26 Jan 2023
His Excellency Nasser Al Khater, CEO of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, who addressed a session about the Management of Mega Sports Projects on Day 2 of the Dubai International Project Management Forum, which is concluding today in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, said that the total infrastructure investments in Qatar since the announcement of winning the hosting of 2022 FIFA World Cup has reached $220 billion, including the cost of hosting the tournament.
In a session moderated by sports journalist Mustafa Al-Agha, Al Khater said, “Some media reports tried to exaggerate the figures of Qatar’s hosting this tournament. They overlooked the fact that Qatar made these investments in implementation of the 2030 infrastructure development strategy, and not only for the World Cup.”
Al-Khater pointed out that the idea of Qatar hosting FIFA World Cup began with hosting the Youth World Cup in 1995 and several other successfully held international sporting events. “From there emerged the idea of hosting the World Cup. In 2010 FIFA officially announced the event, and there were huge challenges, such as the infrastructure. Since 2006, Qatar developed a comprehensive strategy for infrastructure in line with the World Cup strategy, which included the metro, transportation lines, road network, and housing among others,” he explained.
“Changing the date of the tournament, which is usually held in the summer, was decided earlier, as Qatar pledged to air-condition all stadiums, and order to give both the audience and players a seamless experience during the matches, the date was changed to winter. This experience will open the door to hosting these events in the winter instead of the summer in the future,” said Al Khater.
“The key basis set by Qatar during the construction of the infrastructure projects accompanying the World Cup were environmental and social sustainability through recycling the use of stadiums and distributing them for the benefit of local clubs, besides completely dismantling Stadium 974 and utilising the land in tourist projects. Lusail Stadium will be rehabilitated for use in other diverse activities, and the metro remains an essential part of the infrastructure,” he explained.
Public Private Partnership
Al-Khater commended the government's partnership with the private sector. “During the 12 years of preparation for the tournament, this partnership contributed to developing the infrastructure and setting plans for the development and growth in Qatar. We benefited from the London model 2012, which forged a partnership between the two sectors to host the World Cup,” he further added.
Al Khater paid tribute to the role of the neighbouring countries in supporting the World Cup in Qatar, especially the airlines that lifted fans around the clock to and from Doha, where 1.8 million fans attended. "We were interested in the success of the championship after we faced many challenges. No doubt that we used international expertise, but our great reliance was on local competencies, and volunteers from all countries of the world which reached 20,000 volunteers, in addition to 15,000 employees,” he commented.
HE added that Josoor program aims at building capabilities of the sports and events industries in the region and that Qatar is moving ahead with hosting more sports events, and projects are on the go after FIFA World Cup.
“The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 garnered wonderful ratings in terms of organisation. 2.7 million fans attended from different countries of the world, so it was an exceptional tournament. The stadiums were packed, and the demand for tickets was high. Imagine recording 80 million purchase requests for 3 million tickets, 96.2% attendance in the tournament, 88.96 thousand spectators in Lusail Stadium only, and the highest number of goals at the World Cup level.
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