Dubai stands to be a winner at the Qatar World Cup if an overspill of fans floods its hotels, restaurants and planes. Dubai, stands to gain if, as expected, supporters opt to stay in the tourism hotspot instead of tiny Gulf neighbour Qatar during the November-December tournament.
High accommodation prices in the Qatari capital Doha could entice fans, experts say. Budget airline FlyDubai will run at least 30 return flights a day to Doha, just an hour away, part of a daily airlift of 160 shuttle services from cities in the resource-rich Gulf. Dubai Sports Council has estimated about a million World Cup fans could arrive in the city.
Qatar is expecting a similar number. For the rush, Dubai is gearing up with fan zones announced at parks, beaches and in the financial centre, while hotels are offering special packages. Such deals include shuttle flights and transport to the airport and fan zones. The UAE is also offering multiple-entry visas at the nominal fee to people with tickets for World Cup matches.