Friday, December 3, 2010

Qatar for World Cup 2022

I have actually been to Qatar, albeit just on the ground in the Doha airport and just to change planes going somewhere else.

If you fly Qatar Airlines to Asia, you stop at Doha.

I recommend Qatar Airlines. The service is good, they fly on time, and the seats have more leg room than many airlines these days.

However, having seen the area around Doha from the air as the planes were coming in for a landing or taking off, I would have to say there is not much available for visitors to the place. Doha does have a downtown with skyscrapers. And the country is a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, but I could not see much in the way of beach resorts or much greenery, for that matter. When I last flew through in mid-November, it was 90 degrees at 10 in the morning. From what I can tell, at the season of the 2022 World Cup, it likely will be quite hot.

Qatar struck me as a shipping transit station in the Gulf, not a tourist destination.

However, if you go to the Qatar tourism site on the web, they do display photos of some beach resort destinations in the country. They also show romantic photos of desert dunes.

Keep in mind that this country is immediately east of Saudi Arabia and you will get a pretty good picture of the climate and available water.

It is also sparsely populated. According to a source on the Web, three times more people attended the World Cup in the USA in 1994 than currently live in Qatar.

I should also point out that Qatar has rather restrictive policies on alcohol. The last I saw was that it could be sold legally, but consuming it might result in prosecution. That will be interesting -- considering the level of alcohol consumption by the average soccer fan. It should also be of interest to the alcoholic beverage sponsors of the FIFA.

Alcohol is offered free on Qatar Airlines international flights.

I say all this because the World Cup also came to Pontiac in 1994. I would say that SE Michigan had and still has more to offer the fans when they are not watching the matches. And, during that time, street vendors in Pontiac sold alcohol to the fans and some bars opened specifically to accommodate the thirsty fans.


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