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Qatar tribune



As Qatar gears up to welcome over one million visitors during the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world, Golden Horizon, the world’s largest square-rigged cruise ship with five masts, will dock at the Old Doha Port four days before the kickoff of the tournament on November 20, to serve as a floating hotel for Croatian football fans.

The ship, which flies the Croatian flag and was built by the Brodosplit shipyard in Split, is scheduled to depart Croatia for the World Cup on October 21 and arrive in Doha on November 16, where it will remain for the duration of the tournament, according to Mario Lozancic, president of the Croatia Business Council (CBC).

The ship has been lavishly decorated, but it still has the charm and atmosphere of an old sailing ship. The ship has five decks, a beauty centre, a sauna, a jacuzzi, a spa and fitness centre, a library and several large lounges.

“This project is not commercial, but solely for the purpose of promoting Croatia in Qatar during the World Cup and strengthening our bilateral ties. It is the best way to bring the two countries closer together in terms of tourism, culture, business and sport,” said Mario Lozancic.

Lozancic hinted that if the sailing speed record is broken as planned, an award ceremony for The Guinness World Record will be held on November 18, in the presence of the Qatar and Croatian business communities, as well as dignitaries from both countries.

Asked about the cost of boarding the ship, he said it depends on the group’s package, but regular rooms on the ship cost around $1,000 per day, which includes a return flight and match tickets, which is reasonable when compared to other accommodations during the event. The website www.goldenhorizon.qa has information on cabin types as well as booking packages.

The CBC president added that there will be approximately 300 lucky people who will be able to board, with 140 cabins available in various categories. The majority of the guests are expected to be Croatians. “During that period, we will organise many events such as musical and cultural activities for our guests. They will also enjoy meals from a well-reputed Croatian master chef while on board,” he said.

The CBC president informed that there are 400 Croatians living and working in various sectors in Qatar, and nearly 3,000 are expected to attend the World Cup to support the 2018 finalist.

Croatia is in Group F with Belgium, Canada and Morocco.

Speaking about Qatar 2022, the Croatian, who has lived in the country for the past 16 years, said that no one could have captured these moments back then.

He said, “Nobody would have predicted that a World Cup could be held in a single city, but it is happening, and I am honoured to be a part of it. I consider Qatar to be my home and I am proud that they are hosting the sporting event for in the Middle East and Gulf for first time.”

Lozancic added that everyone knows major sporting events like the Olympics and the World Cup should come to this part of the world.

“Qatar has demonstrated strength in their preparations with state-of-the-art stadiums; it’s amazing what they’ve accomplished at that level,” he said. “It is especially impressive and historic due to the size of Doha, with the furthest stadiums being located only 50 kilometres apart.”

During the FIFA World Cup, Inchcape Shipping Services will serve as logistics agents in Old Port Doha for Golden Horizon and other luxury cruise ships and mega yachts.

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