Dubai: Fans desperately hunt for last-minute World Cup semis, final match tickets

With Morocco, the only Arab and African country making it to the semi-finals, residents in the GCC are trying their luck to get their hand on the ticket for tomorrow’s match

By SM Ayaz Zakir and Nasreen Abdullah

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Tue 13 Dec 2022, 4:58 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Dec 2022, 11:33 AM

Football fans in Dubai are scrambling for last-minute match tickets to witness epic clashes between some of the biggest football-playing nations and rooting for giant killers Morocco. Residents are leaving no stone unturned to get a ticket for the semi-final and final matches.

The search has become more desperate as Morocco and Argentina made it to the semi-finals, and residents are hoping for an electrifying match between the two in the final of the Fifa World Cup, which has prompted a surge in demand for tickets.

Dubai resident Paul Winick is now in Qatar with friends to watch both semi-final matches. “Some of my former colleagues from the UK flew into Dubai, and we all travelled to Qatar together,” he said. “The semi-final tickets were expensive, but we really wanted to catch the action live and together.”

According to Paul, the flight from Dubai to Qatar was packed. “A lot of people are scrambling to get semi-final tickets, especially after Morocco's historic win,” he said. “Our Air Arabia flight was full and many of them were Arab fans who were flying in to support Morocco.”

Paul
Paul

Some tickets to the semi-finals and finals are being sold for up to Dh8000 locally. An anonymous ticket seller claimed he had received a lot of interest for the semi-final tickets he was selling as he could not go.

Another resident of Dubai, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that his leave was not granted and he now plans to sell the ticket for the final match as Portugal did not make it. He added that fans are ready to pay nearly Dh10,000 for the ticket.

The airfare from Dubai to Doha starts at Dh800 with accommodation starting from Dh1,225 based as mentioned on bookings.com.

Niyaz Kenneth
Niyaz Kenneth

Dubai-based entrepreneur Niyaz Kenneth has secured a hospitality ticket for the finals. “It was expensive,” he said without divulging the details. “However, the Fifa World Cup coming to the Middle East is a historic moment and I didn’t want to miss out on it. So, I decided to go all out.”

Sharjah resident Dr Mohammed Basheer, who played for the Indian national team in the 1970s, is also one of those traveling to Qatar to watch the final match. “I am really excited to be able to see a FIFA World Cup match live for the first time,” he said. “I will be flying to Qatar at midday on December 18th. After the closing ceremony, the game will begin at 6 pm. My return ticket is booked for 2 am on December 19th.”

A fan of European football, Dr Basheer thinks France will lift the world cup. “Their game is a beauty to watch,” he said. “They can play fast as well as slow. I think they are the best team in the tournament.”

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With Morocco, the only Arab and African country making it to the semi-finals, residents in the GCC are trying their luck to get their hand on the ticket for tomorrow’s match. “I have finally got one from my cousin based in Doha. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, and I was sure not to miss out on my brothers playing,” said Aziz Obeidi, a Tunisian expat working as a marketing manager at a private in Abu Dhabi.

“I witnessed the epic match between Saudi Arabia and Argentina at the Lusail Stadium on November 22. It was just crazy the way we celebrated. I hope my celebration this time Morocco taking over France tomorrow,”

Obeidi has spent over 8,000 on tickets and airfare. “I have my flights booked at midnight from Dubai International Airport and will be returning after the final,” said Obeidi, hoping to get a ticket for the final match.

ayaz@khaleejtimes.com


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