This year, from June 14 to July 15, Russia will host the FIFA World Cup for the first time. Matches will be held in the cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Yekaterinburg, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Volgograd, and Samara.
"Our representatives have already visited Russia and agreed with several restaurants about halal meals, discussed what and how to cook and spoke about what the Arabs love. We discussed the possibility of organizing a buffet system, discounts and coupons," Wahdan, who also serves as the head of the Egyptian office of Tez Tour, one of Russia's leading tourism companies, said.
As for the Arab cultural center, an agreement has already been reached with Egypt’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, the expert noted.
"The details will be revealed later. This center will hold events, invite singers and artists. Our fans will be able to enjoy organized leisure. The Saudis, with whom we cooperate during the World Cup, promised to rent the territory and set up a huge tent for the cultural center," Wahdan said.
Several Thousand Egyptians to Visit Russia for World Cup
Many Egyptians are planning to visit Russia for the World Cup, and tourism companies have already begun booking tickets on both regular and charter flights.
At least 1,000 people have already bought tours to Russia through Tez Tour, while another 1,000 are currently at the decision-making stage, according to the expert.
Since direct air traffic between Moscow and Cairo is expected to resume in mid-February, the number people visiting Russia for the World Cup is likely to increase substantially.
In general, the interest in traveling to Russia has been growing among Egyptian tourists, who tend to visit Russia’s most popular destinations: Moscow, St.Petersburg and Kazan.
Large Number of Saudis Also Set to Visit Russia During FIFA 2018
"Approximately six months before the World Cup, even people from other Arab countries, for example from Saudi Arabia, sought guides through us. Their team plays the first match at the opening of the World Cup with the Russian team. The Saudis will take care of the flights themselves, but in Russia we will provide them with such services as transport, translation, excursions and so on," Wahdan said.
Some 2,000-3,000 Saudis are expected to visit Russia through Tez Tour alone, the expert underlined.
In general, more than 4.9 million tickets to the 2018 FIFA World Cup have been requested during the first period of the second sales phase, according to the FIFA press service.