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Two MSC Cruises ships to operate in Doha, Qatar for the duration of the tournament

Doha, Qatar, 18 November 2019 – Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has signed an agreement with MSC Cruises to charter two cruise liners to accommodate fans during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

The cruise liners, which feature a combined capacity of 4,000 cabins, will act as floating hotels during the tournament. They will be berthed at Doha Port, giving fans a spectacular view of the West Bay skyline.

Chartering cruise liners for fans has long been part of Qatar’s accommodation strategy, with the country keen to offer sustainable solutions for the month-long tournament, which will kick-off on 21 November 2022.

His Excellency Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transports and Communications, congratulated the SC for its collaboration with MSC and said significant progress had been made in accomplishing the country’s ambitious plans in the field of transport and communications, which will serve all visitors during the FIFA World Cup and provide an exceptional experience.

Al Sulaiti said: “The Ministry of Transport and Communications has completed the development of Doha Port to accommodate multiple large passenger ships and enable the port’s capacity to receive the largest cruise ships in the world, serving fans and visitors who come to Qatar during the 2022 World Cup.”

Al Sulaiti also noted that the Ministry has completed the development of standards to facilitate access to Qatar’s transportation system, in addition to providing a comprehensive information portal on mobility and applications that visitors and fans will be able to use during the tournament.

His Excellency Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the SC, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with MSC Cruises to deliver this unique accommodation option for fans in 2022. We are sure fans from all over the world will be excited at the prospect of staying on board a cruise ship, with a fabulous view of West Bay, and fast access to all the stadiums and fan zones.”

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said: “We are delighted that Qatar has selected our ships to ensure that tourists who visit the country during the upcoming FIFA World Cup have high-end accommodation and services available to further enrich their experience. The tournament is one of the world’s most popular events and this will be another opportunity for holidaymakers from across the globe converging on Doha to experience our ships and enjoy the unique international experience that only MSC Cruises can offer.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the State of Qatar will charter MSC Cruises’ MSC Europa and MSC Poesia. Scheduled for delivery in 2022, MSC Europa is currently under construction in Saint-Nazaire, France. As the first liquefied natural gas-powered ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet, she will run on this fuel while at berth in Doha. Being the most environmentally friendly marine fuel currently available, her air emissions will be kept to a minimum. She also features, like all cruise ships from MSC Cruises’ fleet, advanced waste and water treatment systems, in addition to a wide range of cutting-edge environmental technologies for cleaner air emissions and minimised environmental footprint.

In addition to floating hotels, Qatar’s other accommodation options will include hotels, apartments and fan villages.

Yasir Al Jamal, Chairman of the SC’s Host Country Operations Office and Vice Chairman of the Technical Delivery Office, said: “We are determined to deliver a range of accommodation options which will suit every taste and budget in 2022. It is important we provide sustainable solutions for the country while ensuring an unmatched fan experience.”

In 2022, the cruise ships will be served by shuttle buses which will take fans to Qatar’s transport infrastructure, including Doha Metro, from where they will be able to access stadiums, fan zones and other attractions.


About the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) is tasked with delivering proposed tournament venues and projects for the FIFA World Cup 2022™ – the first to be held in the Middle East – while ensuring that its preparations align with Qatar National Vision 2030. The SC is currently focused on achieving the goals set out in its 2015-18 Strategic Plan.

These goals include:

• Effective programme and stakeholder management to ensure the timely delivery of infrastructure and proposed competition and non-competition venues.
• Fostering the development of Qatar's private sector and streamlining regulatory frameworks.
• Finding exceptional local and international talent.
• Integrating Qatari culture into our hosting plans to provide the best possible image of the Middle East when the world arrives for our FIFA World Cup™.
• Making Qatari football more competitive and encouraging healthy lifestyles among the local population.
• Meeting our goal of an environmentally sustainable FIFA World Cup™ by adopting high environmental standards on all projects.

About the Ministry of Communications and Transport

The sustainable development of our country in all its aspects, whether human, economic or social, reflects the stated aims and objectives of our political leadership, led by the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar.

Transportation and communication play a vital role in all areas of modern life. They ensure the delivery of goods and services for individuals and communities, underpin the growth of other sectors, such as agriculture, industry, mining and trade and drive the development of modern cities, societies and economies.

The establishment of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and its mandates in accordance with Emiri Decree No. 4 of 2016 is an expression of the goals that we all seek for our State in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. The Ministry confirms its commitment to hard and diligent work through projects and programs that aim to build a land, maritime and aviation transportation system founded on the latest technologies and best practices in the sector.

The Ministry also performs a critical and far-reaching role in overseeing the development of the information and communications technology sector to make it more vibrant and advanced, and in creating a diversified economy that will benefit all the people of Qatar, as well as developing e-government programs and boosting capacity and digital literacy to foster a technology-friendly environment that introduces innovative approaches to how we communicate, live and work.

The Ministry invites all public and private entities to cooperate in order to continue to develop our homeland and achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030.

About MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is the fastest growing cruise line in the world. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises is part of the Cruises Division of MSC Group, the privately-held Swiss-based leading shipping and logistics conglomerate.

MSC Cruises’ fleet of 17 modern and innovative ships is one of the most environmentally-advanced in the industry. The Company is committed to environmental stewardship and works to minimise and continuously reduce the environmental impact of its fleet both while at sea and ashore by employing innovative marine and environmental technologies.

An industry-unprecedented €11.6 billion plan will see MSC Cruises’ fleet increase to 25 ships by 2027. Additionally, MSC Group’s Cruises Division is investing an additional €2 billion in a new luxury cruise brand comprising four super-yacht ships, launching one per year between 2023 and 2026.

Sailing to more than 200 destinations across five continents, MSC Cruises brings together more than 180 nationalities from around the world, offering an enriching and immersive cruise experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage. Expect to find international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programmes and the very latest guest-friendly technology onboard.