Qatar’s move to set up an organisational structure to coordinate the $60bn-worth of infrastructure work scheduled for the 2022 World Cup shows that the state is aware that it needs to start planning now.

Doha is creating a steering committee to oversee the massive construction programme. The gas-rich state will be building stadiums, hotels, roads and rail networks over the next 12 years to meet the requirements of the estimated half a million people, who will descend on the tiny nation for the world’s biggest sporting event.

A problem that has plagued the [Qatar] market is a slow and bureaucratic tender process

Although 12 years is plenty of time to build what is required, when it comes to planning and scheduling time is already running out. The construction programme is of unprecedented size for the region and will pose a number of technical and logistical challenges to complete projects to the required standard.

When selecting programme managers for the construction work, the new steering committee will need to ensure that it enlists the services of firms with the experience to plan and handle large sporting events.

Although on a much smaller scale, the Australian consortium headed by GHD that Doha appointed as programme manager for the 2006 Asian Games, had previous experience as a planner for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

A problem that has plagued Qatar’s construction market in recent years is a slow and bureaucratic tender process. The World Cup steering committee will need to ensure that it works with programme managers and authorities to ensure an efficient system for the tendering and awarding of projects is implemented.

As the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporter, Qatar will have no problem accessing capital to deliver all that it has promised to build over the next 12 years. The big challenge is ensuring the projects are delivered on time. With the selection of the steering committee, Doha has made a strong start.