The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has significantly boosted sales of about 400 food and beverage outlets (kiosks) in the areas surrounding the tournament stadiums and fan zones that host cultural and entertainment events, with an expected increase in turnout of 1.2 million fans by the end.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), several managers of these projects estimated that the turnout during the World Cup first week surged by 80 percent to record levels compared to the days preceding the tournament launch on November 20, with the positive impact and momentum.
In August, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and the Aspire Katara Hospitality company announced the availability of hundreds of food and beverage outlets for rent in many locations in the country, including the areas surrounding the stadiums that host the World Cup matches, the Doha Corniche for a 6 km distance, and other places that witnesses fans' entertainment activities.
Entrepreneurs in the food and beverage sectors benefited from these investment opportunities, as they confirmed that the influx of tourists and fans of international teams to Qatar has revived their sales of various types of food and beverages to almost double compared to the pre-tournament period, especially since some visitors have a great passion to know Qatari and Arab cuisines, exploring local food with all its components, in addition to buying handicrafts of the traditional nature of the Qatari people.
The outlets are distributed in about 9 areas for fans zones and inside the stadiums, taking into account the size of the area, its breadth, and the density of the fans' presence in it. There are two types of outlets, the first contains food and drinks, while the second contains gifts, souvenirs, and heritage and historical items.
In this context, Abdul Ghafoor Mohammed, who runs an outlet for selling drinks and juices on the Doha Corniche, said that turnout levels reached record levels of about 80 percent during the first week of the World Cup, pointing out that they start working from 11 am until 12 am, emphasising that the project is feasible from an economic point of view and that work is proceeding flexibly to meet the needs of visitors.
He stated that the shops and commercial outlets are in line with the state's directions and strategy aimed at hosting the first carbon-neutral edition of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, as all shops committed to using paper cups and utensils that can be recycled, which reinforces the country's plans to establish global standards in the field of preserving the environment, to serve as a role model in the major world championships, in addition to building a sustainable legacy that benefits future generations.
The outlets offer their services to the guests of the World Cup in many locations; a fan who wants to attend the match can have his meal before entering the stadium or during the events and enjoy the tournament's atmosphere.
Mohammed Abdullah, who runs a confectionery shop on the Doha Corniche, highlighted the variety of outlets, including fast food, drinks, juices, sweets and nuts, stressing that the municipality's inspectors do conduct field visits and submit reports twice a day, in order to ensure the cleanliness and quality of services in shops.
He expected that the pace of turnout will increase in the coming period with an increase in visitor flows to Qatar.
The momentum of the tournament has made a positive impact in Qatar, benefiting more than 3 million food and beverage outlets, according to Qatar Tourism data, which allowed visitors to taste a variety of food and beverages in the country, and Qatari cuisine is the most famous, which derives its characteristics from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, affected by the great diversity of 100 communities living in the State.
Osama Saeed, a visitor to Qatar, said that it is easy to find the original cuisines of most of the countries of the region in the restaurants hosted by Souq Waqif or other commercial centres, pointing to the diversity of restaurants and the availability of oriental, Arabic, Western, Chinese, Japanese and many other cuisines that suit all cultures and tastes.
Data from the Planning and Statistics Authority showed that the activities of accommodation and food services amounted to about 5116 businesses, employing about 77,785 workers, 66,754 males and 11,031 females, according to the classification of businesses by sector and main economic activity by the end of December 2020.
The World Cup in Qatar has provided the impetus to all sectors of the Qatari economy, including the tourism and hospitality sector, especially with the increase in visitors to the country and the increase in the population of Qatar to more than 3 million people, and in conjunction with the State's plans to triple the number of tourists in the country, to reach 7 million tourists annually by 2030.