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Qatar World Cup set to bring big money to Dubai

The United Arab Emirates did not qualify for the Qatar World Cup, but if too many fans invade its hotels, restaurants and airlines, it will still be a winner.

Experts believe that high accommodation costs in Doha, the capital of Qatar, as well as Dubai’s more liberal environment, including greater availability of alcohol, could tempt spectators.

With little investment, the United Arab Emirates, and in particular Dubai, stand to gain if fans choose to stay in the tourism hotspot rather than smaller Gulf neighbor Qatar during the event. November to December.

Flydubai will operate at least 30 return flights each day to Doha, which is just an hour away, as part of a daily airlift of 160 shuttle services from resource-rich Gulf cities.

Any economic gain and thoughtful glory from the first World Cup on Arab soil will come less than two years after Doha and the United Arab Emirates clashed over a regional blockade that cut Qatar off from the rest of the world.

According to James Swanston, economist for the Middle East and North Africa at Capital Economics, Dubai “has somewhat looser social norms when it comes to certain parts of the culture, such as alcohol consumption and social codes. clothing”.

According to the Dubai Sports Council, around one million World Cup fans are expected to visit the city. Given that Qatar is expecting a comparable amount, the forecasts may be overly optimistic.

Nevertheless, Dubai is preparing, with fan zones established in parks, beaches and the financial district, as well as special packages offered by hotels.

Shuttle flights and transport to and from the airport, as well as fan zones, are examples of such arrangements. People with World Cup tickets can also apply for multiple-entry visas to the United Arab Emirates for a fee of 100 dirhams ($27).

Visitors won’t be the only World Cup commuters in Dubai. After being “shocked” by the price of hotel rooms in Doha, Firas Yassin, a Franco-Lebanese resident of Dubai, planned a day trip to watch France’s opening game. Yassin will arrive with his wife five hours before the game against Denmark on November 26 and leave a few hours later, having fulfilled a lifelong desire to see ‘Les Bleus’ play live.

“I’m going to go around the city, watch the game, then go back to Dubai,” the 34-year-old told AFP. Expat Sport, which holds a FIFA license to sell hospitality packages for Doha matches, said “convenience” was a major factor for people preferring to stay in Dubai.

He noted “frequent shuttle flights operating between the two cities, with barely an hour’s journey”. A Dubai hotel will be dedicated solely to football fans on the artificial palm-shaped island.

“We have seen an increase in bookings from Mexico, the UK, Europe and India,” Expat Sport added. “Nights are selling out quickly and we expect to be completely full at this rate.” Hotel occupancy in the UAE is already more than 40% higher this year than it was in 2018, with a “great tourism performance” expected this winter, the Emir of Dubai and Vice President of the Emirates said on Sunday. United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Summary of news:

  • Qatar World Cup set to bring big money to Dubai
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