Impact of FIFA Worldcup 2022 on the UAE Real Estate Market

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Dubai is the fastest growing city and labelled as most diverse city to live in the world as per Resonance Consulting 2021 World’s Best cities report as well as various infamous magazines and reliable media sources. Home to exceptional hotels, resorts, residential suites, living societies, educational institutes, medical facilities and entertainment options, Dubai is all set to be the leading destination in the world.

In recent times, UAE’s COVID-19 fight was a commendable example of a resilient nation. In the UAE’s post-recovery from the pandemic, Dubai has already recovered and is doing better than pre-covid. The sector most positively impacted is the real estate Sector for various reasons but predominantly, the rulers and their emphasis on making UAE the world’s best place to live.

By any metric, the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be a global scale event. More than five million visitors are expected to attend the global tournament, starting from 21 November to 18 December. Arrivals on this scale will translate into significant income, adding as much as $17 billion to Qatar’s revenue. However, the UAE seems ideally positioned to achieve the greatest economic impact outside of the host nation.

Due to the upcoming FIFA World Cup, real estate owners in UAE are turning their homes to short-term rentals instead of annual leases for fans attending the Qatar FIFA World Cup. As per the media resources, 2022 has been the second consecutive year that Dubai will see a demand for short-stay units. Last year’s surge was due to Expo 2020 Dubai.

The number of travellers estimated to arrive in the UAE is going to increase by huge scales, hundreds of thousands or even more this year. Therefore, besides the need for residential homes, app usage is going to spike. Talabat, Zomato, Careem, Uber, Groupon, The Entertainer and the government-supported Wojhati and S’hail platforms are highly popular in terms of ordering food, taxis, travelling and mapping routes throughout Dubai. This calls for companies operating such apps to need added resources available to make their app experiences more reliable, eligible to handle more traffic and more accessible in order to maintain smoothness and consistency.

Various brands and companies are also launching several ways to make it easier for FIFA fans to access Qatar while residing in Dubai as their base for the World Cup trip. For instance, Yasa, a Dubai-based project management company recently unveiled an exclusive package for those who wish to attend the tournament while using the UAE as a base. In collaboration with private aviation brand Jetex, visitors will stay at five-star hotels in Dubai and travel to Qatar for matches. This bespoke package includes limousine transportation, a private jet and chartered flights between Dubai and Doha, in addition to luxury accommodation. Encouragingly, travel from the UAE is also within the budget of those who may not stretch to limousines and private jets.

Arabian Business reported in May 2022 on a trend towards increasingly competitive travel fares between Dubai and Doha, as airlines scheduled additional flights to cater to World Cup-related demand. In the same month, qatar airways, flydubai, saudia, kuwait airways, and oman air announced plans to offer ticket holders special shuttle flights to Doha. Air Arabia has since added its name to this list with the launch of 14 daily shuttle flights between Sharjah and Doha during the tournament. Of course, this will all come as welcome news for anyone who assumed flight prices and scarcity would increase ahead of the mega-event. The comfort and accessibility of these added flights will make Qatar more accessible through the UAE driving more FIFA Spectators into the homeland. Ultimately resulting in a huge number of people residing in the UAE attending this mega event.

Additionally, GCC nationals will have an on-arrival visa. Qatar will profit from the increased revenue, while the UAE can offer fans an alternate destination to base themselves in for the duration of the event.

Nazar Musa, CEO of leading UAE company service provider, PRO Partner Group stated “The renewed collaboration between the two nations will encourage reciprocal trade and foster more economic stability for the whole GCC region,”. He also added, “Qatar is currently undergoing huge economic change. Many diverse investment opportunities exist within the country now”.

The reopening of the borders between Qatar and the UAE will promote a gradual restoration of commercial ties between the two nations. The reopening of the air, sea, and land corridors will ease football fans who wish to watch the FIFA WC but also be a remarkable vacation for those who wish to explore Dubai and the Middle East on their tour for the mega event.

Similarly, tour operator Expat Sport who is the exclusive UAE sales agent of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Official Hospitality Programme has developed options to suit a range of budgets, enabling football fans who wish to fly from Dubai to arrange their match tickets, travel, transport and accommodation as part of a single travel package. This initiative majorly benefits fans who wish to travel on a budget.

Expat Sport’s Football Fans Experience will particularly be boosted by the announcement made last month of Dubai’s first football-themed hotel opening in November. With daily shuttles in and out of Doha as well as the ability to purchase match tickets as part of the package, NH Dubai The Palm will offer a luxury haven for supporters from around the world throughout the tournament.

Ultimately, although the majority of fans will unexplainably be happy to stay in Qatar for the duration of the FIFA World Cup, however, the potential prospect of combining the FIFA World Cup with a UAE vacation will undeniably attract a significant number of attendees to the UAE with an intent to tour and explore the Middle East while witnessing one of the greatest events in the world.

While it may be hard to predict the exact economic impact of the World Cup, one thing’s for sure: the event will provide a welcome boost for a broad range of travel, tourism, and hospitality brands, not only within the host nation but also across the wider region along the Middle East.

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