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FIFA World Cup: Flight bookings to Qatar are booming for the World Cup, especially from Dubai

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FIFA World Cup: Flight bookings to Qatar are booming for the World Cup, which will be held in November and December, with particularly strong…

FIFA World Cup: Flight bookings to Qatar are booming for the soccer World Cup to be held in November and December, with demand particularly high from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as fans circumvent a shortage of accommodation in Doha, a survey showed on Tuesday. Follow FIFA World Cup updates with InsideSport.IN

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FIFA World Cup: Flight bookings to Qatar are booming for the World Cup, especially from Dubai

Flight bookings to Qatar from the United Arab Emirates and nine other countries are up tenfold compared to before the pandemic, travel analytics group Forward Keys said: From the UAE, they are up 103 times compared to 2016 – the last year before the UAE joined other Arab countries in a boycott of Qatar that halted direct flights. The boycott ended in early 2021.

“UAE’s strong performance explained by lack of accommodation in Qatar,” ForwardKeys said, adding that many fans were expected to stay in Dubai.

The strong demand comes despite the requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test to enter Qatar.

Flights across the Gulf are set to benefit, with flight bookings to the region up 16% ahead of 2019, and for the early stages of the World Cup 61% ahead, ForwardKeys said.

FIFA World Cup: Flight bookings to Qatar are booming for the World Cup, especially from Dubai

Fans will also travel to other destinations in the region, with the number of visitors spending at least two nights in Qatar and then at least two in another Gulf country increasing sixteen-fold compared to pre-pandemic levels.

American tourists make up 26% of these visitors, with Canadians second at 10% and British third at 9%.

“Dubai is by far the biggest beneficiary of this trend, capturing 65% of onward visits,” ForwardKeys said. Qatar Tourism reported 31,123 hotel rooms in the country at the end of the first quarter.

FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, has reserved 80% of available rooms for players, guests and officials during the tournament, Qatar’s World Cup organizers said. FIFA is expected to release rooms it doesn’t need on the market over the next few weeks.

Dubai has 115,000 hotel rooms and 25,000 rental apartments, travel data firm OAG said last week.

Qatar Airways and flydubai, working together, will operate around 54 flights a day between Dubai and Qatar, against just six previously planned, the OAG said.

FIFA World Cup: Flight bookings to Qatar are booming for the World Cup, especially from Dubai

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