Qatar’s World Cup 2022 organisers have said they are looking at the possibility of using Airbnb to accommodate visiting fans during the event in six years’ time.
Most of the expected 500,000 fans are expected to stay in hotels and apartments but contrary to Qatar’s World Cup bid in 2010, when it said it would create more than 55,000 rooms, authorities said in January that 46,000 rooms would be ready. FIFA’s requirement was for 60,000 rooms to be available.
Hasan al-Thawadi (pictured), general secretary of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, told reporters this week that Airbnb was an option being considered in order to meet the shortfall in accommodation needs.
“We are looking at Airbnb as an opportunity,” said Thawadi. “It’s an option people want to have and it’s an option we’d like to provide,” he added.
Last week Qatar said it was considering housing thousands of football fans in Bedouin-style tents in desert areas close to stadiums during the 2022 World Cup.
Organisers are holding up the tent idea as a creative and culturally authentic way for Qatar to meet FIFA requirements.
“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,” a spokesperson for Qatar’s World Cup Supreme Committee said last week.
Since winning its bid, Qatar has spent tens of billions of dollars on upgrading infrastructure and has built scores of hotels and apartment complexes but some projects have stalled including a $12 billion bridge and underwater tunnel link across Doha bay and building at least two hotels in the capital.