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Qatar World Cup 2022

The 2022 World Cup Countdown Begins

Qatar is just 10 years away from hosting the world’s leading sporting event, the 2022 World Cup. However, the question posed by experts at this juncture is, whether Qatar is going too slow in its World Cup preparations, given the huge infrastructure projects that it has on its agenda. Experts are pointing out to the fact that a well-developed country such as Germany, required more than 10 years to ready the stage for the 2006 World Cup.

Therefore, a nation such as Qatar, given its climatic conditions and geographical features, may require more time to complete the huge infrastructure projects, else, Qatar will have to really pace up its actions, they argue.

With the clock already ticking, the countdown has begun for Qatar, and ten years is not too far away. Further, Qatar will also have to host the FIFA Confederation Match one year prior to the World Cup, pointed out a project consultant from one of the globally leading firms.

In comparison to the earlier host countries, the infrastructure gap in Qatar is huge and is far from ideal. Hence an early preparation is vital for Qatar, particularly for expansion of its public transportation network. One of the sticking point here is the delay in launch of rail network, which is a major component for this mega event to be successful.

The first tender by Qatar Rail Company was planned to be issued by end of 2011, but, the company has just invited the first phase of metro rail transit system. It may take another year for the work to commence full-fledged. The process was delayed to complete detailed studies of the project.

The Doha metro project will include four rail lines, which will link the stadiums for the 2022 Soccer World Cup, through an underground component located in the centre of Doha.

Further, the delays in launch of mega projects associated with the World Cup, are actually keeping away foreign companies, the market sources said.

However, few other Doha-based project consultants and experts are of the opinion that Qatar is well-on-track and is capable of delivering its commitments on time. They argue that no foreign companies are actually leaving Qatar, and on the contrary, more firms, particularly from neighbouring states, are keen on entering the booming Qatari market.

Speaking about the 2022 World Cup preparations, Jad Achkar, the Operations Director of Decorelle, leading project consultancy firm, said that with ten years in hand before the event, there is no need to hurry up and complete the projects within five years time, and continue maintaining these projects for the next few years, as it demands huge money.

Pointing out to the South Africa playing host to 2010 World Cup, he said that the South Africa had just completed the projects in time for the World Cup. Expressing confidence in Qatar hosting the World Cup, Jad also pointed out that Qatar had kept up its timely commitment, when the country showcased one of the best Asian Games in its history.

Qatar should be in a position to welcome nearly two to four million visitors, accommodate all teams and dignitaries during the month-long competition, and ensure that they can travel with ease and speed around the country. Majority of visitors may depend on buses, and Jad expressed confidence that Qatar will be able to accommodate the growing number of buses before the event.

Ashghal has already embarked on $20bn project works, with plans to launch 22 major road projects, including the ‘Smart Transportation System’ that form part of its five year plan. On completion, motorists can easily commute between Al Khor and New Doha International Airport in 35 minutes.

The Arc-Ritz Roundabout will link Doha Bay underground crossing. Construction of a link road is planned from Landmark Mall to the Industrial Area and a Wakrah Bypass. Phase II and Phase III of the North Road, stretching 100km along the highway includes bridges that link to the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway. Salwa international highway, stretching 81kms, will include four lane dual carriageways, with 10 interchanges, which extends from the Industrial Area to the Saudi border.

Hospitality is another major sector to be developed. FIFA requires that Qatar should have a minimum of 60,000 hotel rooms in time for the World Cup. However, the bid committee has already pledged to exceed this, and aims to provide nearly 90,000 rooms, with majority of hotels to be built in Al Wakrah and Doha.

Qatar is also progressing with its $17bn tourism-related infrastructure projects, monitored by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) over the next five years. There are 19 hotels and nearly 5,544 hotel rooms that are now under construction, and in planning stage in Qatar. Qatar has third largest pipeline of hotels in the region.

For the year 2012 alone, Qatar will see entry of more than 2100 rooms, and is well on track to implement its proposed projects, Jad confirms.

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