The Qatar 2022 football World Cup has sold more than 1.2 million tickets so far, the organizers said Wednesday.
The most recent phase of ticket sales, a random selection draw, closed at the end of April.
Over 23.5 million ticket requests came in, with the largest numbers from Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States, according to FIFA, the world football governing body.
“I think about 1.2 million tickets have already been purchased. So people are actually buying and people are excited to come,” said Hassan al Thawadi, secretary-general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.
A total of 2 million tickets will be available during the 28-day tournament in November and December, he said.
The next opportunity to purchase World Cup tickets will be on a first-come, first-served basis, but the date has not been announced yet.
World Cup qualification matches have now concluded and all 32 available slots for the tournament have been secured.
Qatar hopes to attract 1.2 million visitors during the World Cup, nearly half of its population.
Organizers are working to avoid price-gouging fans, and, although the local business community should benefit, the tournament should be affordable and accessible for fans, al Thawadi said Wednesday at the Qatar Economic Forum organized by Bloomberg.
A central concern has been the cost and availability of accommodation in the Gulf Arab state, which has fewer than 30,000 hotel rooms, according to the most recent estimates by Qatar Tourism. Around 80% of those rooms are currently allocated to FIFA’s guests, organizers said.
“In terms of availability, we’ve tried to ensure that we provide different offerings on different categories. So from the affordable, which range from $80 to $100 a night, all the way to the pricier ones in terms of five-star hotels,” Al Thawadi said.
Qatar has boosted non-hotel accommodation, making 65,000 rooms in villas and apartments available for fans to book and around 4,000 rooms in two cruise ships moored in Doha port. It is also planning to erect nearly 1,000 “Bedouin style” luxury tents in the desert.
The business community in Qatar has also committed to repaying $28 million to workers who paid recruitment fees to secure employment in the Gulf Arab state.
Charging recruitment fees is illegal in Qatar and elsewhere, though the practice is widespread in many of the countries where Qatar’s workers come from.