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Qatar’s Preparations for FIFA World Cup 2022: State of the Art Infrastructure Expected in Mega Event
- Updated: February 7, 2020
The National Sports Day in Qatar is set to be celebrated on February 11, 2020. The event aims to bring people together in celebration of sport, while encouraging people of all ages to stay fit and active. However, the bigger concern for the nation at the moment is gearing up in time for the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Qatar’s preparations for FIFA World Cup 2022 was recently hailed by the FIFA President Gianni Infantino when he was recently in Budapest to attend ceremony of the International Federation of Sports Journalism Awards which was organized in association with Qatar Sports Media Committee. He further said that the country will be ready two years before the mega event.
Meanwhile, the nation is also focusing on the different infrastructures that they are aiming to put in place by the time the event starts. This is also a part of Qatar’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022. The bidding procedure to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups began in January 2009, and national associations had until 2 February 2009 to register their interest. Initially, eleven bids were made for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Mexico later withdrew from proceedings and Indonesia’s bid was rejected by FIFA in February 2010 after the Indonesian Football Association failed to submit a letter of Indonesian government guarantee to support the bid. Indonesian officials had not ruled out a bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, until Qatar took the 2022 cup. During the bidding process, all non-UEFA nations gradually withdrew their 2018 bids, thus guaranteeing that a nation would host the 2018 cup and thereby making UEFA nations ineligible for the 2022 bid.
In the end, there were five bids for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea and the United States were the final bidders for the event. Qatar was finally given the hosting rights.
Tourism & Lift in Economy
Qatar’s preparations for the World Cup 2022 are already on board as the nation will be hosting as many as 65 events in 2020. This will be a dress rehearsal for the mega event in two years’ time. The event will also increase tourism in the country and is expected to grow by $4bn. This will contribute to the growth of the country’s GDP. Enhancing its tourism is one of the main targets of Qatar as and when the FIFA World Cup starts in the country. Meanwhile, FIFA has also joined hands with Qatar to develop a sustainability strategy for the World Cup. The process has already started five years ago and is expected to achieve its goal by the time the event starts in two years’ time.
The country’s tourism and hospitality sectors are expected to witness a significant boom as a result of fulfilling the requirements of FIFA that has demanded 60,000 hotel rooms to be provided by 2022. The tourism sector’s performance indicators reflected an increase of hotel room supply of 8% during the first half of 2019, while the demand on hotel accommodation showed an annual increase of 19%. Qetaifan Projects, a subsidiary of Katara Hospitality, aims to develop and operate some 16 floating hotels near the shores of Qetaifan Island North. The projects will provide accommodation for spectators within the fan villages during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The hotels will have a unique design, 72-metre-long and 16-metre-wide, each consisting of 101 guest rooms, offering a total of 1,616 hotel rooms. The hotels will be constructed on large-scale marine structures that can still be beneficial after the World Cup. They can simply be steered to land on any shore and do not require any structures. They can also be placed on any coastal location.
Therefore the luxury of players are given special importance and focus and the effort of the Qatar government and the top hospitality management is giving the players and the support staff an unforgettable experience.
Qatar will host the World Cup for a 28-day period, therefore making it the shortest FIFA World Cup ever. In terms of infrastructure, seven new stadiums are being built and will be ready in time for the World Cup. All of them will have state of the art facilities which will take care of the care and the comfort of the players and the fans alike. FIFA President hailed Qatar’s preparations for FIFA World Cup 2022, at a recent event in Budapest saying that the country will be ready to host the event two years before its scheduled time. This is the first time when a country is ready to host a FIFA World Cup almost two years before the event.
Under its proposal to FIFA, Qatar will build 9 new stadiums and renovate 3, with the 12 venues divided among 7 host cities. The 7 host cities are Al-Daayen, Al-Khor, Al-Rayyan, Al-Shamal, Al-Wakrah, Doha and Umm Slal. While the World Cup will be played in potentially hot and humid conditions, with the temperatures to be over 40 degrees, the stadiums built will be zero-carbon emitting and climate-controlled. Furthermore, the stadiums will take adequate steps to reduce solar radiation and warm winds, and provide soft air conditioning to provide adequate climatic conditions
Meanwhile, there are also reports that 10 new roads will be constructed leading to the seven stadiums which will host the event in Qatar. The total revenue required for the roads to be constructed along with housing plots is about QR 4bn. The Security Committee of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy is working hard toward assuring that the safety and security measures are being maintained during the FIFA World Cup 2022. Jassim Al Kaabi, The Director of SC gave a presentation concerning the role private security companies play during major sporting events in December last year. Al Kaabi highlighted the importance of collaboration between local security stakeholders as Qatar prioritises hosting a safe and secure tournament in 2022.
“It is important we enhance the skills of all our stakeholders as we aim to ensure the safety and security of fans, players and officials during the tournament. We must continue to work closely to overcome any threats that Qatar may encounter during the build-up and hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup” he said in the meeting. He further asked his delegates to fall back on the security measures adopted during the 2014 and 2018 editions of the World Cup and follow the same path.
There are also reports that robots will be used during the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Saud Ghani, a professor of science at Qatar University said he plans to make a prototype of the robot cloud. The robot cloud will be used to create shade the entire stadium from the harsh sun rays during hot and humid climatic conditions. If it materializes, this will be the first innovative idea of its kind in the world of sports.
Controversies/ Problems in Qatar’s Preparations for FIFA World Cup 2022
The awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar created several concerns and controversies. There have been numerous allegations of bribery between the Qatar bid committee and FIFA members and executives. Several FIFA members have since gone on record saying that the decision to award the tournament to Qatar was a “mistake” which includes and ex FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
The two biggest controversies during Qatar’s preparations for FIFA World Cup 2022 are first, the treatment towards migrant workers and their cause of death and secondly the treatment towards the LGBT fans. Human Rights Watch and the International Trade Union Confederation allege that the Kafala system leaves migrant workers vulnerable to systematic abuse. They also argued that the system leaves the workers to “serious exploitation” which included forgery of documents for fake visas and passports.
The Nepalese ambassador to Qatar, Maya Kumari Sharma termed the country to be “an open jail” for workers from her country. A September 2013 report by The Guardian said a number of Nepalese workers have faced poor conditions as companies handling construction for 2022 World Cup infrastructure forced workers to stay by denying them promised salaries and withholding necessary worker ID permits, rendering them illegal aliens. There were also reports that one Nepali worker was dying per day during the construction process.
There were also reports of unequal treatment towards the LGBT community of football fans. The Qatari media dig deep in bringing out the true picture of their condition. However former FIFA President spoke about standing against discrimination against their community and give them equal and open space to enjoy the game.
Logo for FIFA World Cup 2022
The emblem for the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be a figure-of-eight-shaped white band based on the form of shawls often worn in the gulf region. The white continuous band will be the emblem for the 22nd World Cup, which takes place in Qatar in 2022.
The emblem has been designed to represent the shape of traditional woollen shawls that are often worn in the gulf region during winter months when the event is being held.
According to the organisers of the World Cup, the emblem also has several other layers of symbolism, with its curves designed to represent “undulations of desert dunes”.
The emblem’s design embodies the vision of an event that connects and engages the entire world, while also featuring striking elements of local and regional Arab culture and allusions to the beautiful game,” explained Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.