Doha (EFE).- Qatar 2022 presents a very wide gastronomic offer for fans from all over the world and with different palates.
Some lean towards the strong flavors of the Middle East, others towards the Indian gastronomy of migrant workers and the most conservative take refuge in international chains.
In hotels and shopping malls, in stadiums and Fan Festivals, in the streets, markets and even in supermarkets, the fans who came to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup have not stopped consuming.
Contrary to the high costs of tickets, flights and accommodation, the gastronomy in the Gulf country offers alternatives for those who have a more or less important budget.
From a $2 chicken Indian biryani rice in a tiny, unassuming corner of a Doha alleyway to endless feasts of delicacies from around the world for hundreds of euros at the most luxurious hotels and restaurants, fans have tried everything.
“Indian, Thai, Iraqi, Turkish food, we didn’t stop,” Ariel Dean, who arrived from Argentina and very satisfied with the gastronomic offer of this World Cup, told Efe.
Choosing where to eat, he explains, depends on each day’s circumstances and where he sleeps that night. The first few days, he stayed with friends in a district further from the city center, where he found “a very local gastronomic circuit, not very touristy and where you could eat very well and very inexpensively”.
On match days, however, they returned to their accommodation in the early hours and ended up eating at international fast-food chains.
The variety of Souq Waqi
One of the places that Ariel and most of those consulted have visited the most is Souq Waqif, a market in the heart of Doha that offers some of the most authentic flavors from both Qatar and the region, including Yemenis, Syrians, Lebanese. , Turks and Palestinians, among others.
Many also go to this souk in search of the spices that have caught their attention the most from the local gastronomy in order to reproduce these flavors at home.
Improvised kitchens also appear in its alleys in small stalls selling Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi products, in which many migrant workers go back and forth to eat for two or three euros.
“Here you have to try something typical but my stomach doesn’t get used to it and I end up going to malls looking for American or international chains, especially meat or pasta,” says Rodolfo Ocampo, who confesses to missing the food of his native Mexico.
Like him, there are thousands and thousands of fans who go every day to the huge shopping malls that flood the streets of Doha and are also very popular with the local population.
These have food courts with flavors from around the world and at relatively affordable prices, and have an added value that most restaurants in the Souk do not have: air conditioning.
Eat at the stadium
In stadiums, the options are smaller and a bit more expensive. The best seller by far is the chicken shawarma. It costs eight euros, usually comes out hot and is quite filling.
Well-seasoned cheeseburgers and frankfurters follow, obviously pork-free as this is a Muslim country.
For those who can afford prices of over a thousand euros per ticket, the eight World Cup stadiums also feature a VIP section called Hospitality where you can enjoy fresh sushi, traditional dishes, different cuts of meat and a large variety of desserts, all accompanied by the drink of your choice, including alcoholic beverages.
Finally, a very popular option, especially by budget fans, are the supermarkets.
Most of them have many prepared food options, ranging from salads and sandwiches to chicken or meat dishes with rice.
These meals oscillate between 5 and 10 euros and have been a salvation for many, not only for the prices but also for presenting a well-known alternative, both for the palate and for the stomach.