Skift Take

As football fans from around the world make a beeline to catch their favorite stars in action, Doha becomes the top trending destination. However, being the most geographically-compact World Cup host comes with its own set of challenges.

Doha is the world’s top trending destination, with the biggest rise in searches over the last three years — from 2019 to 2022, according to a report by Skyscanner.

As the Qatar capital gets set to welcome travelers from around the world for the Federation Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) World Cup 2022 from November 21 to December 18, the city of Doha has surged 262 places to occupy the top spot at trending destinations for travelers from Americas.

Doha has also moved up 172 places to be ranked as the highest trending destination in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and has surged 169 places to be the fourth trending destination for Asia Pacific travelers.

Interest in Doha has surged across all regions as football fans prepare for the 2022 world cup in Qatar this year, said Hugh Aitken, Skyscanner VP of Flights. “The Middle East is a key hub connecting East and West and is benefitting from both good capacity and connectivity as travel returns.”

However, the Qatar world cup will pose a challenge to security authorities as this will be the most geographically-compact world cup. All the games would be taking place in and around Doha.

With football fans coming in droves, controlling them would be the biggest security challenge, FIFA had said on Sunday during a two-day security conference ahead of the world cup.

With Qatar spending more than $200 billion on the 2022 event, this is touted to be the most expensive world cup in history.

The event is set to take place over eight stadia within a 30-mile radius of Doha, seven of which are brand new and the eighth one has been majorly upgraded for the world cup.

This race against time linked to the creation of the infrastructure has led to accusations of human rights violation in Qatar for the world cup.

Qatar is anticipating 1.5 million footballs fans to attend the world cup this year.


Middle East Travel Roundup

Get the latest news from the Middle East in one easy-to-digest newsletter.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: asia monthly, doha, fifa, middle east, qatar, report, skyscanner, survey, world cup

Photo credit: Doha is the world's top trending destination according to a Skyscanner report. waseem lazknai / Pixabay

Up Next

Loading next stories