Thousands of football fans could be housed in tents in desert areas close to stadiums during the Qatar 2022 World Cup in an effort to "showcase the hospitality and friendship of the Middle East".

Around 500,000 fans are expected to turn up for the tournament that will take place in November and December of 2022.

Organisers are holding up the tent idea as a creative and culturally authentic way for Qatar to meet FIFA requirements.

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"At the heart of this World Cup is a commitment to showcase the hospitality and friendship of the Middle East," said a Qatar World Cup Supreme Committee (SC) statement sent to Al Jazeera.

"As a result, we are actively researching the concept of supporters sleeping under the stars to ensure a truly unique World Cup experience in 2022. We are working with all stakeholders to offer diverse accommodation and entertainment solutions for the duration of the tournament."

There are also plans to accommodate around 12,000 fans on cruise ships during the World Cup, according to the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).

"Over the past few years, the QTA established a number of strong relationships with international cruise operators as well as with other specialists involved in the industry," the QTA said in a statement last April.

"This has proved to be of great importance, especially that Qatar will be extensively benefiting from cruise ships over the 2022 World Cup, as a means of providing additional accommodation supply for fans and visitors over the period.

"QTA will be contracting a minimum of 6,000 rooms on cruise ships for the 2022 tournament."

A spokesman for the authority confirmed on Monday that this equated to space for 12,000 fans.

"With six years to go, all options are still being explored but we are excited by the possibility of supporters enjoying a range of accommodation designed for all needs," the SC statement added.

Since winning its bid, Qatar has spent tens of billions of dollars on upgrading infrastructure and has built scores of hotels and apartment complexes.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies