Qatar's successful bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 is set to launch a US$ 60 billion construction boom in the Gulf state according to this week's issue of MEED – the Middle East Economic Digest.
In a detailed analysis of the impact of Qatar's World Cup success on the country, MEED estimates that projects worth approximately US$ 55 to 60 billion that had been planned, will now go ahead.
A US$ 4 billion stadium building programme will see the construction of nine new eco-friendly, cutting-edge football stadiums and the expansion of three existing stadiums. The stadium programme includes the construction of the 86,000-seater Lusail Stadium, which will host the tournament's opening and final matches. Other new stadiums will be: Al-Wakrah Stadium, Al-Khor Stadium, Education City Stadium, Sports City Stadium, Al-Shamal Stadium, Doha Port Stadium, Qatar University Stadium, and Umm Sal Stadium. The existing Al-Rayyan, Al-Gharafa, and Khalifa stadiums will be upgraded.
Additionally, Qatar will build over 80,000 new hotel rooms by 2022, 10,000 to 15,000 of which will be ready by end of 2010. This comes as the country's answer to FIFA's requirement that the host country should have 60,000-room capacity. Doha has said it will provide 80,000 to 90,000 by 2022.
A US$ 20 billion road improvements and expansion programme will include the US$ 687 million Lusail Expressway, Doha Expressway, Dukhan Freeway, and the Doha Bay Crossing;
Another US$ 25 billion rail network will cover the construction of a metropolitan railway in Doha, a high-speed rail link between New Doha International airport, Doha city centre and across the proposed Qatar-Bahrain causeway into Bahrain, in addition to a freight line that will link up with the wider GCC rail network.
The US$ 4 Billion Qatar-Bahrain Causeway with its 45km long fixed link between Qatar and Bahrain was put on hold in June. As an important component of the World Cup Bid in FIFA's evaluation report, the scheme will now be given renewed impetus.
"Building towards the World Cup will inject a new dynamism into the drive by Qatar, and the region, to diversify its economy away from its dependence on oil and gas," says MEED construction analyst Andrew Roscoe. "Almost US$ 60 billion-worth of projects that were planned will now definitely happen as a result of this success, giving a decade-long boost to the state's projects industry that had reached a peak."
"It is an astonishing achievement for such a small country," says MEED Editor Richard Thompson. "And it establishes not only Qatar, but the entire region, as a serious destination for international business and sport"
"Those who argue about the lack of football supporters in the region need to look at the large football-mad populations in the countries around Qatar - Saudi Arabia (30 million people), Iraq (30 million), Iran (70 million) and Egypt (77 million)" says Thompson. "In this context, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be arguably accessible to more football fans than Russia's tournament in 2018."
"It is vital, however, that Doha does not lose sight of the most important aspect about hosting the World Cup – namely, what comes afterwards," he adds. "Qatar has landed a unique opportunity to develop not only its physical infrastructure, but also to develop its social, economic and legislative environment to lay the bedrock of a sustainable, diversified economy that can be a model for the rest of the region."
The opportunities and challenges created in Qatar by the World Cup are the focus of MEED's annual Qatar Projects conference due to take place on the 8-9 February 2011 in Doha. The conference features a presentation from the Qatar World Cup Bid CEO Hassan Abdullah Al-Thawadi who will share Qatar's massive plans to design and build the infrastructure needed to host the world's most popular sporting event.
MEED's Qatar Projects 2011 will see the presence and participation of over 350 international and regional attendees and over 40 expert speakers, stakeholders and decision-makers of Qatar's energy and non-energy sectors. The range of issues to be covered will include the economic and financial landscape, plans for the downstream and upstream energy markets, power and water infrastructure, Qatar's National Vision 2030 and Masterplan, transportation, social and healthcare development plans, sports, real estate and urban planning and industrial investment opportunities.