Qatar is spending $ 200 billion on the World Cup. They’ll build a whole city

The World Championship in Qatar is guaranteed to be the most expensive in history – it is impossible to repeat this scale of construction soon. 

Every week Qatar spends about $ 500 million on preparations for the tournament – and these are not space forecasts based on stories about the wealth of the Sheikhs, but the official figures from the Minister of Finance of Qatar Ali Sharif al-Emad: “We will spend money just as ardently in the next 3-4 years to complete the main task – to be ready for the championship. “

Qatar’s total spending on the 2022 World Cup exceeds $ 200 billion. The amount is eighteen times more than Russia spent on the World Cup (the government recently approved a new estimate – 643.55 billion rubles, or 11.1 billion dollars at the current exchange rate of the Central Bank).

The money goes not only for the construction of stadiums and training centers – the entire sports infrastructure fits into about $ 10 billion. The rest is new roads, a full-fledged rail network built from scratch, hospitals, an airport and even a new city that will host the World Cup final. “Almost all of the 200 billion we invest in the country’s infrastructure, and if we talk exclusively about the facilities of the World Cup, it will not turn out to be the most expensive in history,” Finance Minister al-Emadi is sure.

Funding for projects related to the 2022 World Cup is protected by the government from any cuts, even despite the general tightening of budgetary policy.

Qatar has been hit by instability in the oil and gas market, with a budget deficit of $ 12 billion in 2016 (the first deficit in 15 years), and the government had to slash spending. The budget for 2017 is planned with a shortage of 7.7 billion, but the finance minister argues that the country has adapted to the new conditions and feels comfortable.

Initially, Qatar wanted to use 12 stadiums at the World Cup – now, only eight are included in the project (this is the minimum bar from FIFA). If necessary, Qatar is ready to build another arena, but FIFA, most likely, will not require any changes.

We have already talked about the two stadiums of the 2022 World Cup; among others, the 40,000-seat Al-WAK rah, which is being built according to the project of Zaha Hadid, who died in March 2016, deserves special attention.

All objects of the world championship must be ready a maximum of a year before the start of the tournament, or even better – even one and a half. Finance Minister Al-Emadi said: “We are not going to paint the walls when people start arriving. Everything should look right in advance. “

The most compact transport

According to the organizing committee, the World Cup in Qatar should be special because of its unique compactness. Depending on the schedule, fans will attend at least two matches per day in the group stage.

The longest distance between the two 2022 World Cup stadiums is 56 kilometers (between Al Khor in the north of Qatar and Al Wakra in the south), almost like between Old Trafford and Infield in England.

The shortest distance between arenas is 5.6 kilometers (between Khalifa International and the Qatar Foundation), less than between Emirates and White Hart Lane in London.

The main transport for the 2022 World Cup should be the new national metro, which is estimated at 18 billion euros. The shortest trip from the stadium to the stadium will take only 5 minutes, the longest – an hour. The Qatari authorities have focused on the metro for two reasons: 

  • It will help unload roads and improve the environment – following the country’s development strategy until 2030, Qatar should pay special attention to cleanliness. 
  • It’s just faster.

Pro-tip: if you are visiting Qatar and have trouble getting around, there are a few options you can make use of:

The metro started at the end of 2019. The builders promised four lines: in Doha, trains run underground. Outside the city, trains go out into the street. At the first stage, 74 stations were opened in the standard railway system.