Qatar woos the rich with luxury World Cup
With deluxe match packages selling for thousands of dollars and five-star hotels doing a brisk trade, a sheen of glamour coats Qatar's World Cup despite football's working-class roots.
A penchant for luxury in the energy-rich Gulf state, which has one of the world's highest GDPs per head, has rubbed off on an unusually high-end edition of a tournament for the masses.
If you're able to spring $4,950 for a VIP ticket to a group game, you can enjoy drinks, a six-course meal and entertainment at a lounge overlooking the halfway line at Lusail Stadium, north of Doha.
Those with bottomless budgets in the resource-rich region have attractive accommodation options too, with one third-party site offering $4,000-a-night hotel rooms and $26,000 for a "head of state" suite, with a 30-night minimum stay.
Things are a little different for ordinary fans.
Cheaper options include a steel bed in a shared room in the semi-desert near the capital at $84 a night, or accommodation on docked cruise ships from $179 to $800.
Stadium crowds will include Qatar's migrant labourers, who were offered some tickets at 40 riyals ($11) to watch a sport whose players and core supporters are traditionally blue-collar.
Many supporters will stay elsewhere in the Gulf and board the estimated 100-200 World Cup shuttle flights a day from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman.
Even those options do not come cheap.
In Dubai, an hour's flight away and expected to be a major destination, an official World Cup package costs $1,500 for four nights in a shared room, including one return flight to Doha but no match tickets.
According to Robert Mogielnicki, senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in...
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