The unprecedented 2022 World Cup in Qatar is fast approaching with domestic leagues across Europe poised to come to a standstill.
The hosts get the tournament underway on 20 November as they take on Ecuador in Group A. England’s campaign, meanwhile, begins a day later against IR Iran.
Despite enduring a pitiful UEFA Nations League campaign in 2022, the Three Lions head into the World Cup as one of the favourites to go all the way. Gareth Southgate has a myriad of luxuries at his disposal in what could be his last major tournament as England boss.
The harmony within the national team squad has been key to their recent success, and such unity will be pivotal in an unfamiliar football environment at the World Cup, Thus, where a team stays throughout the tournament as well as their training base could have a more profound effect on performance than you might think.
So, where are England staying in Qatar? Here’s everything you need to know.
England are staying near the Doha city centre at the Souq Al Wakra Hotel Qatar by Tivoli.
Their main training site throughout the tournament will be the Al Wakrah Sports Complex Stadium.
The Souq Al Wakra Hotel – owned by Tivoli Hotels and Resorts Group – is a five-star beach resort located ten miles south of Doha. The resort is a little further away from the main network of stadiums in the country compared to other bases, but all the necessary locations are easily accessible by road.
The Souq Al Wakra is laden with luxury with the hotel boasting five restaurants and lounges, majlis seating, a spa, and a fitness centre. A room in this hotel will set you back just upwards of £100 per night, which certainly isn’t too expensive.
To avoid boredom, the England players will likely be entertained by a driving simulator, PlayStation, basketball, table tennis, pool and darts. There isn’t too much to do outside of the hotel in the fishing village of Al Wakra.
Unsurprisingly, though, the Souq Al Wakra failed to avoid controversy in the build-up to the World Cup. The hotel has reportedly failed to pay the wages of migrant workers in low-paid jobs, while some workers were sacked with little warning or without severance pay during the Covid-19 pandemic. Workers have also complained about a lack of overtime payments.
It is one of 17 official FIFA hotels being investigated by Equidem, a human rights and labour rights charity, for potential worker exploitation.