File photo used for representation only
Luxury car rentals and limousine companies have leveraged the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to grow their business with several offers for visiting fans and those planning to host friends and family.
Organisers expect around 1.5 million fans to visit Qatar during the tournament.
Hosting a tournament like the World Cup, the first in the Arab world and the Middle East, is projected to drive the development and diversity of the country’s economy, especially tourism and small and medium-scale enterprises. Consequently, the local economy is boosted by direct expenditure by sports visitors at host facilities, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
Besides, hosting the World Cup has already led to significant infrastructural development directly impacting the economy.
Speaking to The Peninsula, Emmanuel Okorie, a car rental company manager, said, “We have so many rental companies in Doha and with the World Cup just over 80 days away, the competition is high to project more market visibility and patronage.
"Several companies are offering many services, some straight from the airport. Some go as far as booking hotels for visiting fans, airport pick-up services, and daily pick up and drop off as long as the client wants.”
Emmanuel said there has also been an increase in delivery service patronage by drivers. “The shift to taking up delivery jobs for online food ordering companies keeps increasing daily. Many have discovered this is more profitable than some mobility service providers, especially as we head to the World Cup. “Qatar will be hosting many people, which would mean more opportunities. Many people prefer to order their food online, hence, more demand for drivers.”
However, Emmanuel said while bigger rentals are primed for success during the World Cup, some smaller companies don’t have the resources to compete with their counterparts. “Most rental companies sincerely don’t have any advantage due to resources. It’s all about funds, and I think the big companies are at a significant advantage as they can afford the cars.
He said, “Most automobile companies don’t give these small companies cars under favourable conditions. For instance, a company that used to include a 30% down payment to supply newer models now charges 60 or 70%. Many can’t afford that.
“For new brands in the Qatari market, though they offer a more flexible payment plan, they are at a disadvantage because their spare parts are still scarce in the market. Hence, these cars are not too appealing for Limousine and rental car services.”