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26/10/21

Qatar World Cup 2022

Qatar World Cup 2022

In Issue 4 of the Driver Trett Digest (09.2013), Peter Banathy, Regional Director – Middle East, discussed the potential challenges that Qatar faced in delivering on its ambitious plans to host the Middle East’s first ever FIFA World Cup. Eight years on, we reflect on how Qatar’s plans have progressed and what the future holds for Qatar, beyond 2022.


Author: Daniel Morris, Technical Director, Qatar. 


On 2nd December 2010 Qatar won the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first time that the tournament has been awarded to a Middle Eastern country. To deliver on its commitment to host the world’s biggest sporting event, and also, to meet Qatar’s National Vision by 2030, Qatar embarked on a significant advancement of its infrastructure which included highways, stadia, rail, aviation, and marine projects. 

In the 2013 article, the potential challenges identified were said not to be ‘financial’ given the strength of the Qatar economy due to its extensive oil and gas exports, but rather ‘logistical’ such as sourcing materials and plant, labour, and professional support, especially given the heavy reliance upon an expatriate work force.

OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES

With Qatar being a small peninsula in the Arabian Gulf, sea transportation is the major mode of importation into the country. The Doha Port had served as the country’s main gateway since the early 1950s, but in order to satisfy Qatar’s development plans, the government invested in the construction of a new port, Hamad Port. Hamad port is one of the world’s largest greenfield port developments at a reported cost of US$7.4 billion, significantly increasing Qatar’s importation capabilities.

It became operational in December 2016 with further expansion plans forecast to complete in late 2022.

Qatar also shares a land border with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which provided a further route for Qatar to source construction materials and plant. However, following a matter of a geopolitical issue involving the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in June 2017, which saw traditional trade routes cut-off, Qatar had to overcome a logistical challenge that was perhaps unforeseeable back in 2013.

At that time, Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary general of the Qatar World Cup Supreme Committee explained to the world media that the government acted quickly, and: “…contacted the main contractors; we put in place alternative supply chains, we sourced alternative materials from alternate suppliers. I’m very happy to say that our project scale is on time and there is no significant impact on our projects.”

Relations between the GCC countries have since been restored and the traditional trade routes are operational again, which can only be seen as a positive step for all concerned parties. 

In terms of sourcing the necessary skilled professionals, Qatar Rail related projects (the Doha Metro and Lusail Light Rail Transit (LRT) scheme) serve as a great example of how Qatar overcame this potential challenge. 

The tender award strategies adopted by Qatar Rail for these projects saw joint ventures, or consortium main contractors consisting of combinations of major international contractors, that had the specialist skills and experience in delivering projects of a similar nature, and local main contractors with significant experience of local market issues, laws and regulations and with access to labour resources.
 

PROGRESS OF SIGNIFICANT 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP PROJECTS  

STADIUMS
There are a total of eight stadiums to be used for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, those being Al Bayt, Al Janoub, Al Rayyan, Al Thumama, Education City, Khalifa International, Lusail, and Ras Abu Aboud. A July 2021 update from the Supreme Committee’s Vice Chairman, Yasir Al Jamal stated:

“Five of our stadiums have been completed, while the other three will be ready soon. Six of the stadiums will be used for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, which will take place in November and December.”


DOHA METRO AND LRT
The Doha Metro consisting of 37 stations with 3 lines (Red, Green & Gold) which connects the city of Doha and provides transport to the doorstep of many of the stadiums is now fully operational. The LRT is expected to open later this year and will provide access throughout the 2022 FIFA World Cup final host city of Lusail. 


HAMAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (HIA) EXPANSION
In 2016 and 2017, Qatar had seen a rapid increase in passenger numbers which significantly exceeded the designed capacity. The HIA Expansion project is well underway to boost the airport capacity to 50 million annual passengers and is due to complete in early 2022.
 


WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR QATAR BEYOND 2022?

Given the significant financial investment that the Qatar government has made in preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the relatively short period that this has been undertaken in, it may have been reasonable to think that there may be a downturn in construction output post 2022. 

However, a June 2021 report forecasted that construction output was to record an annual average growth of 4.2% between 2022 and 2025, due to a number of key factors including:

  1. Further projects associated with the Qatar National Vision 2030 plans;
  2. Expansion of LNG production capacity – The North Field Expansion;
  3. Public-Private Partnership (PPP) planned projects.

The Qatar National Vision 2030 is reportedly planning to consume US$16.4 billion of investment in infrastructure and real estate projects by 2025. 

The aim of the Qatar National Vision 2030 is to develop Qatar to become an advanced society capable of sustaining its development and diversify its economy away from dependence on the oil and gas sector.

Qatar’s plans to increase Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) production capacity will see a significant investment in oil and gas related projects. The North Field Expansion will increase Qatar’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) production capacity from 77 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 110Mtpa, which accounts for an LNG production capacity increase of approximately 43%. 

The enactment of a new law regulating PPP projects is expected to attract private sector investment in the development of infrastructure projects such as schools and healthcare and assist in the delivery of the Qatar 2030 Vision.

Overall, it would appear that this tiny country, arguably ‘punching above its weight’, has, some eight years on from our article identifying various challenges it faced then, risen admirably to face those challenges and is on course to deliver on its ambitious plans to deliver a first of its kind World Cup experience. 

See you in 2022.  


Article written for Issue 22 of the Driver Trett Digest. To access the full issue, please visit: www.driver-group.com/digest-issue-22

Articles  /  Digest  /  Global  /  Middle East

Articles  /  Digest  /  Global  /  Middle East

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