Qatar authorities have announced ambitious plans to open 105 new hotels and serviced apartments in the country as it readies for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Though not all of the 105 will open by the time the World Cup begins, tourism officials say the new properties will make the country more appealing to a wider range of fans flying in for the event.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways group chief executive and secretary general of Qatar National Tourism Council, said: “We are continuing to expand our tourism offer to ensure guests enjoy the best of Qatari hospitality while being able to choose a hotel, resort or serviced apartment that accommodates to their budget and needs.

“These upcoming properties are part of our strategy to diversify our offering and broaden our appeal to visitors. We are pleased to expand our global tourism offer in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 and provide travellers with more options to experience the very best of Qatar.

It is estimated that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 could add US$20 billion to the national economy, according to officials within the country. That’s equivalent to around 11 percent of Qatar’s GDP for 2019.

The Committee for Delivery and Legacy is responsible for putting on the project. Secretary-General Hassan Al Thawadi told Bloomberg: “We anticipate the contribution to the economy essentially would be around about $20 billion. [The World Cup is] meant to serve as an engine to push forward and accelerate a lot of the initiatives that the government has already committed to, already had planned, whether that’s in terms of urban development or economic diversification.”

On the hospitality side of tourism, the World Cup presents a golden opportunity to welcome international guests and potentially enjoy 28 days of full occupancy. Over the course of a month, more than 1.5 million people are expected to fly into Qatar for the winter event, close to the tourism figures for all of 2019.

Four Seasons Doha GM Jeff Rednour, told Hotelier Middle East: “I have a lot of confidence in it and it will be delivered to the highest level. [Hoteliers] understand the importance of it, not just for hotels but the entire country. We just need to be ready for 30-plus days of maximum occupancy in the hotel and all of the outlets. We just need to be prepared to offer the same levels of service, just during a period of triple volume.”