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Most lavish World Cup package costs $1.6m – hotel not included

Pearl Lounge Match Hospitality
The Pearl Lounge will offer the best seats in the house and start at $4,950 for one game
  • UAE residents snap up 7,500 hospitality packages for Qatar 2022
  • Options include best seats and luxe service, but not hotels or flights
  • Locals can buy match tickets for as little as $10.99

UAE residents have bought 7,500 hospitality packages for the Qatar World Cup, with the most expensive option costing an eyewatering $1.6 million.

Football fans wanting to attend Qatar 2022 matches have two routes: FIFA’s ticket lottery, where prices start at 40 riyals ($10.99) for Qatar residents or 250 riyals for international supporters, or one of the official hospitality packages, which begin at $950.

Match Hospitality, which manages the packages for FIFA, is offering six products in Qatar and a spokesperson for the Zurich-based company told AGBI that more hospitality packages had been bought by customers in the UAE than for any previous World Cup.

The most lavish option is the Pearl Lounge package, which starts at $4,950 for a single match and costs $74,200 for 10 matches at the Lusail stadium, including the final on December 18.

The Pearl Lounge’s 22 guests will enjoy a luxury lounge with concierge service, the best views in the stadium, a six-course meal and a high-end drinks package – but the total price of $1,632,400 does not include hotels, flights to Qatar or transport to the stadium.

Next is the Match Private Suite, which starts at $3,050 per person or $22,450 for the suite.

A Match Business seat is priced from $3,050 and includes access to a stadium lounge, a four-course meal and a champagne drinks package.

The next package, Match Pavilion, includes a three-course deli-style hot meal and starts at $1,900.

The “entry-level” offering is Match Club, which starts at $950 for a single game. It includes access to an allocated area but not a specific seat, entry to a tented hospitality village inside the stadium perimeter, a drinks package of soft drinks, beer and wine, and street-style food – as well as the match ticket.

For the same price, there is also a Gallery Seat option, which guarantees a seat behind the goal as well as offering a three-course meal, drinks package and access to a shared lounge. 

None of the Match packages includes accommodation or flights, but Qatar Airways announced in May that it would partner with other Gulf carriers – including flydubai, Oman Air, Kuwait Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), Etihad Airways and Air Arabia – to operate more than 180 daily shuttle flights during the tournament.

Dubai-based Expat Sport is the exclusive sales agent for Match Hospitality in the UAE. Alan Holt, its managing director, told AGBI that his customers fell into three distinct camps.

“Corporate clients wanting to use the FIFA World Cup 2022 to entertain their top customers, avid fans wanting to support their national teams and finally, friends/families wanting to go and see top players like Messi or Ronaldo play as a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.

“The avid supporters are interesting as the UAE’s diverse demographic means literally every country has people from there now residing here, so from Iranians to Australians to Welsh to Polish.

“This gives most people here the chance to get involved and excited about going to, or watching, the tournament.”

Holt said the most popular package in the UAE was for the quarter-finals on December 9 and 10, as these fall on a long weekend in the UAE.

“We still have limited availability left for those packages but, for some of the group match games, our UAE inventory is running extremely low,” he added.

FIFA revealed in March that 804,186 match tickets had been sold in the first stage of the ticket lottery.

In the second phase, which ended in late April, 23.5 million fans applied for tickets. FIFA said the most popular matches were Argentina v Mexico, Argentina v Saudi Arabia, England v USA and Poland v Argentina.

Chair, Furniture, Restaurant
The Pearl Lounge promises a “six-course gastronomic showcase” along with the football. Picture: Match Hospitality

What you get for $1.6m

The Pearl Lounge package costs $74,200 per person for 10 matches at the Lusail stadium. The total bill for 22 people at the end of the tournament would be $1,632,400. It offers:

  • Entry to 10 matches at the stadium, with the best position and views. The 10 are six group games, a round of 16 match, a quarter-final, a semi-final and the final
  • Access to a private lounge, with space for 22 guests
  • Concierge service, with a dedicated hostess
  • Six-course gastronomic showcase, featuring à la carte options and live chef stations
  • In-lounge live entertainment
  • Selection of welcome drinks served by sommeliers and mixologists, including soft drinks, artisanal coffees, champagne and premium spirits
  • Full service for three hours before the match, and one hour after
  • Preferential reserved parking
  • A commemorative gift