & Legacy (SC).

Speaking to Doha News, a committee official confirmed that the tender was for a “pilot fan village”, with visitors accommodated in traditional Arabian tents. Located near Sealine beach resort next to Al Wakrah, the test camp’s intention is to afford tourists “an immersive cultural experience”.

The plan is to have 350 temporary tents and 300 permanent tents which will house a total of 2,000 fans on the 300,000m² site. The opening date for the pilot camp has not been released.

Meanwhile, the SC is in talks with other authorities for a number of the temporary camps to remain after the World Cup. Presently, five possible sites are under consideration by Qatar’s World Cup organisers for these fan camps.

A variety of locally-themed ideas are being mooted based on the local region, including heritage; culture; history of Qatar and the Middle East; and sand, dunes and the sea, SC said in the statement.

The fan villages will have on-site entertainment including large screens for maximum tournament viewing, shops and health centres.

Abdulaziz Ali Al-Mawlawi, SC technical manager, said at the time of announcing the tender to build the pilot village: “This type of accommodation is a great way to experience Qatar and the Middle East, giving fans the option of a tournament experience which will showcase the best of the culture, traditions and unique landmarks of our country.”

There will be different types of camp to suit all budgets, he added.
 

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