The important takeaways from the Arab Cup
- The stadiums and surroundings are absolutely World Class and designed to create an overall amazing fan experience for all.
- The technology-filled opening ceremony dazzled with a mix of music and technology that showcased the best of the Arab culture and Arab unity
- As Qatar welcomed thousands of fans to the stadiums, the safety of fans was a top priority with no incidents of violence recorded during the FIFA Arab Cup
- Ticketing needs to be improved. Queues for the Fan ID “Hay’ya” were very long. The system was abandoned halfway through the tournament.
- With the road closures, particularly of the main Corniche road, many fans made use of the Metro and Bus transportation system to get to the stadiums
- Selecting accommodation away from the hotspots of Westbay and Souq Waqif area for ease of movement
- Dealings with companies that have no track record in sports events and don’t understand the urgency can have detrimental effects
Qatar celebrated the successful hosting of the FIFA Arab Cup seen as the test event for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Thousands of Qataris as well as ex-pats from participating Arab countries created an amazing atmosphere during the matches.
Entry into Qatar was not affected by the Arab Cup as very few fans travelled from abroad. In that regard it wasn’t a proper test of the systems and only during the World Cup one will see how Hamad International Airport will cope with the spectators from around the world.
Transportation to and from the stadiums went smoothly. Information about the travel routes and signage within the metro can still be improved but overall all systems worked well.
It became clear that hotels will not be available next year, as visitors of the Arab Cup already experienced severe shortages and rising costs. Some hotels were serving as quarantine facilities while others were fully booked by business travellers or staff working for FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee. It just gave a glimpse of the shortage Qatar is already facing during normal-sized events. We can only urge you to secure your accommodation asap.
Two weeks after the Arab Cup some winter storms mixed with rain-hit Doha. Luckily the Arab Cup was saved from bad weather, in fact, it was pretty phenomenal. The sun was shining every day and temperatures rose up to 25 degrees. Spectators were sunbathing during the daytime or swimming in the Arabian Gulf before enjoying the matches later in the day.
The Corniche was closed down to traffic for the Doha Food Festival. While pedestrians could enjoy a stroll from West Bay all the way to Souq Waqif, traffic in the vicinity was badly affected. With a journey of 7km to get from West Bay to Old Town taking well over an hour, we can only advise on selecting your accommodation wisely. Not only the quality and price will be important but also the location.
Finally, companies that were relying on local partners in Doha are reporting mixed feedback. Some were happy with the service delivery while others had a hard time accomplishing their tasks as some local partners didn’t show enough urgency in fulfilling their duties.
Khaya’s experienced team are available to assist you in finding the right solution for your accommodation needs.