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MEED: World Cup success kicks off US$ 60 billion projects boom in Qatar

Nearly US$ 60bn worth of infrastructure projects will now go ahead in Qatar following its successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup .

December 10, 2010 4:50 by

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.”

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