When the World Cup makes its way to Qatar in 2022, fans making the trip will not only get a chance to experience the top soccer tournament of its kind but also will get a chance to spend some quality time in the great outdoors of the desert. In fact, Qatar is banking on the idea fans will want to spend their nights camping in the desert in order to meet FIFA requirements.
As things stand now, still with six years to prepare, the Qatar Tourism Industry claims they currently have 20,700 rooms in hotels and apartments that will be available for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The catch is FIFA requires host nations to have a minimum of 60,000 available rooms.
For the purposes of this conversation, let’s just move past the whole idea that FIFA awarded Qatar the World Cup in the first place, other than to point out it is a bit silly it did so to a country only one-third of the way to meeting its room and board minimum. The possible use of cruise ships to house another 6,000 fans is on the table, but that still leaves plenty of fans to find a place to stay. Qatar is hoping the idea of desert camps will satisfy the requirement and satisfy FIFA.
According to a report from Doha News, Qatar is looking at having just 46,000 rooms available by the time the World Cup is held. That leaves the nation in need of roughly 14,000 more rooms, but there is plenty of space available in the desert. Winter desert camping is also a popular activity in the country, so it makes sense it would be discussed as an option. Is it feasible? Sure, in a pinch. Is it ideal? Considering how much people will invest to travel around the globe to support their national team, probably not.
Look, if you have to resort to selling people on the idea of spending their time in Qatar by spending their nights in the desert, you will find a few willing to make that commitment. But good luck sending the majority of those fans home with a happy experience. Remember, some people hate sand.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but well said Anakin Skywalker.