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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

FIFA announced recently that Qatar will be the host of the 2022 World Cup football championships, beating out Japan, South Korea, Australia and the USA. This will be the first time that a Middle-Eastern country will host a major sporting event, let along a football. Is the country up for the challenge and what do they have to offer?

Qatar wastes no time in starting to plan development for the games. With plenty of time, they country has big plans for stadiums and attractions for football fans and tourists alike. Dramatic renovations will take place on the country’s three major stadiums and nine new complexes will be built in seven host cities.

If you didn’t know, summer heat in Qatar is expected to be a problem, daily highs can reach up to 48°C (120°F), which is why new stadiums need to be both climate-controlled and carbon neutral. £4 billion is the estimated cost to get this country ready to host the World Cup.

Check out part of Qatar’s bid that won them the honour:

Qatar is a modern surprise. If you land in Doha, a 6 hour flight from London, you might be wondering whether you’re in the Middle East at all. Qatar has spent its fair share to avoid Western ideas that the Middle East is all Beduin tents, ruins of lost empires and other endless stereotypes.

Skyscrapers from a postmodern era shape the city and if you’re still looking for those Arabic pleasures you won’t be disappointed. They’re here, just for the tourists. Souq Waqif will supply more than enough spices, textiles and handcrafts as souvenirs and Aladdin’s Kingdom will deliver thrill rides with a touch of Arabia.

Step into the future of modern architecture with a walk along Al-Corniche, Doha’s dazzling waterfront. Again you might have to ask yourself whether you’re in the Middle East or not. If you have the change to venture away from the capital, it’s encouraged. Khor al-Adaid, the “Inland Sea,” and Al-Khor, a small fishing village with historical mosques, are two picturesque spots that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Are you surprised Qatar won the bid, why or why not? Is Qatar on your list of travel destinations?

Img: Gizmodo/Luxury Launches

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