Qatar 2022 accommodation crisis: Accor hunts for 12,000 staff but where are the rooms?

June 29 – One of the world’s largest hotel operators, Accor, is recruiting 12,000 temporary overseas employees to operate 65,000 empty rooms in apartments and homes in Qatar as temporary accommodation for fans at the World Cup.

Qatar is facing an accommodation crisis with its official World Cup portal still showing little or no affordable hotels amid rumours that some residents are even being asked to vacate their properties.

“65,000 rooms is like opening 600 hotels, so we committed to hire enough people to serve it,” Accord Chairman and CEO, Sébastien Bazin, told Reuters, adding that a drive is under way in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and South America to recruit all manner of staff.

Qatar hopes to attract 1.2 million visitors, nearly half of its population, for the tournament. But 80 percent of hotel rooms are reported to have been blocked for official guests.

Pre-booked accommodation is mandatory for ticketed fans. Without accommodation, fans will not be issued an ID, which doubles as a visa to Qatar.

Many supporters with tickets are getting increasingly worried about having to wait till the last minute to find somewhere affordable to stay.

But they will ultimately have “a lot of options” according to Omar al-Jaber, the official in charge of accommodation for the tournament’s organising committee.

“If you don’t find it today, you need to check tomorrow or after tomorrow… because… we add more inventory to this portal. More than 100,000 rooms (are) available as of today,” al-Jaber said. “If we go to November, maybe we’ll reach more than 130,000 rooms or 140,000 rooms.”

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