Doha (Special Envoy). – The city began to evacuate. After two weeks with Doha packed with visitors, heavy traffic and public transport at the border, The rhythm is starting to resemble the run-up to the World Cup. In places most frequented by visitors, such as markets Souk Wakif, Perla o KataraNow you don’t have to stand in line to eat. There are empty seats in the metro and the atmosphere seems more relaxed.
The first stage of the World Cup and the round of 16 are already history. Only eight teams remain in the running. The teams with the most supporters, such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico and other Asian countries, are going home. Argentine, Moroccan and BrazilianIn this order, the survivors in the quarterfinals have the most fans.
According to official data from the Supreme Committee of Qatar, During the four weeks of the World Cup, more than 1.6 million people would have passed through this country., The rankings are led by Saudis (residents of this emirate and who arrive for the day at each game), Indians (the “false” fans of Brazil and Argentina, in particular), Americans, British (English and Welsh) and Mexicans, who are now are also roaming around Qatar and they plan to stay till the finals.
Argentina is still behind on that list. They make themselves felt in the stadiums and in this endless week they spread through Doha until the decisive match against the Netherlands arrives. Who can do shopping and sightseeing. of the rest Manages to spend as little as possible and “survive” with the rapidly depreciating peso converted into Qatari riyals,
Calculations say that there are about 20,000 Argentinians together for Qatar. After the first phase a part came back and in the second phase the renewal started on flights from Eziza and other parts of the world.
Sebastian (33) and Santiago (32) They went to Buenos Aires school together. They meet in Qatar for their first World Cup, but One lives in Germany and the other in Australia, they tell Country that the six-day wait between the round of 16 and the quarter-finals seems “eternal” and that their salaries in strong currencies make it easier for them to maintain life in one of the world’s most expensive countries.
“We share a room in the cheapest neighborhood in Doha, which is full of Argentines. Comparing Santiago, we pay about US$50 each day in Waraba, which is cheaper than the cost of a hostel in Sydney Both arrived with tickets and bought breakfast and lunch at a neighborhood supermarket. They eat at a restaurant once a day.
Similar situation to Jonathan, who is Argentinian but lives in Vancouver. “Prices are pretty similar to Canada. You go to places that are nice and others where they make you break your head”I assure
However, for those who have had their pesos converted to Qatari riyals and use “card dollars” to extend their stay, the situation is much more inconvenient.
This is the case of Javier and Gonzalo, who traveled from Morón to the capital of Qatar. They are living in Caravan City, a city of trailer homes. “We eat noodles and we always buy at the supermarket. Since we can travel for free on the metro, we take the opportunity to walk around, but we do nothing but see Argentina. We have brought just enough and we want to last until Argentina continues, which hopefully will be until the final”, he explains.
Juan Pablo is from Olavarria and is in Doha with his father. He reached the group stage with full pay, but he dared to stay with the national team. “We had to move out and find other accommodation and the truth is the prices are expensive. food, calculate that you have to multiply it by four with respect to Olavaria; The difference is felt a lot with the change,” he says. Regarding the days between games in Australia and the Netherlands, he says he took the opportunity to “see and wander”. “We went to the museum, to the beach and we walked a lot. When we can, we go to the match between Morocco and Spain.
Lautaro was in Doha with his mother, Florencia, for the Round of 16 and will return after Friday’s game. “Change hits us because you have to measure the budget a lot. But there are accessible places to eat, you just have to look for them”, he explains. And that holds a widespread idiom among Argentines traveling the world: “The one who converts doesn’t enjoy it.”
Another widespread trend is people who came with savings and when they return they will “watch” how they pay off the card. “The World Cup happens once every four years, and for this we prepare and save,” argues Fabian from Santa Fe.
Staying in more comfortable budget hotels and enjoying a meal with a glass of wine for $30 a night can cost you over a hundred dollars. Some bought tickets for the second round of 16 and quarter-final matches. Watching soccer on the pitch is a great plan for those making it to the World Cup.
Concentrating the World Cup in a single city is also an unprecedented event for visitors. The entertainment options in Doha are varied but getting to know other cities and landscapes is very difficult in this small emirate which concentrates almost all its activities in the capital.
The most popular activities for days without games are split between the beach, shopping, and going to the desert. From the center of Doha, a tour of the dunes costs around US$360 for a 4×4 truck for six people. About $20,000 Argentina per passenger: Adrenaline among the dunes, photos with camels and a dip in the crystalline waters of Sea Line Beach, the narrow strait that separates Qatar from Saudi Arabia.
Going shopping in Doha is an incentive for those who have leisure. The choices are almost endless, with shopping malls (with luxury brands and the most popular clothing stores), specialty markets, and official FIFA products. Unless the card opposes.
The output of the average Argentine is concentrated in two activities: walking on the beach and sunbathing. Something that doesn’t cost anything.