DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar on Wednesday unveiled a 6,000-cabin fan village in secluded land near its airports, a housing offering down from what is available for the upcoming World Cup just days away. from the start.
As reporters toured the cabins, desert winds kicked up sand at the 3.1 square kilometer (1.1 square mile) site, which housed a subway station, bus stop and temporary restaurant and a convenience store planned. The area could theoretically accommodate up to 12,000 people if booked at full capacity, officials said.
Outdoor walkways are covered in artificial green grass, with common areas filled with large beanbag-style chairs under gray Wednesday skies. The flags of the competing nations were flapping in the strong desert wind, a large screen was also present at the venue for fans to watch the matches. Workers moved around the site, checking its final touches.
The brightly colored cabins, each with thin walls, are designed to accommodate one or two people with twin beds, bedside table, small table and chair, air conditioning, toilet and shower inside.
Each will cost around $200 per night – $270 with board – as the tournament progresses. Some 60% of the cabins are already booked for the tournament, said Omar al-Jaber, head of accommodation at the Qatar Supreme Committee for Tournament Delivery and Legacy.
There will be other rooms offered at $80 a night further afield than this site near Doha International Airport and Hamad International Airport, which will see flights at all hours during the tournament. Planes rumbled overhead during Wednesday’s visit.
Those staying at the Fan Village can expect a 40-minute drive to stadium venues.
“Most of the fans they prefer if it’s not a hotel, they prefer apartment and villa,” al-Jaber said, noting that those options are handled by French hotel company Accor. However, those who want budget accommodation will come to this site and the other for cheaper options, he said.
In the run-up to the tournament, concerns over hotel room space and high prices for available rooms have followed Qatar, which lacks hotel capacity for all Cup teams, workers, volunteers and fans. of the world. So Doha has set up camping and cabin sites, rented cruise ships and encouraged fans to stay in neighboring countries and come to watch games.
Qatar has estimated that it will have 130,000 rooms per day for the tournament.
Already, the neighboring city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has predicted an influx of World Cup fans who want to stay where their money can go further.
“Now the option of shuttle flights, this is one of the options for people who are already staying in our neighboring countries and…they would just like to spend a day to watch the game,” al-Jaber said. . “So it’s a good option for them in the state of their case.”
He added: “If they wish to come and stay they are more than welcome of course and there are very many options for them.”
There are still many options available to rent for fans in Qatar, ranging from hotels, cruise ship rooms, traditional sailboats and dhow tents, the fan village, porta cabins and caravans. said al-Jaber.
“We have enough accommodation and people can still come and enjoy the tournament and of course they can choose what they want in accommodation,” he said.
Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates contributed to this report.
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