As the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 approach, economists are pondering on how the tournament will affect Qatar’s economy over medium and long terms, given the very positive performance that many research centers and international institutions are expecting from Qatar’s economy, despite successive crises in the world, slow economic growth, and atrocious inflation rates.
Global economic forecasts are gloomy, but Qatar’s economy appears to be on a different trajectory according to the International Monetary Fund, which predicts Qatar’s economic growth rate at 4.9 percent – driven by a variety of fundamental factors, namely gas price increases and hosting of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
In line with recent official statistics, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is expected to generate direct financial revenues of QR8bn ($2.2bn), and long-term economic revenues of QR9.9bn ($2.7bn) from 2022 to 2035. In addition to the expected boom in tourism revenue during the World Cup and beyond.
According to Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association, Qatar’s government and private sector have been working hard to get infrastructure and other services completed since Qatar won hosting rights.
The World Cup is an ideal opportunity to accomplish the initiatives of Qatar National Vision 2030, since more than $200 billion has been spent on roads, bridges, ports, airports, metros, housing, tourism, and free zones, and these investments will yield returns after the tournament, he added.
Our foreign presence and promotion of Qatar are currently focused on the World Cup as a strong point for attracting foreign investment. This will reflect positively on the country’s future as an investment as well as tourism destination, he added.
In light of the ongoing implementation of projects related to QNV 2030, Sheikh Faisal ruled out that the Qatari economy would enter a recession after the World Cup, saying that World Cup spending increases GDP by 1.5 percent.
As for how the World Cup has impacted Qatar, economist Dr. Abdullah Al Khater told QNA that it began when the announcement was made in 2010, by uniting the directives of decision-makers and various sectors towards one goal. A total of $500 million has been spent per week on various projects initiated by the state over the past period.
The infrastructure built for the World Cup won’t be limited to the tournament period but will extend beyond, especially with the launch of huge liquified gas projects that will provide financial resources for diversifying the state’s economy.
According to him, the aviation and hospitality sectors will benefit most from the World Cup, as the country’s good reputation will rise after the event, resulting in an increase in tourism and more patronage for Qatar Airways.
It is clear that such benefits are evident in reports on previous World Cups. This is particularly the case for the one held in 2006 in Germany, which helped raise its global ranking from 7 to 1. It is predicted that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will serve the same purpose as the World Cup Germany by highlighting major Qatari brands.
Several reports indicate that managing the state’s brands effectively and marketing them well will help create long-term commercial value while contributing to gross product growth for over 25 years.
Tourism will also benefit from the tournament, along with brands. Qatar will have between 1.2 and 1.5 million fans. Consequently, Qatar will be able to provide an exceptional experience for its visitors.
Qatar’s World Cup will be a gateway to broader economic and social growth prospects, as well as boost Qatar’s international image.
Saeed Khalil Al Absi, an economic writer for QNA, said that the World Cup will be an opportunity for the world to learn more about Qatar’s capabilities and experience organizing large sporting events. This will improve trust in dealing with Qatar in various fields and allow Qatari companies to export their expertise in the World Cup organization, namely infrastructure and hospitality.
Qatar’s infrastructure will play a major role in achieving QNV 2030’s sustainability goals, as it will impact trade, transport, and services, as well as promote Qatar as a global sports capital and related specialties such as sports teams’ training and rehabilitation centers before and during sports season breaks, as well as medical tourism and others, Al Absi explained.