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Let’s talk sports, think business. When we love, we don’t count. Qataris love football very much. Passionately even, insanely…
The WC 2022 started on Sunday 20 November. At the opening ceremony of the program and the defeat of the host country, Qatar, against Ecuador. But let’s forget the sporting achievements, let’s look instead at the staggering sums that Qatar has contracted to host this planetary event. This World Cup in 2022 is by far the most expensive in history.
When FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar in 2010, investment and supply soared. Twelve years later, the expenditure balance amounts to 220 billion dollars. That is twenty times more than Russia in 2018. Fourteen times more than Brazil in 2014. But of this 220 billion dollars, only 6.5 was allocated to the construction of stadiums, according to Ouest-France. So what was the rest of the money used for?
140 billion for transport
First item of expenditure, the priority of the Qataris: transport infrastructure! Projects for metro lines, bridges and tunnels were completed very quickly. Today, after ten years of work, they enable Doha, the country’s capital, to better serve the city’s stadiums, places to live and tourist spots.
The French manufacturer In particular, Vinci had won a tender in May 2013, $1.5 billion to build part of the Doha Metro.
Hotel complexes and buildings
Qatar has prepared hard for the influx of tourists. During the one-month competition, the local authorities expect between 1 and 2 million supporters from all over the world. And 3.1 million tickets were put on sale throughout the World Cup. So to accommodate all these beautiful people, many hotel projects have emerged from the countries of Qatar in recent years. 20 billion dollars was planned for these constructions. Bouygues especially participated in this with the construction of a building worth a billion dollars.
Today, the set prices for housing vary between 80 and 1000 euros per night. The offer is very varied and adapts to every taste. Do you want the minimum? Take the room for 80 euros. Do you want the most convenient? Prefabricated converted into rooms 40 minutes from all stadiums are available. Do you want to know the local customs? Some organizations offer overnight stays in traditional tents. Do you prefer great luxury? MSC Cruises has announced that MSC Opera will operate as a floating hotel in Doha Bay.
And then the rest?
Of the remaining 54.5 billion, the data is more opaque. However, we know that a portion will be set aside for the activities planned around the games. Around 8 billion according to Nasser Al-Khater, chairman of the WC organizing committee.
Yes, because to create a “World Cup atmosphere” Qatar has again seen great things. The FIFA Fan Festival for example, a space open throughout the competition that mixes football with cultural activities. Many concerts are planned. The Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5 or even David Guetta should perform. Gala matches between legends, unique culinary experiences and innovative marketing activities are also on the programme.
Very average results
Still, according to Nasser Al-Khater, the Qataris expect “only” 17 billion in revenue. Very weak. Very far from recouping their costs. Nothing seems to worry them though. The infrastructure built will survive the World Cup and continue to be useful for many years to come. And above all, the goal was to put Qatar on the world map.
But the result of the races, in light of all the scandals, the corruption, the ecological disaster, the lack of respect for human rights… will this financial madness really be a great success?
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