Dubai hotels predict to be close to full capacity by the end of this year as hundreds and thousands of football fans intend to use neighbouring nations as a base for the Qatar World Cup 2022.
Supporters groups are already booking hotels in the UAE altogether, with over 100 supporters planning to base themselves in the same hotel and travel to Doha for matches during November and December.
The most interest has been shown by countries with a long history of success in the Fifa World Cup, which is conducted every four years and coming to the Middle East for the first time on November 21.
David Allen from Radisson Hotels stated that “We have to be careful about putting rival supporters together, so we are cautious not to have thwart bookings for teams from Holland and Germany.”
Supporters arriving from South American teams as well as European powerhouses are making the most demand for hotel rooms as fans expect their countries to reach the latter stages of the match.
The cluster general manager for Radisson Hotels, David Allen, stated that group bookings are being taken by a huge number of people.
From designated fan camps in provisional housing units which lie 40 minutes outside the city to cruise ships docked in the West Bay, city hotels as well as Airbnb-style options, several are expensive or already booked up.
David Allen further stated that Dubai is an obvious choice for several operators.
The United Arab Emirates has become an appealing option for supporters, with Air Arabia as well as flydubai working a combined total of over 45 daily shuttle flights from Dubai and Sharjah into Doha.
Travel is only open to match ticket holders with a valid Hayya fan ID and tourist visa to Qatar, coming to Doha around four hours before a match and departing four hours later.