October arrivals reached a six-year high, but targets for the world cup have fallen short of the mark

Consumption and tourist arrivals have seen a spike in the past few weeks

While B2C companies are benefiting in the short term, consumer spending will see an inevitable slowdown following the World Cup in early 2023. However, plans for large events in the future mean MNCs should monitor Qatar for temporary increases in consumer demand. Meanwhile, B2B and B2G demand will continue to grow, driven by high oil revenues in 2023. In addition, if the last-minute changes in alcohol regulations hurt the reliability of Qatar regarding its contractual obligations with Budweiser, future investment or sponsorship deals could become more complex to negotiate.


  • Qatar Airways has seen more than 1,396 flights in a week since the start of the tournament, with plans to serve nearly 13,000 flights throughout the duration of the tournament. 
  • The latest official figures, however, show visitor numbers reached 765,000 in the first two weeks of the tournament, falling short of the original 1.2 million target.
  • Hotel occupancy rates registered solid growth rates in October, with two-and one-star hotels recording 92% occupancy rates, and three-star hotel occupancy rates reaching 69%.
  • According to statistics from FIFA, cumulative attendance for the group stages reached 2.45 million spectators, while more than 1 million visitors to date have attended the FIFA Fan Festival in Doha.
  • Following the World Cup, each stadium has its own legacy plans, with Stadium 974 to be dismantled completely and shipped abroad, with the site to become a waterside business park. Some stadiums’ capacity will be reduced, with removed infrastructure used to build sporting facilities elsewhere, while others will be reconfigured into smaller-capacity venues.

Our View

While the World Cup has provided a short-term boost to tourist arrivals, Qatar will need to continue its efforts to boost the country’s tourism sector. Additionally, media reports—particularly in the West—of controversies surrounding the tournament in Qatar have the potential to limit future tourist arrivals. Despite this, as the impact of the World Cup continues to have positive spillover effects across neighboring Gulf economies, Qatar’s standing among the GCC countries continues to improve, which could pave the way for higher GCC tourist arrivals in the next few years. Tourism will likely be event-based for the next few years, including events such as Expo 2023 and—in the longer run—preparations to bid for the 2036 Olympics.

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