|Short on lodgings? Qatar's got one (very temporary) solution. |
Friday, 4th October 2013
Source : Brand Karma
If you were the tiny country of Qatar, where would you place 250,000 rabid soccer enthusiasts expected to be descending upon you for that not-so-tiny event known as the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
Let’s take a glance at Qatar’s accommodations credentials. Approximately the size of Connecticut, the tiny Arab Gulf state could claim to have only one luxury hotel a decade ago, but that has quickly changed. In 2011, it opened 6,369 hotel rooms to travelers, and last year Qatar added 14 more properties to the pipeline that include giant international chains like St. Regis, IHG, Marriott, and Hilton.
Last but not least, the state is pouring US $100 billion worth of funding from now until 2022 into building the infrastructure and accommodations necessary for hosting the month-long World Cup. This entails 77 new hotels and 42 hotel apartments.
Still, to return to the original question, the build-up (literally) won’t be able to fully handle the deluge of the global soccer fandom – and then there’s the added complication of the tourist flood being only a temporary occurrence.
Qatar’s solution? Floating hotels.
Where it might be limited by physical landmass, Qatar has instead deep pockets in answer to the question, and they’re looking to Barwa Real Estate Co. to make the floating hotels a reality in time for the World Cup. The appeal in floating hotels is multitudinous:
In a clever branding move, Qatar has commissioned the island to be built in the shape of an oryx, a white antelope that is native to the Arabian Peninsula. The $5.5 billion price tag will bring about five floating hotels, open-air theater pavilion, and a water park – and the option to “mobilize and demobilize” the island.
- It’s an independent solution capable of hosting its own power generation and sewage treatment, as well as a separate transportation system that includes water taxis, ferries, and private boats
- It provides labor demand up to and until the World Cup
- Fully customizable, it can be adjusted to Qatar or the demands of the World Cup with regards to rooms, facilities, architecture, design, and more
- It will be able to accommodate up to 25,000 people, most importantly of all
Will this be a new trend in the hotel industry? We’d guess not. Though it offers a short-lived and economically-friendly solution to lodging shortages, the cost, time (Oryx Island requires a seven- to eight-year completion time), and magnitude of such a project suggests that similar floating hotels are not likely to be commonplace.
Still, it’s a neat idea. After all, who wouldn’t want to say that they slept on water – or, for that matter, saw the World Cup live?