Look: Dubai hotel transforms into Fifa World Cup hub

Its rooms, as well as its ultimate fan experience package, are almost fully booked throughout the event


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sat 19 Nov 2022, 6:27 PM

Last updated: Sat 19 Nov 2022, 6:40 PM

Dubai is all set for the grand Fifa World Cup kickoff in Qatar tomorrow — but one hotel, in particular, is bustling with excitement as it is hosting the UAE's first hotel experience exclusively for football fans

Its Tea Lounge has been transformed into a football fan hub, complete with sports-themed wall hangings and a splash of red, in line with the colours of the official sponsor of Fifa, Budweiser.

When Khaleej Times arrived at the lounge, the staff was putting up the match schedule.

“This fan experience is one of a kind,” said Sue Holt from Expat Sport. “We want people to be able to soak in the football frenzy and is mainly aimed at hardcore fans.”

So far, the largest booking the hotel has seen is of a group of 142 football fans.

Operated by sports tourism company Expat Sports, the ‘Football Fans Dubai Experience’ gives guests the opportunity to stay in the emirate and enjoy a host of perks — including daily flights to Qatar, free shuttle buses to Dubai fan zones and discounts on various experiences. For the majority of the time, the hotel and experience have been completely booked out.


“We have tried to keep some spots open for the later part of the tournament in case some of the visitors want to stay on, should their favourite teams qualify for the next rounds,” said Sue Holt.

Adjacent to the sports lounge is a merchandise area where fans can buy official T-shirts, caps, and other memorabilia. There is also a replica of the original Fifa World cup trophy, which retails at Dh6,500. However, visitors may also use it for photos.

Those who opt for this package will receive a welcome kit which includes pamphlets of what to do in Dubai as well as discount coupons to several attractions, including the Budx Fifa Fan Festival, the official fan zone at Dubai Harbour.

Guests also have a personal relationship manager who will take care of all their needs. The group also has a local team on the ground in Qatar to coordinate shuttle services.

For outside visitors, the hotel has set up an open-air fan zone, equipped with a huge screen.

The exclusive sales agent for the sale of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 official hospitality programme in the UAE, Expat Sports has been offering packages including 4 hours of food and beverages starting at $950.


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