Football fever gripping fans in Bahrain
Manama, June 8, 2014
Around 2,000 football fans from Bahrain will fly halfway across the globe this week for the most anticipated sporting event of the year - the World Cup.
As many as 1,893 people have bought travel packages so far, but the number is expected to increase by the end of this week as many are still finalising visa requirements to Brazil, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Local supplier Unico Tours has already sold more than 3,000 match tickets - directly and through travel agencies - ahead of the tournament, which kicks off on Thursday.
Company founder Maitham Hammad said the number of people travelling from Bahrain was expected to exceed 2,000 later this week.
"When we made deals for match tickets, only 1,000 were originally booked, but we had to order twice that amount due to demand over the past two months," he told the GDN.
"Brazil is not cheap as it costs four times the price of going to a match in any European league or the European Champions League, but that's football fever when it grips people.
"Most of those who bought tickets are families and friends with most travelling during this week to attend opening matches since Ramadan will begin at the end of the month.
"Others who are planning to travel include honeymooners, who will make use of other attractions on offer in Brazil."
Airfare and accommodation costs range between BD2,000 ($5,273) and BD3,500 per person up to seven nights, while match tickets are priced between BD150 and BD800.
Bahrainis who want to witness the World Cup must have evidence of match tickets to obtain a visa from the Brazilian Embassy in Kuwait. - TradeArabia News Service