FIFA World Cup fails to score a goal for Qatar occupancy

The recently completed FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar failed to draw the type of occupancy rates the country’s hotels would have preferred, with hotels staying half empty in November and lower than pandemic-era figures, show reports.   

Occupancy at hotels in Qatar during the first 10 days of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 were lower than that of Dubai. Occupancy levels in Qatar in November came in lower than in 2021 and 2020 and lower than in earlier months in 2022.  

According to Qatar Tourism, occupancy came in at 56% in November 2022, compared to 61% in 2020. Occupancy stood at 71% in November, both in 2019 and 2021.  


The mega-sporting event did, however, impact daily rates positively for owners and operators, with average daily rates reaching their highest levels at $501.62, up from $124.65 versus the previous month. ADR in November 2021 stood at $115.59.  

RevPAR also touched its highest-ever figure, reaching $283.07, up from $69.46 in October 2022 and $82.36 in November 2021.  

The price hikes were almost majorly led by 5-star hotels, which accounted for 17,375 keys in the market. Although this category saw the lowest occupancy rates (53%), they had an ADR of $716.60, marking a 365% YOY surge. RevPAR also saw the highest increase, touching $377.24 — a 246% jump.  

A third of luxury hotels in the country were fully booked through the entire vent to host teams, official delegations, officials, media, etc. Major luxury hotels are reported to have outperformed newly opened luxury hotels. Budget hotels saw occupancy at 92% during the World Cup.  

In all, occupancies slipped 21% YOY while ADRs and RevPARs shot up by 332% and 243%, respectively.  


Ahead of the World Cup, Qatar had targeted around 1.5 million visitors during the event. Total international arrivals saw a 412% YOY jump in November 2022 and stood at 573,000. In order to meet the 1.5 million target, the country should have welcomed around 1,000,000 international visitors.  

In the last few months leading to the event, neighbouring GCC states launched shuttle flights and their own World Cup promotions and campaigns. A total of 500 daily shuttle flights resulted in several people flying into Qatar but stayed in destinations like Dubai for the rest of their stay.  

Although Dubai records its hotel performance on a YTD format, it is still ahead of Qatar in terms of occupancies up to November. November 2022 YTD saw occupancies touch 72.6%. Up to November 2022, Dubai welcomed 12.82 million international visitors, almost meeting Qatar’s visitor target for November and December.