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A goal that goes beyond FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar Tourism

More than 1.2 million visitors are expected to flock to Qatar for the World Cup this year. While Qatar is preparing for this global sporting event, its tourism strategy embraces a far larger approach by looking beyond the World Cup to create a stable and diversified market post-2022, with the added objective of creating over 100,000 jobs.

The soccer tournament kicks off on November 21 and will catch on the country’s winter-based high tourism season. As a part of the long-term strategy, Qatar Tourism has also launched a new holiday campaign (Qatar Stopover) led by English footballer and model David Beckham, as it seeks to attract more than six million visitors a year by 2030.

From local festivals, and carnivals to events, Qatar will be hosting events throughout 2023 to attract families, couples and MICE travellers. In fact, the destination is betting big time for the wedding industry as the destination has already a wide range of venues ranging from a 50 – 50,000 pax capacity. Qatar Tourism had already laid out strategies and has implemented a few of them to tap the priority 17 top tourism source markets in the coming years. The selected source markets also include the UK, USA, Australia, India & China. It has launched multiple global campaigns to popularise the destination and will continue to do so to ensure brand recall and destination awareness among the travel trade and end consumers.

Qatar Tourism Beyond FIFA 2022

With FIFA coming to Qatar, it is also the world’s biggest sporting tournament happening in the Middle East for the first time. Accommodation options for World Cup fans in Qatar range from 3, 4 and 5-star hotels, luxury apartments and villas, floating hotels, fan villages, cabins, holiday homes or accommodation with relatives and friends. Now, FIFA has secured thousands of hotel rooms and attached apartments for players, staff, and other officials in Qatar. Local organisers have also reached agreements with property owners to reserve over 60,000 residences for fans. In the lead-up to kick-off, the country is also adding 105 new hotels and serviced apartments.

Qatar Katara Cultural Village

Qatar National Museum

Qatar National Library

Qatar Education City Golf Club

Qatar Inland Sea

Qatar Sports Museum


GCC countries gearing up to tap the FIFA audience

Cross-border travel itineraries are going to be another trend during the World Cup with all major GCC countries like Oman, Bahrain and UAE tapping on the opportunities.

Dubai Sports Council has estimated about a million World Cup fans could arrive in the city. Given that Qatar is expecting a similar number, the prediction may be ambitious. Nonetheless, Dubai is gearing up with fan zones announced at parks, beaches and in the financial centre, while hotels are offering special packages. Such deals include shuttle flights and transport to the airport and fan zones. The UAE is also offering multiple-entry visas at the nominal fee of 100 dirhams ($27) to people with tickets for World Cup matches.

The Indian Sports Tourism Market

Despite the fact that the Indian team hasn’t made it to the FIFA World Cup, Indian football fans will travel to Qatar to witness the sporting spectacle. More than 23,500 of the 1.8 million Qatar World Cup 2022 tickets sold in the first two phases were purchased by Indian football enthusiasts. India was ranked eighth in ticket consumption after the first phase of ticketing for the football fiesta. The primary reason for such an outflow of fans to the Qatar World Cup could be the fact that this would be the closest proximity in which the World Cup has been held as compared to the other editions. Many of the Indian cities are just 3-4 hour flights away from Doha. More than 750,000 Indians live in Qatar, accounting for around one-quarter of the population. There is a distinct category for Qatar residents, with tickets beginning at 40 riyals ($11 or 876 Indian rupees), and they are permitted to invite non-residents as guests.