Football mega event host Qatar has tried everything from cruise ships, desert camps and regional shuttle flights to ensure a limited supply of accommodation can meet an expected 1.2 million FIFA World Cup visitors during the month-long competition. Local landlords have a simpler plan to increase the rent. Residents in popular localities say they’re being forced to agree to rent hikes of as much as 40% and contract periods extending two years.
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Faced with rents they can no longer afford, some residents say they’ve been forced to move even after years of tenancy. Many hotels have been forced to get long-term occupants to vacate and make room for Football World Cup teams and international event officials, leaving residents with few options in a nation that has an 88% expatriate population and low rates of home ownership.
That’s helped engineer a turnaround in the property bazaar after more than seven years of collapsing demand when entire buildings sat vacant as new residential, commercial and hospitality supply poured into the market. First-quarter rents rose 3.3%, helped by the recent surge in requests, according to data compiled by hotels, while average prices on the Pearl an artificial island neighbourhood popular with white-collar exiles surged 19%.
Housing was the second-biggest contributor to a June inflation rate of 5.4% in Qatar, where costs are climbing faster than in any other Gulf Arab state. FIFA alone has reserved thousands of rooms in hotels and their attached residences for players, staffers and other officials. Local organizers have also struck deals with property owners to earmark about 60,000 apartments for Qatar FIFA World Cup fans.
Landlords are eager to benefit. A social media search shows most one-bedroom apartments in the Pearl are advertised at more than $1,000 a night during the Qatar Football World Cup 2022. These apartments currently rent for an average of 9,500 riyals $2,580 per month, according to ValuStrat, up from 8,000 riyals in the fourth quarter. A Qatari government official said the nation’s real estate rental market outfits to a range of preferences and budgets and that with increased demand for accommodation during the World Cup.
Landlords and tenants are required by law to detect the terms and conditions of their lease contract. This is, to my mind, a relatively temporary blip caused by the Qatar World Cup and its related effects, Commercial Bank of Qatar Chief Executive Officer Joseph Abraham said in a TV interview last month. After the World Cup, you’ll see that heaviness come off rentals as there will be increased supply too so that component of the inflationary index will come down, he said.
Even with the recent surge, the Qatar Central Bank’s index of real estate prices is 30% lower than it was in 2015. And beyond the Football World Cup, the future of Qatar’s economy outside oil and gas is uncertain. The government expects the population of low-income labourers to decline after the most important football mega projects have been completed, but it’s not clear how many white-collar residents will also leave.
Qatar mounts 40 more statues in time for the Qatar Football World Cup
Public works by some of the art world’s biggest names will pop up across Doha. Qatar’s football team probably won’t make a big impression at November’s FIFA World Cup ranked 49th in the world they only qualified as hosts. However, the small Gulf state will be fielding a starry team of top global talent in another race to showcase the nation’s cultural identification to the world. For more to know about Football World Cup Tickets click here.
A new group of over 40 public monuments has been announced, adding to the dozens already existing. They will be mounted over the coming weeks, mostly in locations around the capital Doha from the airport to the football stadium. Among the artistic galacticos is Jeff Koons, who has created a 21m-high, mirror-polished statue of a dugong, the manatee-like being that swims in Qatar’s waters. Another giant animal comes from Katharina Fritsch, with one of her trademark blue chickens.
A group of temporary sculptures and installations by Yayoi Kusama will be on view on the grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art, while Olafur Eliasson is generating a site-specific work in the desert. Home-grown talent going on show contains Qatari artist Shua’a Ali, who explores the relationship between the past and current of Doha using stacked, agglomerative sculptural forms. Associated Qatari Shouq Al Mana’s Egal 2022 will install along the Lusail Marina Promenade.
Other newly publicized works include pieces by Qatari and regional artists including Adel Abidin, Ahmed Al Bahrani, Salman Al-Malek, Monira al Qadiri, Simone Fattal and Faraj Daham. There will also be work by Ernesto Neto, KAWS, Ugo Rondinone, Rashid Johnson, Fischli & Weiss, Faye Toogood, Lawrence Weiner and Franz West. The programme of public art is run by Qatar Galleries, which owns all of the works.
Qatar Museums is led by Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the sister of the ruling emir and one of the world’s most prolific and influential art collectors, with an annual acquisitions budget that has been estimated at around $1bn. The newly announced works join a roster of public art that includes works by Louise Bourgeois, Tom Claassen, Isa Genzhen, Richard Serra and Damien Hirst.
Qatar Museums has also proclaimed a busy timetable of exhibitions and a rehaul of the Museum of Islamic art, to coincide with the Football World Cup competition. Get ready for a feast of football. There are eight groups of four football sides, with the top two advancing to the 16-team knockout stage. There will be four games back-to-back per day yes, four! For each of the first two sets of group games, then simultaneous kick-offs for the last two games in each group.
There’ll be no break for the Football World Cup knockout stage, which begins the day after the group stage ends. The first day without football comes on Dec. 7, the 17th day of the competition.
Must grasp games of football international competition. Senegal vs. the Netherlands on Nov. 21. The first game of the competition and always a date to save on the calendar. With Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk on the field, it’s a motivating one, too. Argentina vs. Mexico on Nov. 26. The first of the big continental competitions in the group phase, with Messi possibly sealing his and Argentina’s spot in the last 16.
Spain vs. Germany on Nov. 27. Surely there can’t have been many better group-stage games than this at a Qatar World Cup? Two recent winners, two giants of European and world football. Iran vs. the United States, Nov. 29. It has been labelled as “the mother of all football games part ii.” Just like at the World Cup in 1998, the two nations will meet in the group phase in a politically charged matchup.
Diplomatic dealings have yet to be restored between the nations since being split in 1980. Ghana vs. Uruguay on Dec. 2. Does anyone recall the night of July 2, 2010? In the last minute of extra time in a FIFA World Cup quarterfinal game between Uruguay and Ghana, Luis Suarez purposely stopped the ball with his hand on the goal line and got sent off, only for Ghana to miss the penalty and lose in a shootout as Suarez celebrated on the side-line. Revenge would be sweet for Ghana.
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