The scramble for World Cup accommodation in Qatar is leading football fans to explore all options, including camping in the desert.
Supporters are being promised “five-star” camping on a stretch of beach that backs on to the desert about an hour’s drive south of Doha.
The luxury cabanas will have their own bedrooms and a private bathroom – they will be built later in the summer and accommodate fans from different countries.
Angel Tindoy, a supervisor at the next-door beach resort that will run the site, told Sky News: “There will be hundreds of fans here – perhaps a thousand.
“We have a lot of guests coming from around the world.
“They can expect five-star…service amenities and facilities.”
Race to book accommodation has led to frustration
The exact number of cabanas to be installed on the beach will depend on bookings and prices per night are still to be finalised.
Ms Tindoy confirmed though they would be “affordable” and that security officers would be on hand to ensure fans behaved.
The race to book accommodation for the tournament in November and December has led to enormous frustration for many fans.
Other accommodation options during the tournament are either unavailable or highly expensive.
‘I don’t think many fancy camping in a desert’
England fan Kieran Baker from South Yorkshire, who normally travels home and away with England, told Sky News this tournament was proving difficult to commit to.
“I have camped in Germany, used hostels hotels for a lot of the others ….and in Russia even rented out a room in someone’s family home.
“I don’t think many fancy camping in a desert, in fact I don’t know anyone that has signed up to that option.
“It’s hard to put a price on how much this tournament is going to cost for me – it’s definitely a step into the unknown.”
The Gulf state is the smallest nation to host the World Cup and has 33,000 hotel rooms according to the Tourism Authority, but many more are being added for the tournament.
Over a million people are expected to visit Qatar during the competition.
Private apartments and cruise ships are also being made available but many fans are complaining that it’s a difficult process.
‘I have flights booked but cannot book a hotel’
England fan David Marsh from Worcestershire, who has been to every World Cup since 2002, told Sky News his search for a hotel room had left him exasperated.
“It is absurd and very concerning,” he said.
“The official accommodation site is now selling space on two cruise liners and apartments but absolutely no hotels!
“I have flights booked and have bought tickets through the FIFA website but cannot book a hotel. Solely because they have 100% control and have not made any rooms available at all, except for the corporate hospitality industry.
“Fan forums suggest that the Accommodation Agency operators have told some people verbally that there will not be any hotel rooms made available at all!”
Fans of Wales and Scotland are still waiting to find out if their teams will qualify through the playoffs that may not be concluded until June.
Organisers and FIFA have vowed to ensure there will be availability and prices that all fans can afford but have advised supporters to book early.