The colossal 2022 FIFA World Cup spend is yet to register on Qatar’s horizon as the projects are only in the very nascent stages, however, the emirate’s economic journey will be profoundly affected in the long-term by the world’s biggest football tournament.
The major projects underway in the next few years include the New Doha International Airport, which will be able to handle 24 million passengers a year; the New Doha Port; Doha Metro and Qatar Railways and a $1 billion alternative energy project, with a focus on new green cooling techniques for the stadiums.
Daniel Leckel, chief technology officer at Qatar Rail, cited positive progress on the sidelines of the Inside Investor conference in Doha: “We are on track, we are inside our master schedule, we have awarded the first contracts already for the project to management consultants.
“We have handed tenders out for the underground sections and we’ll have them back by October and we’ll award early next year. Up to now we’re very confident.”
The total value of the projects under execution as per mid-2012 stood at $59.8 billion, with the transportation sector accounting for around 30 per cent of the projects.
Estimates of specific World Cup 2022 planned spending vary wildly. But as part of the bidding process for the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar has committed to providing 12 stadiums, each with a minimum capacity of 45,000 and each costing around $4 billion. The direct spending on the stadiums will be around four per cent of the total investment, the government has said.
A senior Doha economist told Gulf Business that the World Cup has added a “fresh urgency” to the planned infrastructure projects but there’s no finance problem: “if the government has enough money to provide $30 billion a year externally it certainly can provide financing internally.”
“The plan is to get everything ready two or three years before. There’s a bit of wiggle room there, because there will be over-runs and problems.
“But they’ll get it done – the international embarrassment if they weren’t to get it done would be so great that that’s provided a very strong motivation to take a close interest in each aspect of the project.”