Cafes and hotels in Dubai raise prices during the World Cup | News Bharat

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — During the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, cafes, restaurants, hotels and furnished apartments in Dubai are welcoming a million pre-match soccer fans who chose the emirate and other cities in the United Arab Emirates (United Arab Emirates) as a destination. to watch the matches.

Earlier in November, Dubai’s Directorate General of Residency and Foreign Affairs had announced the issuance of a 90-day multiple-entry tourist visa allowing football fans to enter and exit the UAE while en route to Doha to watch the matches live, using more than 54 scheduled daily shuttle flights from Dubai to Doha during the tournament. As Qatar is a relatively small country to host all the World Cup fans, the UAE saw this as an opportunity.

These measures will help boost the tourism sector in Dubai, while residents and visitors to the Emirates suffer from high prices for hotels and rental apartments. Many furnished apartment owners increased their prices ahead of the event, specifically in Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Jumeirah Lake Towers and Downtown Dubai.

Fadi Khozam, a Syrian resident living in the Dubai Marina area, told Al-Monitor that he rents a room in a shared apartment for which he paid 2,500 dirhams a month ($700) until October. The building’s owner then raised the monthly rent to 3,500 dirhams (about $950) per room, he said.

“I have not found any alternative. All rooms are very expensive. Prices for unfurnished studios have increased due to high demand even in remote areas like Sport City and Motor City. I need to stay in Dubai Marina because it is close from my job at Media City,” he added.

Khozam is just one of many foreign residents now paying higher monthly rent.

Foreign residents make up around 90% of the UAE’s population of 9.2 million.

Nawal Naji, a Tunisian who works for a bank in Dubai, told Al-Monitor that she wanted to travel to Qatar to attend the World Cup, especially since her country is participating in the tournament. But the cheapest flight ticket from the Emirates to Doha is 5,000 dirhams ($1,500), plus entry tickets and accommodation. Meanwhile, hotels in Doha are full.

He said he prefers to go to cafes or fan zones designated by Dubai Municipality to watch matches on giant screens.

Khaled Azgoud, a young Moroccan who works in a hospital in Dubai, agreed with Naji.

Morocco also participates in the tournament, but Azgoud’s economic situation, in addition to the impossibility of taking a long vacation, are reasons that force him, like many others, to watch the matches in the fan zones from Dubai for an entry fee of 70 dirhams ($20).

Dubai hotels have been full since late September despite rising prices.

Momina Hamad, public relations executive at Palazzo Versace Dubai, told Al-Monitor: “The rate for a single room in the hotel went from 700 dirhams. [$200] per night at between 1,200 and 1,600 dirhams [$350-$400]. The suite rate increased to Dh2,700 [$735] per night.”

He added: “There are no rooms available in our hotel or any other hotel. Many people want to book a small room, but they are not available. This situation is expected to continue until after New Year’s Eve.”

In addition, several restaurants and cafes in Dubai took advantage of the World Cup to raise their prices and impose a minimum charge of 100 dirhams ($25).

Hasan Ayach, manager of Kahloun Lebanese Restaurant and Cafe in Jumeirah Park, said the restaurant was forced to impose a minimum charge because the package proposed by beIN Sports, the Qatari-owned sports channel and official broadcaster of the Cup from the World to the Middle East and North Africa, for commercial buildings, cafes and restaurants include a fee of 11,000 dirhams ($3,000) per screen to show the matches.

“We are not exploiting customers, but we had to raise our prices to make a profit,” he told Al-Monitor.

Nayel Osman, owner of Al-Shorfa Syrian restaurant in the Jumeirah Beach Residence area, told Al-Monitor: “We set a minimum charge of 75 dirhams. [$20]. We paid 44,000 dirhams [$12,000] [to beIN Sports] for four screens. We are not taking advantage [of the event]but we want to make up for our losses since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which affected tourism.”

He added: “Also, some people come in and just ask for a cup of tea for 20 dirhams [$5.45] and stay for hours, while there are fans who come to watch the matches and order a hookah and food. So imposing an entry price is beneficial for us.”

For those who prefer to watch the matches over a drink or a quick meal, Dubai Municipality has allocated fan zones in various areas of the emirate, with some serving alcohol, such as in the Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach areas Residence and hotels.

Elido Paul, a Filipino and supervisor of a fan zone in Media City, told Al-Monitor that the entrance fee is 60 dirhams ($16.30) for adults and 30 dirhams ($8.17 dollars) for children under 12, and they pay what they ask. , which he said is a fair price.

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