FIFA World Cup: Qatar’s vast wealth helps it host tournament


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates –

Qatar is dwelling to some 2.9 million individuals, however solely a small fraction — round one in 10 — are Qatari residents. They take pleasure in large wealth and advantages fuelled by Qatar’s shared management of one of many world’s largest reserves of pure fuel.

The tiny nation on the jap tip of the Arabian Peninsula juts out into the Persian Gulf. There lies the North Field, the world’s largest underwater fuel subject, which Qatar shares with Iran. The fuel subject holds roughly 10 per cent of the world’s identified pure fuel reserves.

Oil and fuel have made the 50-year-old nation fantastically rich and influential. In a matter of a long time, Qatar’s roughly 300,000 residents have been pulled from the laborious livelihood of fishing and pearl diving.

The nation is now a global transit hub with a worthwhile nationwide airline, a pressure behind the influential Al Jazeera information community and is paying for the enlargement of the biggest U.S. army base within the Mideast.

Here’s a take a look at Qatar’s economic system and the way this tiny nation was capable of spend a lot to host the FIFA World Cup:


For most of its existence, the tribes of Qatar relied on pearl diving and fishing for survival. Like different elements of the Gulf, it was a harsh and naked existence. The discovery of oil and fuel within the mid-Twentieth century modified life within the Arabian Peninsula endlessly.

While a lot of the world grapples with recession and inflation, Qatar and different Gulf Arab vitality producers are reaping the advantages of excessive vitality costs. The International Monetary Fund expects Qatar’s economic system to develop by about 3.4 per cent this yr.

Despite an enormous spending spree to arrange for the World Cup, the nation nonetheless earned greater than it spent final yr, giving it a soft surplus that’s persevering with into 2022. Qatar’s riches are more likely to develop as it expands capability to have the ability to export extra pure fuel by 2025.

Its sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, manages and invests the nation’s monetary reserves.


Qatar has spent some US$200 billion on infrastructure and different improvement tasks since profitable the bid to host the five-week lengthy World Cup, in keeping with official statements and a report from Deloitte.

Around $6.5 billion of that was spent on constructing eight stadiums for the tournament, together with the Al Janoub stadium designed by the late acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid.

Billions have been additionally spent to construct a metro line, new airport, roads and different infrastructure forward of the matches.

The London-based analysis agency Capital Economics stated ticket gross sales counsel that round 1.5 million vacationers will go to Qatar for the World Cup. If every customer stayed for 10 days and spent $500 a day, spending per customer would quantity to $5,000, the analysis agency stated. That might quantity to a $7.5 billion enhance to Qatar’s economic system this yr. However, some followers could fly in only for the matches whereas staying in close by Dubai and elsewhere.


Like different wealthy petro-states within the Gulf, Qatar is just not a democracy. Decisions are made by the ruling Al Thani household and its selected advisors. Citizens have little say of their nation’s main coverage choices.

The authorities, nevertheless, supplies residents with vast perks which have helped to make sure continued loyalty and assist. Qatari residents take pleasure in tax-free incomes, high-paying authorities jobs, free well being care, free larger schooling, monetary assist for newlyweds, housing assist, beneficiant subsidies that cowl utility payments and plush retirement advantages.

The nation’s residents depend on labourers from different international locations to fill jobs within the service sector, equivalent to drivers and nannies, and to do the robust building work that constructed modern-day Qatar.


The nation has confronted intense scrutiny for its labour legal guidelines and remedy of a whole lot of 1000’s of migrant employees, principally from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and different South Asian international locations. These males reside in shared rooms on labour camps and work all through the lengthy summer season months, with only a few hours of midday respite. They typically go years with out seeing their households again dwelling.

The work is usually harmful, with Amnesty International saying dozens could have died from obvious warmth stroke.

Rights teams have credited Qatar with bettering its labour legal guidelines, equivalent to by adopting a minimal month-to-month wage of round $275 in 2020, and for dismantling the “kafala” system that had prevented employees from altering jobs or leaving the nation with out the consent of their employers.

Human Rights Watch, nevertheless has urged Qatar to enhance compensation for migrant employees who suffered damage, demise and wage theft whereas engaged on World Cup-related tasks.


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