The 2022 FIFA World Cup will provide an economic boost to not just Qatar but the entire region, according to a new report by the National Bank of Kuwait.
Neighbouring countries in the Gulf can also expect a financial boon from the tournament, the report argues, with Qatar’s significant construction programme expected to have a knock-on impact on other countries in the Middle East.
Planned infrastructure upgrades are also likely to prove beneficial.
“Hosting the World Cup will set tight deadlines, create extra spending, bring in new expertise and present additional motivation and incentives,” the report stated.
A $25 billion metro and rail network, a $7 billion deep water port, a $10 billion international airport at Doha and a $4 billion causeway linking Qatar and Bahrain are among the major infrastructure projects planned ahead of the kick off.
Qatar also plans to spend $20 billion on building and expanding its road network.
For the tournament itself, 12 state-of-the-art stadia with air conditioning will be constructed at a cost of $4 billion.
The study went on o state Qatari officials have pledged to add 90,000 new hotel rooms before 2022, surpassing the 65,000 demanded by FIFA.
Winter World Cup
While the air conditioned stadia designed by Qatar are expected to nullify the excessive heat expected during the tournament, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has voiced his support for a simpler solution – a winter World Cup.
Blatter told a press conference in Abu Dhabi - where the World Club Cup is taking place - that he supported the idea.
“It is important to play when the climate is appropriate and I’m thinking about the footballers, not only the fans but the actors,” he explained.
“Personally I think it would be better that it is played in the winter, but it’s not easy to realise.”
Fears have been raised the searing heat that prevails in the Gulf emirate in the traditional World Cup months of June and July would make it dangerous for players.
Among those to cite concerns were German legend Franz Beckenbauer, a FIFA executive committee member, and FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, both of whom have suggested a date change.
World Sport Destination Expo
Qatar plans to become a sport tourism superpower as it aligns itself with the fastest growing sector in travel and tourism.
According to WSDE – the Sport Tourism Expo – sport tourism is currently worth $600 billion a year and this year will make up an astonishing 14 per cent of all tourism receipts.
World Sport Destination Expo 2011 will gather the world’s leading sport tourism destinations, resorts, hotels and key buyers and will take place September 27th-30th 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand.