Qatar looks to Airbnb to house fans in 2022

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Qatar World Cup organizers say they are considering using Airbnb to house some of the visiting soccer fans during the World Cup finals in 2022.

Hasan al-Thawadi, general secretary of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body overseeing the organization of the tournament, said market demands could mean the room-sharing service being used in six years’ time.

“We are looking at Airbnb as an opportunity,” said Thawadi. “It’s a current trend.”

Although it is not as extensive as in other countries, Airbnb is already operational in Qatar.

It is the latest option being considered by organizers in the Gulf for an expected one million traveling fans during soccer’s biggest tournament.

In recent weeks, it emerged that one plan being considered is allowing fans to sleep in desert camps, though organizers have not said how many fans could be housed in tents.

Cruise ships are also expected to take up to 12,000 fans during the tournament.

Thawadi said the possible desert camps would provide an authentic feel for fans.

“Every World Cup has its own feel, its own taste, its own flavor.

“It’s an experience, it gives a flavor of Qatar of the Arab world and enhances the experience of any fan.”

Organizers though have denied that the options being considered point to problems with Qatar being unable to provide enough accommodation in 2022.

FIFA wants some 60,000 rooms to be made available but a recent Doha conference suggested there were only 21,000 rooms in service at present.

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