Updates on Qatar 2022

By | March 24, 2016

Few years ago the world learned of the newest nation to win the World Cup bid: Qatar. Since the news, there’s been many calls about their venues, extreme weather, social norms (no public alcohol and ban of homosexuality) and allegations of corruption. Now there’s been light on their preparedness, specifically the housing.

According to International Business Times, thousands of football fans may end up living in Bedouin tents in desert areas near stadiums during the 2022 World Cup. Qatar is apparently facing a delay in building enough rooms. They currently estimate about 46,000 rooms to be done by the tournament, a bit short of the original 55,000 projection and 60,000 requirement by  FIFA. Currently, two hotel projects have been halted (Knowlton, 2016)


A Bedouin style tent in the desert. Qatar officials are suggesting some fans experience this unique culture of Qatar. Photo permitted for reuse. 

To remedy the shortage of hotel rooms, Qatar’s World Cup Supreme Committee is looking into the idea of fans sleeping under the stars. In addition to solving the housing issue, these tents also addresses many’s concern of Qatar’s no public alcohol law. The Supreme Committee has not officially said these desert tents would be alcohol-allowed, but sees it as a better option to luxury hotels, in which the sale of alcohol is extremely limited. There are also ideas of promoting fans’ stay at neighboring countries, such as UAE and Bahrain, and flying in for the games (Justice, 2016).


Whichever plan Qatar officials choose to pursue, I hope its citizens are not negatively impacted or displaced. I was living in South Korea when a relevant situation occurred. To prepare for the 2002 World Cup, many individuals were moved to make way for new hotels and stadiums, under eminent domain. Some were forced out by cranes and bulldozers. If you weren’t affected by the reconstruction efforts, practically every citizen in Seoul was instructed to limit their trash leading up to the tournament to reduce the smell of garbage in the streets.

While I agree that something like the World Cup is a phenomenal opportunity to showcase your nation to the rest of the world, a superficial sense of “perfection” seems slightly out of line. I bring up this example because I support Qatar’s idea to use tents. Rather than forcing the country’s labor and land capacities to build enough rooms, they are looking at interesting and culturally unique ways to accommodate fans. When the World Cup- and ’88 Olympics in Korea- occurred, I believe much of the traditional structures in Korea were destroyed and replaced with “modern” buildings.

Now, I realize Qatar is rethinking their hotel construction mainly due to financial reasons. They have been bled with the low oil prices. However, I am almost glad with their idea to use desert tents. While it may not be the luxurious accommodation fans may be flying across the world to see, I think there is great value in the experience. After all, isn’t this what the World Cup is about? To experience other parts of the world. Specifically for this 2022 WC in Qatar, it is a different location than your usual European or South American tournament.

Qatar officials are still discussing their housing options, but I hope fans will still have the option to experience living in tents in the desert. See Duke- do not most of us agree sleeping outside in K-ville is one of the best, authentic Duke experiences?

Works Cited:

Justice, Adam. “Qatar considering tented desert camps for 2022 World Cup fans.” International Business Times. 22 May 2016. http://www.ibtimes.co.in/qatar-considering-tented-desert-camps-for-2022-world-cup-fans-671747

Knowlton, Emmett. “Fans visiting the 2022 World Cup will have to camp in the desert because Qatar doesn’t have enough hotel rooms”. Business Insider. 18 May 2016. http://www.businessinsider.com/qatar-2022-world-cup-hotel-shortage-2016-3


Category: Qatar World Cup

About Andrew Cho

Hello, I am a sophomore at Duke University studying Statistics and Computer Science. I am from Baltimore, MD, but I have also lived in Seoul, South Korea and Frankfurt, Germany. I've been fortunate to experience the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Euro 2008 Final in Vienna. If anyone from EA is on this blog, please bring back S.Korea on Fifa 17.

4 thoughts on “Updates on Qatar 2022

  1. Kuber Madhok

    I don’t think there is a more frustarting and corrupt “non-profit” in the world. There’s evidence of bribery in every World Cup since Korea. Yet while the soccer community and human rights organizations may protest every day until 2022, but when the time comes all of us will become so invested in the tournament which is the sad thing.

  2. Andrew Cho Post author

    I believe earlier this month, the newly elected President Infantino has reaffirmed that the 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar at this point. While there has been constant outrage from soccer fans, I suspect this has had minute effects in the FIFA meeting rooms. The sad truth is that despite fans’ frustration with FIFA, we will still watch the tournament and fly to Qatar to be part of the spectacle.

    Qatar’s bribery charges are still being investigated by the Swiss attorney general as Qatar continues to deny the allegations. I would not be surprised if this investigation is covered up. Furthermore, if Qatar is proven guilty I don’t suspect FIFA would move 2022 “this close to the tournament” as they say.

    I think the more interesting, floating question is where 2026 will be held, after three consecutive contested choices (Brazil, Russia, Qatar).


  3. Nick Salzman

    I can’t believe they awarded Qatar the World Cup in the first place. There seems to be only one explanation for why they won the bid for the 2022 World Cup, and its bribery and corruption. As mentioned above, Qatar is an absolutely horrible choice for hosting a major sporting event. If FIFA doesn’t change the site of the 2022 World Cup, I expect there to be outrage from the soccer community.

  4. Hud Mellencamp

    Everything I hear about the 2022 World Cup has led me to the conclusion that Qatar is NOT the place to host it. First off, its very dangerous for the players because the brutally high temperature. In fact, Qatar is so hot that the world cup officials actually had to change what time of year it is played. Qatar simply can’t handle the amount of visitors a event such as the world cup brings. The local resources are far to short to even accommodate local residences. However, those aren’t even the biggest problems by far, it is predicted that nearly 4000 construction workers will die in preparation for the world cup. As of now now over 1400 works have perished. Furthermore, the living conditions that these workers are forced to live in are inhumane, with a mere $50USD a week for compensation.

    Take a look inside the situation in Qatar and the conditions of these workers here:



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