World Cup 2022: What’s happening in Qatar besides the football? | Arts and Culture News to day

Doha, Qatar – Not only 32 of the world’s best football teams and more than a million football fans are going to Qatar this month.

Some of the world’s most famous entertainment stars are also heading to the Gulf Country, which has announced a flurry of events and activities to offer visitors and residents more than just football.

Qatar will burst onto the world stage later this month with an estimated five billion people – more than half the world’s population – expected to tune in for FIFA World Cup matches. As the world watches, Qatar is determined to put on a show.

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Dozens of hotel and leisure complexes have been built in the 12 years since Qatar won hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup. New entertainment venues, beaches, resorts, museums and restaurants – it’s all part of the package.

Flags of the countries participating in the World Cup during the Darb Lusail Festival on Lusail Boulevard. [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

There are no less than three music festivals that take place simultaneously during the World Cup. Fans can enjoy acts like Black Eyed Peas and Armin van Buuren.

Enrique Iglesias played Friday at Doha Golf Club, which is also expected to host Black Eyed Peas.

Featuring three iconic stages, the Arcadia Festival will attract more than 100 international artists and will run from November 19 to December 19, one day after the World Cup final.

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The event includes a 50-ton fire-breathing Spider and a laser-heavy Reactor stage set. Daydream Festival, meanwhile, takes over the famed Doha Golf Club to host electronic acts including Tiesto, Alesso, ATB and Paul van Dyk.

Qatar’s iconic Museum of Islamic Art reopened to the public last month. Among the wave of new openings for visitors in 2022 was the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum.

More than 1.2 million fans are expected to travel to Qatar to watch the World Cup. Nearly 2.9 million tickets have been sold.

Apartments, hotel rooms, desert camps, villas, fan villages and even cabins on moored cruise ships have been made available for fans coming to Qatar. Some fans will choose to stay in the UAE, Oman and Iran and fly to the football on ‘shuttle’ flights before returning without spending the night in Qatar.

The country has reported an influx of international arrivals that is currently at its highest in five years, with 151,000 visitors in September alone. Arrivals from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries made up 44 percent of total international arrivals, led by Saudi Arabia, which accounted for nearly 30 percent of the total numbers, according to the Qatar Tourism Authority.

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The organizers of Qatar 2022 said: “Qatar will host a wide range of cultural and entertainment options for the whole family during the World Cup”.

Enrique Iglesias
More than 1.2 million visitors are expected to visit Qatar during the World Cup [Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera]

“The nationwide festival will feature more than 90 special events taking place on the sidelines of the tournament… the major events will feature competition areas, music festivals, cultural displays and street performances,” it said.

In the capital, Doha, the Corniche has been car-free since early November, and the 6 km stretch of road along the water “will have a carnival atmosphere with roving performances, cultural activities, food and drink stands and retail outlets”.

Keeping the numbers in mind, Qatar is expected to deploy tens of thousands of security forces to ensure a seamless World Cup.

The host nation has signed numerous security cooperation agreements with various countries, including Morocco, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Turkey and NATO.


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