BARRIO – The tournament is set to start in just under two months yet Qatar is still far from ready to welcome the more than one million fans expected.
As of March, there were only a reported 33,000 hotel rooms in the country, 80% of which had already been booked by FIFA for teams, officials, staff and sponsors.
And despite Qatari government representatives ensuring that the Gulf state would deliver up to 130,000 rooms in time for the tournament, things are not looking good in terms of affordable accommodation.
As a result, many fans will be forced to stay in neighbouring countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE and commute to games on match day.
Not a great situation for Qatar, who were hoping to showcase their country to the world.
Recent reports explained just how much investment the Gulf State have spent into trying to make the tournament a success.
Apparently Qatar have spent $200 billion. WOW!
Much of the investment has had to go into developing the nation’s infrastructure and transport links, the biggest of which being the Doha Metro. Opened in 2019, the huge underground transportation network is expected to be key for supporters who want to get around the city at speed and cost roughly $36 billion to develop.
Hamad International Airport was a second key element. First opened in 2014, the nation has since spent $16 billion developing it in recent years.
A large part of Qatar’s $200 billion expenditure has gone on building Lusail, a former village, into a full blown city.
The World Cup is a part of the Qatar National Vision 2030, a broader government strategy promoting the intensive development of urban and national facilities. Most of these large-scale infrastructure projects, which will be used by teams and fans in 2022, were planned even before Qatar was awarded the right to host the World Cup.
With having spent more than 20x what Russia forked out on hosting the tournament in 2018 ($11.6 billion), there’s certainly plenty of pressure to make sure that everything works out properly.