As the world gears up for another high-octane football celebration in Qatar, we look at everything you need to know as a FIFA World Cup tourist. Every four years, hundreds of thousands of spectators jet off to watch their home countries compete in arguably the greatest sporting competition on the planet. Few things come close to the sheer excitement and energy, especially with fans from 32 nations celebrating together.
Football is the main event, of course, but going to the FIFA World Cup as a tourist is also a fantastic way to experience new cultures and surroundings. The decision to award Qatar the 2022 iteration was controversial, especially considering the tournament is taking place in winter. Nevertheless, it offers many people the chance to see Qatar in all its glory, as it hasn’t historically been the most popular tourist setting. Stay with us for everything you need to know and optimize your tourist experience.
A History of Tourism at the World Cup
Tourism at the World Cup is nothing new. It is a significant tourism business opportunity, as proven by the most recent Russia World Cup in 2018. Approximately 1.5 million people visited the country during the competition. Further back, Brazil in 2014 and South Africa in 2010 instrumentally boosted their respective country’s tourism industries.
Hosting a World Cup is beneficial for many reasons. The uplift in tourism is arguably the most significant reason over time, as countries can still financially benefit for years afterwards. Just look at South Africa. More than 300,000 visitors came to the country during the 2010 World Cup, and the annual tourist numbers have risen more than a decade later.
Qatar 2022: Everything You Need to Know
The Qatar 2022 World Cup runs from November 20th to December 18th in eight venues across five host cities. Officials expect more than one million spectators to descend on the Gulf state, with significant travel infrastructure being newly developed to cope with the influx.
Prepare to use the Qatari rial as currency. It’s a good idea to convert cash beforehand or use payment providers like Monzo with minimal conversion fees. We recommend purchasing insurance before you go, as you never know what might happen regarding delayed flights, cancelled accommodation, or accidental injuries.
The Main Stadiums & Locations
Qatar is a relatively small country, measuring 82 km from west to east and 117 miles from north to south. Travelling between stadiums won’t be too cumbersome, a refreshing change from the travel times at World Cups in Russia and Brazil. Here is a rundown of the locations and stadiums being used at Qatar 2022:
- Lusail – Lusail Stadium (80,000 Capacity)
- Al Khor – Al Bayt Stadium (60,000 Capacity)
- Al Wakrah – Al Janoub Stadium (40,000 Capacity)
- Al Rayyan – Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium (40,000 Capacity)
- Doha – Khalifa International Stadium (40,000 Capacity)
- Doha – Education Stadium (40,000 Capacity)
- Doha – Stadium 974 (40,000 Capacity)
- Doha – Al Thumama Stadium (40,000 Capacity)
Making the Most of Your Time at the Qatar 2022 World Cup
Going to the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup is a prime opportunity to soak in the unrivalled atmosphere and enjoy some quality football. Still, there are several other ways to enjoy yourself.For example, why not participate in some casual football matches with other spectators? Casual football is typical at World Cups, allowing fans from many countries to play against each other. Alternatively, sports betting enthusiasts can have a field day at the competition. Check sportsbook guides for key information on the fixture list, welcome bonuses, the best odds and bookies, and the countries hotly tipped to win. Get involved in all the action by placing World Cup bets on your favourite teams and follow their progress closely to see who will win. It adds a lot of fun and excitement to the event when you are more involved and rooting for a winning team! If placing bets is not your thing, other entertaining alternatives like World Cup fantasy football are just as fun.
The Golden Question: Who Will Emerge Victorious?
Who will win the Qatar 2022 World Cup? It’s a tough question. Some of the favourites include Argentina, Brazil, and France, but you only know once the competition starts. Lionel Messi’s Argentina is certainly a good bet. He has never won the World Cup, and this one is set to be his last. We wouldn’t be surprised if Messi spurred his team to victory.
Remember dark horses like Serbia, too. They have historically underperformed at the international level. However, the current player roster, including Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic, is arguably the best yet.