Muscat: Some creative ways will be employed to meet the demand for additional hotel rooms if Oman hosts the World Cup in 2022.
Replying to media queries on the matter on the sidelines of unveiling the Al Mouj Rayhaan by Rotana on Monday, Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism, “If the World Cup is held during the peak tourist season between October and April, it will be tough to offer hotel rooms as the occupancy levels are generally on average around 80 per cent during that period.”
He said that the alternatives will include the introduction of floating hotels (ships) at the Mina Sultan Qaboos in Muttrah and added accommodation issues can be managed if the World Cup is held in summer months.
Fifa is considering countries such as Oman and Kuwait as hosts of some matches at the 2022 World Cup if the tournament, to be staged in Qatar, is expanded from 32 to 48 teams.
The World Cup will be expanded from 32 to 48 teams in 2026 but Fifa president Gianni Infantino has proposed bringing forward the enlarged format to 2022.