‘Qatar is beautiful and safe – fans will love it’
Doha-based France fan Alem Ismain is ready to cheer on Les Bleus at this year’s FIFA World Cup™
There is much anticipation that FIFA World Cup™ holders France will be able to repeat their heroics of Russia 2018 and lift the title for a third time in Qatar later this year.
Among those that have high hopes for Les Bleus is Doha-based fan Alem Ismain. The 33-year-old, originally from Paris, has spent the past two years in Qatar setting up a business called ‘Looking For Soccer’, which provides youngsters with opportunities to attend football camps run by famous clubs around the world.
Currently based in West Bay, Ismain believes Qatar 2022 will offer more than just a football experience for fans when they arrive in the country.
What is it like living in Doha?
Honestly, it has been amazing and something that I didn’t expect. I find it to be a chilled lifestyle, where you enjoy the sunny weather, the beaches, swimming pools and restaurants. I have also met some amazing people from all over the world in my time here and discovered some beautiful places to visit. Qatar is also very safe, so you are never concerned about where you are or what time of the day or evening it is.
What is your favourite thing to do in Qatar?
Definitely a trip to the desert. It is such a peaceful place and easy to get to. All it takes is an hour’s drive from Doha and you’re suddenly in the middle of nowhere. One of my favourite things to do in the desert is spend the weekend there and watch the sun rise and set. I have also enjoyed going towards the border with Saudi Arabia and swimming in the Inland Sea, which is amazing. I also recommend doing some all-terrain vehicle riding in the desert. That is a lot of fun!
What are your other favourite places to visit?
All my friends know this answer. For me, there are two places that you must visit when you are in Qatar. The first is Souq Waqif. There is so much to see and do there. I’m a big fan of the cafes and the little hidden restaurants you can discover there. My other top location is in Katara, called Chapati & Karak. I really enjoy spending time there as well.
What advice would you give France fans about the country and region?
When they come to Qatar, they have to be aware that they will encounter a new culture, so it’s important they experience things like visiting Souq Waqif or Katara. Visitors should see it as an opportunity to experience something new and different. I’m sure they will enjoy what they discover.
Al Janoub Stadium, Stadium 974 and Education City Stadium will play host to France’s group matches at Qatar 2022. Are you looking forward to attending these venues?
I am very much looking forward to seeing France play in these stadiums, as I have tickets for their games. I also feel fortunate to have attended these amazing stadiums before and experience the atmosphere they all generate. I especially hope there will be a big atmosphere with fans from this region wanting to see France play, as we have some of the best players in world football right now.
As the current World Cup holders, can France repeat their heroics of Russia 2018 and claim a third world title?
I believe we can. When you have great players like Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema, you should feel confident about winning the World Cup for a third time. I think France have everything they need to win again. I certainly think we will make the final, at the very least. We know there are other strong teams like Brazil and Argentina, but I’m confident France can triumph here in Qatar.