Qatar has spent nearly $300 billion since awarding the small, gas-rich country the honor of hosting the 2022 World Cup, according to the agency. bloomberg.
The agency said that eight stadiums will host the tournament matches, seven of which were newly built and one was renovated, but all of them represent only a small part of the sums that Qatar has invested since winning the right to host the global event in 2010.
The tournament is being held in the Middle East for the first time since its inception 92 years ago, making it the largest sporting event ever to be held in the region. It will be the most expensive World Cup in history, according to Bloomberg.
The tournament is also the first global gathering open to the public since COVID-19 restrictions prevented fans from participating in the Tokyo Summer Olympics and the Winter Games in Beijing.
The biggest projects before the World Cup
Qatar built a completely new $36 billion metro system, a $7 billion modern cargo port, and an expansion of its main airport at a cost of more than $15 billion.
The spending also included about $ 45 billion to build Lusail, a huge project north of Doha, which includes residential areas that can accommodate 200,000 people, in addition to commercial complexes, four artificial islands, entertainment centers, and the largest stadium in the country with 80,000 spectators, where the World Cup final will be held.
Qatar also spent $4.5 billion to develop the capital’s center and $3.2 billion to establish economic zones.
And unlike previous World Cups, where stadiums were usually spread across multiple cities, all matches will be played within a distance of approximately 50 kilometers. This means that around a million fans, nearly a third of Qatar’s total population, will congregate in the capital during the month-long tournament.
Bloomberg says Qatari officials hope the infrastructure developed as part of its World Cup preparations will help boost the non-energy economy.
The agency adds that most economists expect non-energy business activity to slow in the aftermath of the tournament as residential buildings and hotels will be empty of World Cup visitors.
Finally, the tournament is still expected to generate record revenue and top the nearly $5.4 billion generated by the 2018 World Cup in Russia.