DOHA (Reuters) – Qatar is facing a massive oversupply of accommodation during the World Cup. Over the weekend, searches on the official portal found at least 42 hotels with vacancies, and Airbnb also showed hundreds of available listings.
Ahead of the tournament, everyone from Qatari government officials to Qatar Airways leaders and fan groups were all sounding the alarm that there would be a shortage of accommodation, and organizers secured additional housing complexes, cruise ships, and even desert campsites . the reality turned out to be quite different.
Doha rental house owners were excited by the prospect of 1.2 million spectators coming to Qatar during the World Cup, hoping to make significant profits. The impact will spread across the Qatari real estate market, multiple real estate brokers said.
Property brokers, accommodation operators and tenants interviewed by Reuters said some rental property owners had demanded exorbitant rental rates ahead of the Games, leading to a large number of vacancies.
Many visitors avoid the more expensive accommodation in Doha and choose to fly to Qatar on up to 500 daily flights from nearby cities such as Dubai. The head of Qatar Airways said that these passenger flights were also set up to accommodate the shortage of accommodation.
Influenced by such trends, a real estate broker said that a room (two bedrooms) in a Doha apartment complex, which had been priced at $1,200 a night in early October, had dropped to $250 a week before the tournament started. has decreased to
The extra charge is testament to how confident the owners of local hotels and rental properties were.
A group of Italian tourists, who arrived from Italy a week before the start of the tournament, got stuck in a dispute between the hotel where they intended to stay and the travel agency over an extra charge. Kuhaya Global, the agency, told Reuters that seven hotels with exclusive contracts would pay a total of more than $10 million up front, and then pay the hotels a total of at least $550,000 two weeks before the start of the Games. asked by
Volkhard Bauer, who leads Kuhaya, who has made great reservations about accommodation to be sold to fans of different countries and sponsors of the International Football Federation (FIFA) in the last three World Cups, said, “This is the situation in Cup the World. I’ve never heard of it,” he said angrily.
Bauer said the weary party was finally able to enter the room after Kuhaya handed over the amount he was told.
Other hotels have more than doubled the price of an extra bed agreed with guests in advance.
Users of rental housing in Qatar were also shocked by the upfront price increase. A report released Sept. 30 by real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield said rents on long-term contracts rose more than 30% in the third quarter, with some rental homeowners paying current rates if they wanted to. that they sign a two-year contract.
Interviews with apartment renters in Doha suggest that the owners refused to renew their annual contracts months before the Games and increased their rents.
A 30-year-old Tunisian woman who lived in a luxury residential area on the artificial island “The Pearl” said her contract expired in October, and the owner told her it would not be renewed until after the World Cup .
Furthermore, the owner made a condition that she leave the furniture when she moves out temporarily before the renovation, so that the room can be used for the World Cup guests immediately.
The woman said, “Basically, I had no choice but to comply,” and is concerned that she may be forced to sign an expensive long-term contract in the future.
(Reporter Andrew Mills)