Qatar plans to pitch 1,000 “Bedouin style” tents in the desert for World Cup football fans. The Gulf state hopes to attract 1.2 million visitors, equivalent to nearly half of its population, for the 28-day tournament in November and December. Bedouin are desert nomads who traditionally live under canvas, and the tents will spring up on the desert landscapes surrounding Doha to offer visitors an authentic taste of Qatari camping, said Omar Al-Jaber, head of accommodation at tournament organiser the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. The tents will be supplied with water and electricity and have drainage systems, but no air conditioning. Qatar is known for extreme summer heat but moderate winters – the weather should be relatively mild when the tournament kicks off on November 21 , with average high temperatures around 29 degrees Celsius (85 degrees Fahrenheit). “We will give the opportunity for fans to live in a desert,” Al-Jaber said. A separate camp of 200 tents will be luxurious, commanding “expensive” nightly fees. These will be set up along a beach called the Sealine in the country’s south, on the edge of the desert, with other areas also to be announced, Jaber said. Qatar has fewer than 30,000 hotel rooms, according to the most recent estimates by Qatar Tourism, and 80 per cent of them are allocated to guests of Fifa, international football’s governing body, Al-Jaber said. Fifa will release rooms that teams, referees, media and other officials don’t need as the tournament draws closer, an official of the body said. Qatar has had to boost its non-hotel accommodation, and two cruise ships moored in Doha port and shared villas and flats will provide at least 69,000 rooms. Most of them will be managed by Accor, Europe’s largest hotel operator. There are also plans to install prefabricated fan villages on empty plots, Al-Jaber said. “In total, we have more than 100,000 rooms and still there are some new options,” he said, assuring there would be enough accommodation for everyone, even at the end of November, when visitor numbers will be at their highest during the tournament’s group stage. Nevertheless, current lodging options are scant and expensive – Qatar’s official accommodation website recently offered two-bedroom flats on the outskirts of Doha for US$390 a night and a suite aboard a moored cruise ship for US$1,650 a night at the end of November. Many visitors won’t stay overnight because Qatar has invited regional airlines to operate more than 180 daily shuttle flights, allowing fans to fly in from nearby cities for the day, easing accommodation pressure in Doha.