Actuality ends some Qatari desires of World Cup rental bonanza


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DOHA — Qatar has discovered itself with an surprising glut of rooms within the World Cup’s busy group stage, with on-line portals displaying rooms in not less than 42 inns and Airbnb providing a whole lot of choices for this weekend.

That’s a far cry from pre-tournament warnings by Qatari officers, together with Qatar Airways’ CEO, and fan teams resembling Soccer Supporters Europe of a scarcity, which prompted organizers to rearrange further lodging in villas, residences, cruise ships, non permanent cabins and even desert camps.

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Doha landlords had anticipated a bonanza from 1.2 million visiting followers, with numbers forecast to peak Nov. 24-28, however the surplus has prompted rents to droop and could have knock-on results for the broader property market, some actual property brokers mentioned.

Two actual property brokers, two lodging corporations and tenants say some landlords within the small Gulf state sought unrealistically excessive rents within the lead as much as the occasion, which has left hundreds of rooms vacant.

Many followers have chosen to remain outdoors Doha and jet in for matches, utilizing as much as 500 every day shuttle flights from close by cities like vacationer hub Dubai that Qatar Airways’ chief mentioned had been laid on partly in response to what he known as “a scarcity of lodging.”

“We had been involved with half of the town, all the massive actual property firms … They weren’t ,” mentioned one lodging dealer who has labored at a number of world sports activities occasions and requested anonymity attributable to enterprise sensitivities.

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The dealer cited the instance of a two-bedroom Doha condominium that was listed at $1,200 per night time in early October. Per week earlier than the World Cup started on Nov. 20, the speed was $250 an evening, the dealer mentioned.

Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Supply and Legacy, which is the event organizer, didn’t reply to Reuters request for up to date availability of rooms or why the anticipated scarcity of lodgings didn’t materialize.

Organizers say a spread of lodging is on supply, from $80 per night time rooms on Doha’s desert edges to luxurious cruise ship cabins, some costing hundreds of {dollars} a day.

For the remaining peak nights, the official lodging portal on Friday confirmed rooms obtainable in 42 inns, villas and residences, whereas confirmed rooms in 73 properties and provided 503 “properties.”

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Eleven days earlier than kick-off, organizers had mentioned there have been not less than 25,000 rooms obtainable for each night time of the World Cup.


In an indication of how the pre-tournament issues raised expectations amongst some hoteliers and landlords, Reuters has been advised of 4 cases of late value hikes.

One group of 10 visitors who arrived in Qatar from Italy per week earlier than the World Cup began had been caught in a row between their resort and journey agency over a surcharge, their agent mentioned.

Khaya World advised Reuters that within the two weeks earlier than the World Cup it obtained calls for from every of the seven inns it has below unique contract for funds totalling not less than $550,000, on prime of what it mentioned was greater than $10 million it had pre-paid. Reuters has seen invoices for $550,000.

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Reuters has not seen the unique contract in full, however has reviewed a duplicate of a hand-written bill for $40,000 which Khaya boss Volkhard Bauer mentioned was from the Al Mansour Park Inn. Neither the resort nor its proprietor responded to a Reuters request to substantiate the bill.

“By no means ever, at no World Cup, have I heard something like this,” mentioned Bauer of the last-minute expenses. His Khaya company has block-booked lodging and bought rooms to followers, FIFA sponsors and different officers at three earlier World Cups.

Bauer’s weary visitors had been lastly checked in after the company wired the quantity demanded, he advised Reuters.

One other resort, the Waterfront Resort and Residences, despatched an bill for $53,700, seen by Reuters, for visitors to have further beds in 9 rooms in the course of the event, a surcharge enhance from an agreed $90 to $250 per night time.

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Neither resort nor the proprietor of each responded to repeated Reuters requests for remark.


It’s not solely abroad guests who’ve seen prices soar.

Whereas some landlords slashed costs because the event neared, many had been nonetheless making an attempt to safe short-term enterprise at a lot increased charges, crowding out residents, the lodging dealer and actual property brokers mentioned.

Lengthy-term rents in Qatar rose by greater than 30% within the third quarter, with some landlords demanding potential tenants signal two-year leases locking them into present costs, a Sept. 30 report by actual property companies agency Cushman and Wakefield mentioned.

Reuters spoke to long-term residents at 5 Doha condominium buildings and two housing compounds who mentioned landlords had within the months earlier than the event refused to resume annual contracts and hiked rents.

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At The Pearl, a high-end residential neighborhood constructed on a man-made island, a 30-year-old Tunisian lady whose lease expired in October mentioned that her condominium proprietor had advised her he would solely renew it as soon as the World Cup ended.

He made that conditional on her forsaking her furnishings so he might lease the condominium out as a furnished unit, mentioned the girl, who declined to be named or to determine her landlord.

“I discovered myself mainly compelled to say sure to his supply,” she mentioned, including she was cautious of committing to pricey long-term charges.

However she nonetheless wanted to lease a short lived condominium as her soccer fan brothers had purchased tickets for the event. (Reporting and writing by Andrew Mills; Enhancing by Dominic Evans, Ghaida Ghantous and Alexander Smith)



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