World Cup fans lodge in Qatar in desert containers – Rolling Stone
Around 1.2 million people are expected to travel to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup which kicks off this Sunday. The question, however, of where they will stay is still unclear. A large official fan village that plans to welcome thousands of traveling fans in the coming weeks still looks like a construction site with forklifts and rubble next to a sea of shipping containers, the Guardian reports.
Less than 48 hours before the official kick-off, the fan village of Rawdat Al Jahhaniya is made up of endless rows of portacabins organized in different colors and mapped in alphabetical order, according to CNN. Each cabin has a mini fridge and a small bathroom. There’s also a large central gathering space with a massive TV screen facing a sea of beanbags. Large tents with hundreds of tables and chairs were erected for meals.
The site, which opened on Friday, costs just over $200 a night for a double cabin for two and the temporary residence is expected to accommodate 60,000 football fans with a total of 30,000 rooms erected in the desert, reports SB Nation. Although the World Cup is expected to attract more than a million visitors to Qatar, the country had only 30,000 hotel rooms in March and 80% of them were reserved for teams, officials and sponsors of FIFA.
Venues like the Rawdat Al Jahhaniya Fan Village have popped up in response, along with cruise ships docked at Doha’s Grand Terminal and tents in the desert offering additional accommodation. However, the ability of the temporary desert huts to withstand the heat (82 degrees Fahrenheit in November) and the logistics of housing and moving so many people in such a short period of time will be tested.
Since FIFA chose Qatar as the host country for 2022 in 2010, concerns have grown over the abuse of migrant workers, who make up 90% of the workforce and have played a key role in the labor needed to build these temporary accommodations. Some 6,500 migrant workers have died since Qatar gained host country status.