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Indians are recording their presence in the ongoing FIFA World Cup which is being held in Qatar.Despite the fact that the Indian team not even playing in the tournament, Indian fans were the second highest group of visitors to Doha during the Group games, according to a report by FIFA after the end of group stage games.

With around 60,000 Indian visitors so far at the World Cup, the number is already more than the number of Indians who had gone to Russia for the previous world cup.

According to FIFA, the top five visitors (top 5 nationalities) are from Saudi Arabia with 77,106 nationals, India at second with 56,893 nationals ,USA, UK and Mexico complete the top five with 36,236, 30,719 and 25,533 nationals at the end of the group stage games in Qatar.

Unlike previous editions of the FIFA World Cup, this time around the tournament is being held in the comparative vicinity of the country which has encouraged the Indian tourist to experience first-hand this once-in-4-year global sporting event.

The growing preference for unique experiences (especially among the Millennial and Gen Z travellers), combined with growing spending power among the Indian tourists has played a key role in driving them to turn up in large numbers in Doha.

 

FIFA.COM
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FIFA.COM

“Sports has always been a powerful magnate. The Olympics, F1 Racing, Wimbledon, and FIFA World Cup have always had their charm, not counting the cricket World Cup and other cricket tourneys globally. FIFA World Cup this time is right next door. Tickets too have been easier to procure as crowds from Europe and LataAm have been thinner in attendance. Not all Indians at the World Cup are from India.  A predominant number are NRIs and from GCC countries."A large number of World Cup visitors are at the corporate expense - dealers, vendors, and partners are on ‘incentive’ tours.The individual self-playing soccer Indian fans are far less numerous. Attending global sports events is fun and imparts bragging rights - important for social esteem and social media," said Dr Sandeep Goyal MD Rediffusion.

“With the announcement of Qatar being named the home for the FIFA World Cup 2022, it surely catalysed the tourism growth in the Middle East in leaps and bounds.People all over the world are crazy about FIFA, and Indians want to see the huge event.The ripple effect felt was so big that Indian fans became the second-highest group of visitors to Doha,"said Ashish Sidhra- Co-founder of Alike.io.

If we look at the statistics, around 60,000 Indian visitors have seen the FIFA match so far, which is more than the number of Indians who had visited the previous world cup in Russia.

 Dubai also took advantage of its close proximity with Qatar and welcomed foreign visitors to bolster Dubai tourism

This power presence is not lost on the host country, with Qatar going all out to woo Indian tourists to visit during and after the FIFA football World Cup.According to reports, the honour of unveiling the World Cup Trophy during the finals will be non-other than Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone.

 

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