Greetings from the United Arab Emirates!
After nearly 4 and a half years for the reason that remaining match of the final World Cup, I’m all set to hitch followers from everywhere in the world in Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
This might be my third time attending the world’s best sporting occasion, after totally having fun with my earlier experiences in Brazil in 2014 and Russia in 2018.
The planning course of for this journey was significantly advanced, as I’ll be stationed within the UAE all through most the motion, and strategically repositioning to Qatar as wanted as a result of inflated value of lodging throughout the World Cup.
Identical to most followers of the gorgeous recreation, I’ve been counting down the times to the World Cup ever for the reason that final one ended.
It’s an excellent interval of soccer fever – although uniquely going down within the winter this 12 months, relatively than the summer time, and the primary version within the Arab world – and a time to revel with different followers from all corners of the globe.
This might be my first time attending a World Cup with “pores and skin within the recreation”, as I’ll be supporting Staff Canada at our first World Cup in 36 years at our matches in opposition to Croatia and Morocco within the coming weeks.
Absolutely, I received’t be the one Canadian in attendance, and I’ll be preserving a eager eye out for fellow followers – and sure some Prince of Journey readers – to cheer with.
With hundreds of thousands of followers descending on the tiny nation of Qatar, flights and lodging had been comparatively troublesome to return by at an inexpensive value. Thus, I opted to make use of the close by metropolises of Dubai and Abu Dhabi as my residence bases for this journey.
That is yet one more occasion when Miles & Factors has unlocked unimaginable worth, offering me entry to premium flights and luxurious motels at a fraction of the value throughout a time when the price of all the pieces is in any other case inflated.
As typical, I aimed to maximise my in-flight experiences as I used to be planning out my journey to the World Cup in Qatar.
Getting from the West Coast to the Center East undoubtedly requires some long-haul flying, and I needed to make sure a snug trip alongside the best way, all whereas reviewing just a few new airline merchandise and making the most of some redemption candy spots.
This a part of the world is residence to a number of the world’s most famous airways, together with Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad Airways, so naturally, that’s the place I targeted my efforts.
For my outbound flights, I positioned myself from Vancouver to Chicago earlier than hopping on a direct enterprise class flight to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways on the Airbus A350-1000, booked utilizing 85,000 Aeroplan factors previous to the current award chart devaluation.
Area on this route isn’t significantly troublesome to return by, particularly when reserving some time upfront, and I used to be inquisitive about evaluating this new product in opposition to Etihad’s enterprise class product on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Coming residence, I saved a eager eye on any Qsuites availability from Doha to North American hubs, however since Qatar Airways had initially blocked off all premium award house throughout the World Cup, I needed to act shortly if something fruitful grew to become out there.
Happily, Qatar Airways launched a late swath of Qsuites availability over the past month or so, and I managed to attain a flight from Doha to Seattle for simply 70,000 Qatar Airways Avios.
My accomplice Jessy might be becoming a member of me for a part of the journey, and I used to be in a position to ebook her on a handy Qsuites flight out of San Francisco, as effectively.
To get between Abu Dhabi and Doha’s secondary Doha Worldwide Airport (DIA), which is getting used to deal with the extra inflow of World Cup attendees, I took benefit of a lesser-known candy spot with Aeroplan.
Regional flights between the 2 cities may be booked for 7,500 or 15,000 Aeroplan factors in economic system and enterprise class, respectively, which gives unimaginable worth in comparison with the present astronomical money costs.
By leveraging the worth that redeeming factors can supply in instances like these, I’ll have squeezed nice worth out of my Aeroplan factors, even on a short-haul flight.
The first motive for basing myself out of the UAE throughout the World Cup is the sky-high value of lodging in Qatar. So as to add insult to harm, most of the out there choices don’t come near matching the value level by way of the standard of lodging.
With no scarcity of luxurious lodge choices in Dubai & Abu Dhabi, and to help the work of our recently-launched journey company, I’ll be embarking on a hotel-hopping journey as soon as once more.
Over the approaching weeks, you may count on critiques of the next properties:
- St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi (60,000 Bonvoy factors)
- Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi (25,000 World of Hyatt factors)
- The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal (Free Night time Award price 35,000 factors + 5,000 factors)
- W Dubai Mina Seyahi (80,500 Bonvoy factors)
- Le Méridien Dubai Mina Seyahi (Money and factors price of 30,000 Bonvoy factors + 380 AED)
- The Dubai EDITION (82,000 Bonvoy factors)
- Andaz Dubai The Palm (23,000 World of Hyatt factors)
- Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi (Money and factors price of 35,000 Bonvoy factors + 560 AED)
- W Abu Dhabi Yas Island (Free Night time Award price 35,000 factors + 8,000 factors)
- The Abu Dhabi EDITION (60,000 Bonvoy factors)
- St. Regis Abu Dhabi (Free Night time Award price 50,000 factors + 2,000 factors)
Maybe in distinction to those high-end lodge stays, I additionally booked three nights at a reasonably no-frills native residence in Doha for about $250 (USD) per night time, which was one of many many lodging varieties out there for visiting followers.
It’s all a part of the World Cup expertise, in fact, and I definitely don’t thoughts staying in a neighborhood neighbourhood in Doha to combine issues up a bit. In spite of everything, there might be loads of alternatives to remain at Doha motels sooner or later once they aren’t charging $5,000+ per night time. 😉
After a four-year hiatus, the World Cup is about to start, and I’m teeming with pleasure to attend my third successive event.
I’m very glad to have been in a position to rating direct flights in enterprise class between North America and the Center East, together with each a brand new airline product within the type of the Etihad Airways A350 and an previous favorite onboard Qatar Airways Qsuites.
The truth that I’m reaching 10+ cents per level (cpp) from my intra-Gulf flights in comparison with the inflated money value in the intervening time is just the cherry on high.
If any Prince of Journey readers are additionally in Qatar over the approaching weeks, and particularly for those who’re attending the Canada matches, be at liberty to drop me a line beneath and let’s see if we will prepare a meetup!