22 Jun 2022

1.2 Million 2022 FIFA World Cup Tickets Sold, Organisers Say!

An estimated 1.2 million tickets have been sold at this year's World Cup in Qatar, organizers said on Wednesday, setting the record for the first time in a row. Senior organizer Hassan Al-Thawadi said there was a need for "much less recording" for the November-December World Cup, the first of its kind in the Middle East. "I think about 1.2 million tickets have already been sold," he told the Qatar Economic Forum.

"So people are shopping and people are happy to be there. There is no doubt about that."

The figure was confirmed by planning committee officials, who said there were about 40 million applications in two phases of online marketing.

Two million tickets will be sold in total, with another million reserved for FIFA and its sponsors.

The Qatari capital Doha, with a population of about 2.4 million, is preparing for an influx of tourists, as hotel accommodations are in short supply.

The 32-team tournament will take place at eight stadiums in the capital and suburbs, putting significant pressure on infrastructure.

Qatar estimates that there will be 130,000 rooms in hotels, apartments, ships, and barracks, with 1,000 tents. It has promised shared rooms for as little as $ 85 a night.

To reduce the number of fans, only people with game tickets will be allowed to enter the small, gas-rich country during the World Cup, officials announced last month.

More than 160 return flights a day will bring in fans from neighboring countries, alleviating the pressure of accommodation, while the volume doubles at two international airports in Doha.

But Al-Thawadi admitted that it was "bad" to reimburse living quarters, which increased according to need.

"(We want) to avoid price reductions," he said. “Obviously the market power always means that as long as there is a great need, prices go up.

"We are trying to create an environment where entrepreneurs benefit but at the same time, it is affordable and accessible to fans."

Al-Thawadi also downplayed the possibility of protests in Qatar, following ongoing criticism of foreign workers' treatment in the country with the highest GDP in the world per capita.

He did not say whether the protests would be allowed in Qatar, where protests were rare, or whether supporters could display the rainbow flag, representing the LGBTQ community.

"Everyone is welcome. But in recognizing where you come from, we have a very rich culture. We ask people to respect our culture," he said.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and the authorities are working hard to convince gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer supporters to be safe.

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