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Qatar hires third cruise ship hotel to solve World Cup accommodation issues

Qatar hires third cruise ship hotel to solve World Cup accommodation issues

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Qatar 2022 cruise ship

Qatar has hired a third cruise ship as a floating hotel to tackle accommodation issues ahead of the opening day of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the country.

Bookings are expected to be available for a space on 1,075-cabin MSC Opera starting from November 19 to December 19, in the lease agreement which will be valid for the period of six weeks, the Switzerland-based MSC Cruises company has confirmed.

More than a million people are expected to visit Qatar during the competition, with the Middle Eastern country scrambling to provide enough accommodation to contain the visitors.

In 2019, MSC and the Qatari government signed an agreement for the global cruise line to provide about 4,000 spaces aboard two cruise ships for the World Cup but another new ship has been included in the deal.

For a two-night stay, It will cost one person from $470 per night to stay at the MSC ships during the first week of the World Cup, according to pricing on MSC’s site as of Monday.

In late 2021, Associated Press conducted a pre-tournament search amongst the leading hotel chains and spaces available for accommodation in the country during the World Cup but only one room was available in the whole country.

The Qatari government has since started the building of hotels, and securing other facilities for accommodation during the period of the tournament, with only 33,000 – 34,000 hotel rooms are currently available in Qatar as at May, 2022.

Meanwhile, prices are expected to fall when the competition gets to the first two elimination stages – rooms on MSC Opera that cost $320 will be $220 during the final week.

This is not the first time floating hotels will be deployed for accommodation during sports events. The basketball teams did stay on a cruise ship docked in Rio at the 2016 Olympics.

Stakeholders for the Rio events stayed on a second cruise ship during the Olympics in Brazil.

The 2022 World Cup will be the first edition to be held in the Arab world when it kicks off on November 20 and ends on December 18.

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