With tension building and excitement heating up, football fans are chartering superyachts in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to watch tournament matches at sea.
Over 20 superyachts have arrived in Qatar in recent weeks in attendance for the tournament. This magnificent selection boasts some of the most opulent vessels in the world, including the Lürssen 123m AL LUSAIL and 111m ALAIYA, the 110m Feadship ANNA, and SilverYachts' aptly named 85m BOLD.
The brand-new marina in Old Doha Port was built specifically with the FIFA World Cup in mind, and provides 60 berths for vessels between 50m and 160m, with tariffs set on a first-come-first-served basis.
However, Qatar isn’t the only country receiving a massive boom in tourism thanks to its hosting of the tournament.
The neighboring UAE is almost certain to benefit from the wave too, with its extravagant commercial capital of Dubai set to see an estimated 1 million additional visitors during the course of the next month or so, according to the Dubai Sports Council.
UAE’s biggest private yacht charter, Xclusive Yachts, have also reported a surge in interest in hiring out its fleet of 70 yachts with yacht enthusiasts clambering onboard to experience the world’s biggest sporting stage in style.
The company anticipates taking around 3,000 people out on Dubai’s waters every day during the World Cup with many football fans hiring the firm’s 43m crown in the jewel, Stardom, for a private overnight charter.
Private jet charter companies have also seen a boom in business, with some fans willing to pay jaw-dropping figures to see their favourite soccer stars.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, in August called Dubai “the major gateway” to the World Cup and predicted it would see more tourists than Qatar itself.
At the 2022 Monaco Yacht Show, Superyachts.com spoke to Mohammed Abdulla Al-Mulla, Executive Director of Old Doha Port, and Grant Holmes, Global Sector Head of the Cruise & Superyacht Sector for Inchcape about how the marina has prepared itself for such an influx.
“We’ve made space especially so we can welcome more superyacht owners, whether for charter or for the owners themselves,” says Inchcape’s Grant Holmes. “We can service them, we have all the logistics ready in time for the World Cup and they will be taken care of at Old Doha Port.”
“We in Qatar have been catching up and hosting mega events regionally and continentally,” says Mohammed Abdulla Al-Mulla. “It goes without saying that the World Cup is a different ball game. We count a lot on the tournament to help to showcase the Qatar infrastructure as well as hospitality."