The Qatar government acknowledged there was “increased demand” for accommodation during the World Cup but did not comment on individual cases. A government official said any tenant “may file a complaint with the Rental Disputes Settlements Committee Office”.

To ease the crunch, FIFA recently released thousands of hotel rooms it had reserved, which experts have said could push World Cup prices down.

Some fans are turning to the open market for luxury apartments or better locations near stadiums, and the prices advertised for some Doha properties highlight owners’ sky-high hopes.

On Airbnb, apartments for two people go for $2,500 a night.

A villa for the full 29 days of the World Cup will cost fans booking through the online platform at least $13,000 but prices can go into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 ‘Very high’ demand 

Some Doha residents are putting their flats up for rent and fleeing Qatar for the month. Adel, who listed his small apartment on Airbnb for $900 a night, said “demand was very high” when he first advertised it. But he had to cancel the reservations after Airbnb asked him to provide a landlord’s statement approving the sublet. Rents have also risen sharply for tenants coming to the end of their leases in recent months.

While Qatari law allows for an increase of up to 10 per cent for a lease renewal, average rents in some Doha districts have risen by 40 per cent over the past year, according to Anum Hassan, head of research in Qatar at international consultancy firm Valustrat.

A Western diplomat in Doha said embassy staff have demanded increased salaries to meet their rent payments.

“Rents will stay high for a while,” said Nabil Ghorra, a 59-year-old Lebanese-American who lives in Doha’s upscale Pearl District. I feel that there are people taking advantage of the situation, but this happens all over the world when there’s an event” like the World Cup.