Premium care for the well-heeled
DUBAI (AFP) – A fleet of luxury yachts floating in the harbor are among the five-star options as Dubai pulls out all the stops for well-heeled football fans who want to watch the World Cup in style.
Those without tickets but with thousands of dollars in reserve can watch the games on the big screen from the top deck of a $20,000 yacht at night, with the skyline of the financial center as a backdrop. of the Gulf.
With more than a hint of Dubai’s trademark bling, the three-story, 140-foot vessel features a big screen, a Jacuzzi and a chic lounge with L-shaped sofas and a statue of shimmering crystal leopard.
The UAE city, an hour’s flight from World Cup host Qatar, is among Gulf destinations expecting to enjoy an overflow of fans looking for more entertainment options. accommodation.
“This one is $20,000 for an overnight charter,” said Jainney Thakker, marketing manager for Xclusive Yachts. AFPemphasizing the characteristics of the boat.
“We have a chef on board who offers gourmet cuisine from around the world,” added Thakker.
The boat, which can accommodate up to 125 people, is one of a number of pristine white yachts in Dubai Marina, moored and ready to welcome the influx of fans once the tournament kicks off on Sunday .
In one of its rooms, a large dining table flanked by upholstered chairs and bouquets of white roses is set with glass plates and silver cutlery.
An outdoor jacuzzi offers stunning views from the stern. And for anyone who wants to travel to Qatar during the World Cup, the same company offers a separate package for 100,000 USD for a trip of around six days.
Thakker said his company has received more than 15 nightly reservations so far, mostly for groups of two to three people.
“The people who book with us are definitely the real VIPs…you know the supercar owners, some of the really creme (de la creme) crowd,” she said.
On land, Dubai is gearing up with fan zones in parks, beaches and in the financial hub, while hotels are offering special packages.
Entrance to a fan zone in the Port of Dubai, with 330 square meter screens, costs US$21 for standing space.
But a coffee table for eight is over $920, while a premium suite for 15 sells for $3,676, including unlimited drinks.
High-end offerings bolster Dubai’s well-cultivated reputation as a luxury destination, an image bolstered by a string of reality TV shows, including Netflix’s international hit Dubai Bling.
The show, which follows a cast described as millionaires, tops the platform’s viewing lists across the Middle East, although some object to the portrayal of a city that is also home to many migrant workers poorly qualified.
To appease World Cup supporters, the UAE is offering multiple entry visas at a nominal price of USD 27 to visiting supporters.
Low-cost airline flydubai will operate at least 30 return flights a day to Doha, as part of a daily airlift of 160 shuttle services from Gulf cities set up for the World Cup.
“The luxury market of Dubai and to some extent Abu Dhabi is probably the best placed among other Gulf economies, with the exception of Qatar, to benefit from the World Cup,” said James Swanston of Capital Economics.
“A more liberal atmosphere compared to other Gulf counterparts…makes it conducive for tourists to visit,” he added.