“Qatar hopes to welcome the world to Doha for the FIFA World Cup. We expect and want people to respect our culture”, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said on Friday in Berlin when asked about the LGBTQIA+ community attending the tournament.
Hotels on the official list of recommended accommodations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar must welcome all guests in a “non-discriminatory manner”, or their contract will be terminated, FIFA said earlier this month.
A Scandinavian media survey analysis showed that three of the sixty-nine hotels on FIFA’s official list of recommended accommodations would deny entry to same-sex couples. Additionally, 33 hotels had no problem booking for same-sex couples, and twenty other hotels said they would accommodate them as long as they did not publicly show that they were gay.
Homosexuality is illegal in the Muslim majority state of Qatar. It will be hosting the World Cup from 21 November to 18 December. Since being made aware of the report, FIFA said that it had been in touch with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) and will ensure that the hotels mentioned are made aware of our strict requirements concerning welcoming guests in a non-discriminatory manner.
“Hotels and any other service provider associated with the FIFA World Cup who fail to comply with the high standards set by the organisers will have their contracts terminated. On top of that, the said requirements will continue to be reinforced in awareness-raising sessions and subsequently monitored and evaluated through audits and inspections of hotels linked to the FIFA World Cup,” said officials from FIFA.
“Qatar is fully aware of its responsibility to adhere to FIFA’s expectations and requirements on human rights, equality and non-discrimination. Qatar is committed to ensuring that everyone will enjoy the tournament in a safe and welcoming environment, building bridges of cultural understanding, and creating an inclusive experience for all participants, attendees, and local communities, including the LGBTQI+ community,” said officials from the Supreme Committee.
On Thursday, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) said that even though Qatar is a “conservative country”, it is “committed to delivering an inclusive FIFA World Cup experience that is safe, welcoming and accessible to all”. The three hotels mentioned in the report were Wyndham Grand Regency Doha, The Torch Doha, and Magnum Hotel & Suites Westbay.
“While observing and respecting the law of Qatar, Wyndham Grand Regency Doha does not in any way discriminate against guests of any background and aspires to deliver the highest guest satisfaction, which will only be possible by treating everyone fairly,” the hotel told said. However, the Magnum Hotel & Suites did not respond immediately to the survey questions. At the same time, the Torch referred to the Supreme Committee’s statement when asked about their policy for same-sex couples.
The chief operating officer of Qatar Tourism has said that FIFA World Cup rooms and other accommodation will be prioritised for FIFA World Cup 2022 ticket holders throughout the event. However, Berthold Trenkel added that “‘Guaranteed’ may be too hard a word” on whether ticket holders would be confirmed accommodation in the city with their ticket.
Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy has promised 130,000 rooms, comprising 48,000 hotel keys and 60,000 rooms in apartments and villas, plus around 4,000 rooms on two cruise ships and the remainder in fan villages.
Room allocation falls under the Supreme Committee, while Qatar Tourism is entrusted with promoting Qatar and its touristic offerings. In an interview, Trenkel said: “There are many opportunities for people to stay in Qatar. Accor, for example, is managing a further 60,000 rooms during the event; we have two floating hotels; we have tented accommodation and a growing holiday home sector.”