World Cup fans put off by costly Qatar

Neighboring Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia have organized air shuttles to cash in on the World Cup tourism boom. Every few minutes, a Boeing or Airbus rumbles overhead Doha’s old airport.

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Sports

November 25, 2022 - 12:19 PM

A building complex in the shape of the year 2022, at Doha Sports City near Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar's capital Doha, ahead of the FIFA football World Cup 2022, on Sept. 7, 2022. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

DOHA, Qatar (AP)  — Travel at this World Cup was supposed to be easy in the tiny host nation of Qatar, after fans had to take long flights between cities at the last three tournaments.

The eight stadiums in Qatar are in or near the capital, so fans don’t have to go too far to get to matches — in theory. The country billed its World Cup as environmentally sustainable in part because of how compact it is, but the reality is quite different.

Tens of thousands of foreign fans are turning to shuttle flights between Doha and neighboring Dubai for a number of reasons — high hotel prices, a scarcity of accommodation and alcohol limits.

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