As Qatar struggles with its plans to construct the necessary infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, its organizers have proposed housing thousands of fans in tents near the site.
According to Doha News, the Supreme Committee of Delivery & Legacy has begun exploring bids for a trial project which could see 350 temporary tents and 300 permanent tents created in the traditional Arabian style. The tents would be expected to house 2,000 people. It would give the visitors an immersive cultural experience and would also be outfitted with viewing screens for the games. The plan is to have five of these tent cities, each with different themes such as one about Qatar’s history.
But while Qatar may present these tents as a way to provide a different experience for fans, it is a further sign of the country’s struggles to construct the necessary accommodations needed for the masses expected to attend the World Cup. Despite a massive infrastructure and building boom, Reuters reports that Qatar will only have 46,000 hotel rooms ready for the World Cup, short of the 55,000 which Qatar promised to have ready.
If Qatar can make five tent camps for family camping which host 2,000 each, that will enable it to reach the goal of 55,000. In addition to the tents, Qatar has also discussed using cruise ships to provide temporary hosting.
But the massive construction boom needed for so many hotels has invited controversy. Qatar currently has around 21,000 hotel rooms in total, and local residents wonder what they will do with such a massive increase in hotel capacity once the World Cup is over. Furthermore, the frantic pace of construction has prompted serious concerns about how Qatar is treating its imported foreign workers. The recent suicide of an Indian migrant is but one example of how low-paid workers can find themselves stranded and unable to leave once their visa has expired.
Qatar’s bid for the World Cup has faced constant scrutiny in the face of controversies such as these, but the country is determined to prepare as best as it can for the influx of soccer fans it will deal with in six years.