About 1.2 million tickets have been offered for this yr’s World Cup in Qatar, organisers mentioned on Wednesday, placing a determine on gross sales for the primary time. Chief organiser Hassan Al-Thawadi mentioned there had been “record-breaking” demand for the November-December World Cup, the primary held within the Center East. “I take into consideration 1.2 million tickets have already been bought,” he informed the Qatar Financial Discussion board.
“So persons are really shopping for and persons are excited to come back there. There isn’t any doubt about that.”
The determine was confirmed by organising committee officers, who mentioned there have been about 40 million requests within the two phases of on-line gross sales.
Two million tickets might be offered in complete, with one other a million reserved for world physique FIFA and sponsors.
The Qatari capital Doha, with a inhabitants of about 2.4 million, is bracing itself for the large inflow of tourists, with resort lodging extraordinarily scarce.
The 32-team match might be held at eight stadiums in and across the capital, placing main stress on infrastructure.
Qatar says there might be 130,000 rooms in inns, flats, cruise ships and desert camps, the place there might be 1,000 conventional tents. It has promised shared rooms for as little as $85 an evening.
To restrict the variety of followers, solely folks with match tickets might be allowed to enter the tiny, gas-rich nation through the World Cup, officers introduced final month.
Greater than 160 round-trip shuttle flights a day will usher in followers from neighbouring nations, easing the stress on lodging, whereas capability has been doubled at Doha’s two worldwide airports.
However Al-Thawadi admitted it was “difficult” reining in lodging costs, that are hovering in keeping with demand.
“(We wish to) keep away from worth gouging,” he mentioned. “Clearly market forces all the time imply that so long as there’s numerous demand, costs skyrocket.
“We’re attempting to create an surroundings the place the enterprise group advantages however on the similar time, it’s reasonably priced and accessible for the followers as properly.”
Al-Thawadi additionally performed down the prospect of protests in Qatar, after regular criticism over the remedy of overseas labourers in a rustic that has the world’s highest GDP per head.
He didn’t say whether or not protests could be allowed in Qatar, the place demonstrations are uncommon, or whether or not followers may brandish the rainbow flag, representing the LGBTQ group.
“All people’s welcome. However in appreciating the place you are coming from, we’ve got a really wealthy tradition. We ask for folks to respect our tradition,” he mentioned.
Homosexuality is prohibited in Qatar and authorities are struggling to persuade lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender and queer followers that they are going to be secure.
(This story has not been edited by IHNS employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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