Doha: Organizers said Wednesday that they recorded sales for the first time with about 1.2 million tickets sold at this year’s World Cup in Qatar. Chief Organizer Hassan Al-Thawadi said there was “record” demand for the first November-December World Cup in the Middle East. “I think we have already bought about 1.2 million tickets,” he told the Qatar Economic Forum. “So people are actually buying and people are excited to come there. There is no doubt about that.”

This figure was confirmed by an Organizing Committee official who said there were about 40 million requests in the two phases of online sales. A total of 2 million tickets will be sold and an additional 1 million will be reserved for FIFA and sponsors around the world. Doha, the capital of Qatar with a population of about 2.4 million, has very few hotel accommodations and is preparing for a large influx of visitors.

The 32 team tournament will be held at eight stadiums in and around the capital, putting great pressure on infrastructure. According to Qatar, hotels, apartments, cruise ships, desert camps have 130,000 rooms and 1,000 traditional tents. We promise a shared room at a low price of $ 85 per night. Authorities announced last month that to limit the number of fans, only those with match tickets will be allowed to enter a small gas-rich country during the World Cup.

More than 160 round-trip shuttle flights a day attract fans from neighboring countries, relieve pressure on accommodation and double the capacity of Doha’s two international airports. However, Al Tawadi admitted that the prices of accommodations, which are skyrocketing in demand, are kept “tricky”. “(We) want to avoid price cuts,” he said. “Obviously, the power of the market always means that prices will skyrocket as long as demand is high.” We have an environment that benefits the business community and at the same time is affordable and accessible to fans. I’m trying to make. “

Altawadi also downplayed the prospect of a protest in Qatar after steadily criticizing the treatment of foreign workers in countries with the highest per capita GDP in the world. He didn’t say whether the protests would be allowed in the rare Qatar, or if fans could swing the rainbow flag on behalf of the LGBTQ community. “Everyone is welcome. But in understanding where you are coming from, we have a very rich culture. We ask people to respect our culture. “He said. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, and authorities are struggling to convince lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer fans that they are safe. – AFP

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