Flight bookings to Qatar for the World Cup are increasing, especially from Dubai | Tech Rasta


DUBAI, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Bookings for flights to Qatar are increasing for the soccer World Cup in November and December, with strong demand from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as fans face a shortage of accommodation in Doha, a . the study showed on Tuesday.

Flight bookings to Qatar from the UAE and nine other countries have increased tenfold compared to before the pandemic, travel analysis group Forward Keys said,

From the UAE, they have fired 103 rockets compared to 2016 – the last year before the UAE joined other Arab countries in boycotting Qatar which suspended direct flights. The boycott ends in early 2021.

Forward travel bookings between November 14 and December 24 against 2019*, including day trips and stays of two or more nights

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

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

Aviation in the Gulf is set to benefit, with flight bookings to the region up 16% ahead of 2019, and with the early stages of the World Cup 61% ahead, ForwardKeys said.

Fans will also travel to other places 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 times compared to before the pandemic.

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

“Dubai is the main beneficiary of this trend so far, capturing 65% of onward travel,” ForwardKeys said.

Forward travel bookings between November 14 and December 24 against 2019, starting September 29, including stays of two or more nights in both destinations.

Qatar Tourism reported 31,123 hotel rooms in the country at the end of the first quarter.

The world football federation, FIFA, has reserved 80 percent of the rooms for players, guests and officials during the tournament, the organizers of the Qatar World Cup said. FIFA is expected to release the rooms it will not need on the market over the next few weeks.

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

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

Reporting by Yousef Saba; Edited by Mark Potter

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