Qatar has revealed its latest plan to deal with its housing crisis for the upcoming 2022 World Cup: a 6000-cabin village in an isolated housing lot near Doha airport.
The cabins, which resemble converted shipping containers, are said to hold as many as 12,000 people if fully booked.
They are designed to fit one or two people but are rather basic in their design. They have twin beds; a nightstand; a small table and chair; a bathroom with a toilet and shower. Crucially, the only thing separating them from somewhere like Guantanamo Bay, is the inclusion of air conditioning, which should be a given considering the expected 30+ degree heat each day.
The three-square-kilometre site will also feature a makeshift restaurant and convenience store for supplies as well as access to public services such as the bus and metro. Fans can expect a 40-minute commute to stadiums from the village.
Beanbags and screens are dotted throughout the ground, with artificial green grass covering the walkways.
One of these cabins will cost World Cup goers $207 (AU $322) a night, which going purely on the standard of the room alone is pretty ludicrous in all honesty.
But according to Head of Accommodation at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Omar Al-Jaber, that hasn’t stopped people from booking. As much as 60 percent of the cabins are already booked.
“Most of the fan[s], they prefer if it’s not a hotel, they prefer the apartment and villa,” Al-Jabar said.
Other cheaper accommodation is also available such as the fan village ‘Caravan City’, which is priced at $114 (AU $177) per night.
More expensive sites included hotels, apartments and villas and hired cruise ships.
Some fans have even been considering staying in nearby Dubai, for better accommodation, before flying in for games.
The accommodation issue is the latest in a string of controversies surrounding the 2022 World Cup, from being awarded the tournament in the first place to the human rights abuses that have occurred in the process.
The host nation knew that they would not have enough accommodation as far back as June, with Qatar proposing the football fans sleep in tents during the tournament.
It is still unclear whether alcohol will be allowed at accommodation sites, given Qatar’s strict policy in regard to drinking.
With all these points in mind, Qatar is certainly going to be a World Cup to remember, even if it’s not neccessarily for all the right reasons.