Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising body signed a deal with Accor.
Europe’s largest hotel group Accor will now manage FIFA World Cup 2022 apartments and villas for fans visiting Qatar next year, the Supreme Committee has announced.
The French multinational hospitality company owns, manages and franchises hotels, resorts and vacation properties.
Its dominance on the market makes it the the sixth largest worldwide, and the perfect fit to manage accommodation for the upcoming global tournament in the Gulf state.
With the latest deal, the European company will have the full control to run operations and services across Qatar’s tournament-related real state through to the end of 2022, the committee said in a statement.
As part of the deal, over 60,000 rooms in apartments and villas across the country will be managed by staff assigned by Accor.
“It’s means an enormous pride and enormous excitement to be part of such a huge global tournament. It will also be an enormous challenge, so it will not be easy. But it will be fun to be part of the adventure,” Chairman and CEO of Accor Sébastien Bazin told Doha News on Thursday.
“I know that managing above 60,000 flats and hiring 10,000 people is not easy to do and it was never done in the world before. So I measure the challenge, but I’m so proud to be part of it,” he added.
Such an initiative aims to make the country’s real estate “a sustainable hotel market that does not leave Qatar with excess permanent hotel rooms post-2022,” said Hassan al Thawadi, head of the committee, according to Reuters.
Qatar’s historic hosting of the FIFA World Cup next year is hoped to bring the Gulf state over 1.2 million visitors.
Head of communications at the SC Fatma Al Nuaimi told AFP last week that the event will be drawing in tourists from all over the world, all of whom will be hosted in an array of traditional and innovative accommodation options, including hotels, cruise liners, fan villages, and vacation rentals.
Officials have said that 16 floating hotels will also be built in Qatar, providing almost 1,600 rooms in total.
Al Nuaimi said the SC’s “Host a Fan” initiative will also give travellers to Doha an opportunity to learn about Qatari culture.
“We are a hospitable people, and this will be applied to the World Cup as well,” said Al Nuaimi to AFP.
Just around the corner
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is due to be held in Qatar in November next year, less than 400 days from now.
The global event will mark the first such major tournament to be held in the Middle East region.
So far, 98 percent of the construction is ready, and “preparations will be completed by the end of the year,” Al Nuaimi added.
On Friday, the 40,000-seat Al-Thumama stadium was the latest to be inaugurated during a match the hosted the Amir Cup final.
Qatar has already opened give other stadiums, including Ahmad Bin Ali, Al-Janoub and Education City stadiums, alongside the refurbished Khalifa ground.
The opening ceremony for Qatar 2022 will be held at Al Bayt Stadium, while the final will be played on 18 December – coinciding with Qatar National Day – of the same year at Lusail Stadium.