Qatar could rack up $220bn bill to host World Cup

With 11 years to go until first games, Qatar faces huge challenge in preparing for the event
Qatar could rack up $220bn bill to host World Cup
Qatar beat Japan/Korea, Australia and the USA when it was named as 2022 World Cup host nation last December (Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Tue 06 Sep 2011 10:47 AM

Qatar could spend $220bn in its build-up to the 2022 World Cup, according to German legal and financial adviser Dr Nicola Ritter. Dr Ritter was addressing an investors' summit held in Munich.

Speaking during a summit for investors in Munich, Ritter said $48bn will be spent to build air-conditioned stadia, $77bn will be spent on facilities for soccer fans and players from all over the world and $45bn will be allocated for developing Lusail City.

Qatar has also allocated $50bn to upgrade its transport infrastructure, including new rail and metro systems.

Covering 20 sq km in north-east Doha, Lusail City will be able to accommodate 200,000. It will also boast cinemas, theatres, playgrounds, commercial complexes and landscaped areas for family entertainment.

Qatar beat Japan/Korea, Australia and the USA when it was named as 2022 World Cup host nation last December. With 11 years to go until the proposed kick-off of the first games, Qatar faces a monumental challenge in preparing for the event. The country has committed to delivering its Doha metro and national rail services by 2022.

Qatar’s government is to spend US$17bn on increasing its hotel room and guest apartment capacity to 80,000, easily topping the 60,000 capacity demanded by FIFA. There are 100 existing properties, with a further 130 to be built, all but 13 of which will be built after 2016.

The New Doha International Airport, currently undergoing an $11bn expansion, will be the key transportation hub for the influx of visitors. The airport covers a land area in excess 22 sq km and handles around 50 million passengers and 320,000 aircraft landings and takeoffs each year. Over 100 hectares alongside the new airport have been reserved for commercial development, including free trade zone, offices, hotels and retail mall.

Construction of the new Doha port will need to speed up to be in time for the tournament – the US $7bn project is currently scheduled for completion in 2023. The scope of work includes construction of new Doha port located in Economic Zone 3, Al Wakra, and will be linked to the mainland by an 8.5 km long trestle bridge. The port will cover an area of 20 square kilometres. It was recently revealed that cruise ships will be able to berth at the port to accommodate visitors.

The Doha metro should have a number of years of use before the big tournament and the arrival of fans. The $3bn project is an 85km railway network that will include an east coast link, a high-speed link, a freight link and a light rail system.

The railway will serve suburb of Doha and developments such as Lusail, Education city and West Bay. It’s original completion date for 2015 is unlikely to be met.

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