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Comunicado de imprensa

24 Nov 2022

The truth behind Qatar’s luxury hotels hosting World Cup teams

International luxury hotels are hosting many of the football teams playing in the FIFA Qatar World Cup 2022, as well as welcoming fans, sponsors and international media. These brands are making staggering profits in one of the wealthiest countries in the world on the back of low paid migrant workers form South Asia, South-East Asia and East Africa, who continue to suffer serious rights abuses.

Qatar has built over 100 new hotels to host teams, fans and sponsors during the World Cup. Aside from the well-documented risks to construction workers who built these hotels, our data shows workers in luxury hotels face abuses. Abuses include the charging of exorbitant recruitment fees, discrimination, being unable to change jobs for fear of retaliation and illegal wage deductions. Many of the abuses occur when hotels use subcontracted workers and, despite these risks being well known, brands consistently failed to take action to protect them.

Since 2016 we have recorded 39 number of abuses at hotels across the Gulf, including 22 that occurred in Qatar’s hotel properties or among hotel’s labour suppliers. All these hotels are now booked out to accommodate the over one million visitors to Doha and surrounding cities from this month. Security and catering workers, two industries key to the hotel sector, were impacted in 66 and 8 cases, respectively.

Where hotel brands or their suppliers are named in public allegations of abuse, they have been given the opportunity to respond to the allegations; these responses are available in full on our website. You can also click on hyperlinks to see their response.

Marriott

Marriott has invested heavily in Qatar’s tourism sector with 17 hotels. It is hosting eight teams during the tournament, more than any other brand. We recorded five cases of alleged migrant worker abuse linked to Marriott hotels in the years leading up to the World Cup, including two this year.

Marriott’s earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the twelve months ending September 30, 2022 was USD3.386B.

🇧🇷 Brazilian Football Confederation – The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa (allegation)

🇫🇷 French Football Federation – Al Messila, A Luxury Collection Resort and Spa (allegation)

🇳🇱 Dutch Football Association – The St. Regis Doha (two allegations in 2020 and 2022)

🇨🇭 Swiss Football Association- Le Royal Meridien

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Football Association of Wales – Delta Hotels City Center Doha

🇵🇹 Portuguese Football Federation – Al Samriya Autograph Collection

🇰🇷 South Korea Football Association- Le Méridien City Center Doha

🇷🇸 Football Association of Serbia is staying at the Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha


Allegations of abuse impacting workers at Marriott properties and labour suppliers:

  • In May 2021 workers at a company Marriott had subcontracted, European Guarding & Security Services (EGSSCO), protested over a new contract which prevented them from changing jobs for at least five years.
  • In November 2021, it emerged Westin Hotel had previously contracted GSS Certis, which we have linked to three allegations of abuse. We invited the Brazil Football Confederation to set out the human rights due diligence they undertook prior to booking Westin Hotel; they did respond but did not set out any human rights due diligence steps taken prior to contracting the hotel (details here).
  • In October 2022, an investigation revealed subcontracted workers at Al Messila (French team’s hotel) were suffering poor working and living conditions. As a result of the investigation Al Messila terminated United Security Services’ contract (details here). GSS Certis was subsequently reported to be the hotel’s new security provider.
  • In October 2022, reports emerged of a Nepali national paid a recruiter an unfair recruitment fee for a waitressing job at St. Regis Doha, where she was employed by a subcontractor in 2019. She was laid off during the pandemic but did not get the wages owed to her and was left stranded in Qatar for 17 months. She also reported poor living conditions (see details here).
  • In 2021, Nepali recruitment agency Vision & Value, used by Marriott to recruit workers to hotels in the UAE, was found to be charging workers extortionate fees for jobs.

Marriott’s policies and practices on worker welfare:

  • Marriott received a 2 star rating in our 2021 report looking at how well hotels were protecting workers from abuse.
  • Marriott does not have a public policy aligning with the Employer Pays Principle – a recognised international standard that no worker should pay for a job and the costs of recruitment are borne by the employer.
  • Marriott did not publicly commit to disclosing publicly and remediating incidents of recruitment risks and fee payment discovered during the World Cup within six months.

What have the FAs have done?

  • The Brazil, Dutch, Welsh & Swiss football associations responded to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup.
  • The French Football Federation did not respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup. They have been criticised by Amnesty International for their silence in the lead up to the tournament.
  • The Portuguese, Serbian and South Korean associations also did not respond.


Minor

Minor has seven hotels in Qatar and is hosting the England team during the tournament. We recorded one allegation of abuse linked to Minor in 2021.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 English Football Association – Souq Al Wakra Hotel Qatar


Allegations of abuse impacting workers at Minor properties and labour suppliers:

Minor’s policies and practices on worker welfare:

What the English FA has done?


Hilton

Hilton has nine hotels in Qatar and is hosting four teams during the tournament. We recorded three allegations against Hilton in the Gulf region in the years prior to the tournament; two in Qatar and one in the UAE.

Hilton’s earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the twelve months ending September 30, 2022 was USD2.144B.

🇧🇪 Royal Belgian Football Association - Hilton Salwa Beach Resort (allegation)

🇭🇷 Croatian Football Federation - Hilton Doha

🇬🇭 Ghana Football Association - DoubleTree by Hilton Doha - Al Sadd

🇮🇷 Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran - AlRayyan Hotel Doha, Curio Collection by Hilton


Allegations of abuse impacting workers at Hilton properties and labour suppliers:

  • During the construction of Hilton Salwa Beach Resort in 2016,the Belgian team’s hotel, 13 people died and 10 people were injured when a fire broke out at a labour camp housing the construction workers.
  • In May 2021 workers at a company Hilton had subcontracted, European Guarding & Security Services (EGSSCO), protested over a new contract which prevented them from changing jobs for at least five years.
  • In 2021 a Nepali recruitment agency used by Hilton to recruit workers to hotels in UAE was found to be charging workers illegal fees for jobs.

Hilton’s policies and practices on worker welfare:

What have the FAs done?

  • The Belgian & Croatian associations both  responded to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup.
  • The Iranian & Ghanaian associations  did not respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup.


Accor

Accor is one of the largest operators in Qatar with 13 hotels plus temporary World Cup apartments making it one of the largest World Cup contractors. It is hosting two teams during the World Cup and was linked to an allegation of abuse as recently as October 2022.

Accor revised up its profit prediction for 2022 in September saying it expects earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to be between EUR610 and 640 million ($590.5-619.6 million).

🇨🇲 Cameroon Football Federation - Banyan Tree La Cigale Mushaireb

🇺🇾 Uruguayan Football Association - Pullman Doha West Bay


Allegations of abuse impacting workers at Accor properties and labour suppliers:

  • In April 2020, two workers reportedly at an Accor hotel in UAE were reportedly stranded without their final salary during the pandemic. One worker also reported paying a recruitment fee for their job and was worried about accumulating debt.
  • In October 2022, Ouest France reported an unnamed security company supplying workers to Accor was housing workers in substandard accommodation.
  • In October 2022, Gary Neville spoke to the manager of Accor run and co-owned La Cigale in his documentary. The manager admitted the EBITDA for the hotel (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation) was 35-40% - much higher than in Europe. The General Manager admitted that the higher profit figure was down to the labour cost difference. He also admitted that the hotels work together as a “block” to keep the wages the same and discourage workers leaving to take up jobs at other hotels.
  • In November 2022, following the publication of a report from Fair Finance International, Norwegian bank DNB announced they had sold their shares in Accor, citing an increased risk of contributing to violations of human rights and labour rights in Qatar.

Accor’s policies and practices on worker welfare:

  • Accor only achieved a 2 star rating in our in our 2021 report looking at how well brands were protecting workers from abuse
  • Accor does not have a public policy aligning the Employer Pays Principle - a recognised international standard that no worker should pay for a job and the costs of recruitment are borne by the employer.
  • Accor did not publicly commit to disclosing publicly and remediating incidents of recruitment risks and fee payment discovered during the World Cup within six months; Accor cited a commercial non-disclosure agreement to run serviced apartments for the World Cup as a reason.

What the FAs have done?

Wyndham

Wyndham has four luxury hotels in Qatar and is hosting two teams for the tournament.  Wyndham has been linked to one allegation of migrant worker abuse in the lead up to the World Cup and one allegation a hotel discriminated against LGBT couples.

Wyndham’s earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the twelve months ending September 30, 2022 was USD 637M.

🇹🇳 Tunisian Football Association - Wyndham Grand Doha West Bay Beach

🇲🇦 Moroccan Football Association – Wyndham Doha West Bay 


Allegations of abuse impacting workers at Wyndham properties and labour suppliers:

Wyndham policies and practices on worker welfare:

  • Wyndham failed to respond to our survey on workers’ rights and scored a 0 stars rating in our in our 2021 report looking at how well brands were protecting workers from abuse as it provided no information.
  • Wyndham does not have a public policy aligning the Employer Pays Principle – a recognised international standard  to ensure no worker should pay for a job and the costs of recruitment are borne by the employer.
  • Wyndham did not publicly commit to disclosing publicly and remediating incidents of recruitment risks and fee payment discovered during the World Cup within six months.

What have FAs done?

Neither football association responded to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup.


Hyatt

Hyatt has four hotels in Qatar and is hosting one team during the tournament.

Hyatt's earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the twelve months ending September 30, 2022 was USD840M.

🇪🇨 Ecuadorian Football Federation - Hyatt Regency Oryx Doha


Hyatt policies and practices on worker welfare:

  • Hyatt only achieved a 1 star rating in our in our 2021 report looking at how well brands were protecting workers from abuse.
  • Hyatt does not have a public policy aligning the Employer Pays Principle – a recognised international standard to ensure no worker should pay for a job and the costs of recruitment are borne by the employer.
  • Hyatt did not publicly commit to disclosing publicly and remediating incidents of recruitment risks and fee payment discovered during the World Cup within six months.

What has the FA done?

  • The Ecuadorian Football Federation failed to respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup.

Radisson

Radisson Hotel Group has one hotel in Qatar and several across the region. In the years leading up to the World Cup we have recorded one allegation against Radisson’s operations in in UAE

Radisson’s adjusted figures for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for full-year 2022 is expected to range between $465 million and $470 million

🇯🇵 Japan Football Association – Radisson Blue Hotel


Allegations of abuse impacting workers at Radisson properties and labour suppliers:

  • In February 2021, it was reported that Radisson was using a recruitment agent in Nepal which was charging illegal recruitment fees for jobs in hotels in the UAE

Radisson’s policies and practices on worker welfare:

What the Japanese FA has done?

  • Japan Football Association failed to respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup


Dusit International

Dusit International has two hotels in Qatar and is hosting one team during the tournament.

🇨🇷 Costa Rican Football Federation - dusitD2 Salwa


Dusit’s policies and practices on worker welfare:

What is the FA doing?

  • The Costa Rican Football Federation failed to respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup


Retaj

Retaj Hotels & Hospitality has six hotels in Qatar and is hosting one team during the tournament.

🇩🇰 Danish Football Association - Retaj Salwa Resort & Spa


Retaj policies and practices on worker welfare:

  • Retaj only achieved a 0 star rating in our in our 2021 report looking at how well brands were protecting workers from abuse as it failed to respond to our survey
  • Retaj does not have a public policy aligning the Employer Pays Principle - a commitment to ensure no worker should pay for a job and the costs of recruitment are borne by the employer
  • Retaj did not publicly commit to disclosing publicly and remediating incidents of recruitment risks and fee payment discovered during the World Cup within six months

What is the FA doing?

The Danish Football Association responded to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup.


Kempinski

Kempinski has two hotels in Qatar and is hosting the USA team during the tournament. Kempinski has been linked to three allegation of migrant worker abuse in the Gulf in lead up to the World Cup including two in Qatar.

🇺🇸 US Soccer Federation - Marsa Malaz Kempinski (two allegations in 2018 and 2020)


Allegations of abuse impacting workers at Kempinski properties and labour suppliers:

  • In 2018, migrant workers employed at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski in cleaning, security and facilities maintenance alleged several rights breaches including salaries below the minimum wage, being charged recruitment fees, working extremely long working hours, pressure to work on days off and fines.
  • In 2020, GSS Certis, who had previously provided security workers to Kempinski, were accused of housing workers in poor and cramped conditions.
  • In 2020 a company working on the construction of the Kempinksi Business Bay Hotel in UAE was accused of failing to pay workers or settle their end of contract benefits.

Kempinski policies and practices on worker welfare:

  • Kempinski only achieved a 2 star rating in our 2021 report looking at how well brands were protecting workers from abuse.
  • Kempinski is one of only two brands that has a public policy aligning the Employer Pays Principle - a recognised international standard to ensure no worker should pay for a job and the costs of recruitment are borne by the employer.
  • Kempinski did not publicly commit to disclosing publicly and remediating incidents of recruitment risks and fee payment discovered during the World Cup within six months.

What is the FA doing?

  • US Soccer Federation responded to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup.
  • In 2019, Liverpool Football Club declined to stay at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski, citing alleged labour abuse of subcontracted workers there.


Chiva-Som

Chiva-Som has one hotel in Qatar that is hosting the German team.

🇩🇪 German Football Association - Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som


Chiva-Som policies and practices on worker welfare:

What is the FA doing?

  • German Football Association responded to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup.


Additional data on other teams’ accommodation

🇦🇺 Football Australia did respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup.

Hotel info: New Aspire Academy, Athlete Accommodation

🇦🇷 Argentine Football Association did not respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup

Hotel info: Qatar University

🇨🇦 Canadian Soccer did not respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup

Hotel info: Century Premier Hotel Lusail

🇲🇽 Mexican Football Federation did not respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup

Hotel info: Simaisma, A Murwab Resort

🇵🇱 Polish Football Association did respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup

Hotel info: Ezdan Palace Hotel

🇸🇦 Saudi Arabian Football Federation did not respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup

Hotel info: Sealine Beach, A Murwab Resort

🇸🇳 Senegalese Football Federation did not respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup

Hotel info: Duhail Handball Sports Hall

🇪🇸 Royal Spanish Football Federation did not respond to our questions on what human rights due diligence they were carrying out ahead of the World Cup

Hotel info: Qatar University

🇶🇦 Qatar Football Association

Hotel info: Al Aziziyah Boutique Hotel