Stadiums and glitzy venues may attract all the attention when hosting major international events, but it is transport projects that really make the difference.

The events are designed to attract hundreds of thousands of people and before anything else can be considered, the hosts have to make sure large volumes of people can get to the venue smoothly and safely.

With only a basic public transport system in place in Qatar, the issue is a major one for the 2022 Fifa World Cup host. Recognising this, Doha has moved quickly to award contracts for its metro system, which will be used to move visitors from the airport and their hotels to the new stadiums that they plan to build.

For the Expo 2020, Dubai is in a better position. It already has a reasonably developed public transport network and two metro lines, but these rail links do not extend to the Expo site at Al-Maktoum International airport. A new rail link is planned and the Roads & Transport Authority has appointed a consultancy team to complete the preliminary engineering for a new metro line out to the Expo site.

The project will not just benefit people visiting the Expo as it could offer opportunities to connect other residential and commercial areas, most notably the new airport, to the Dubai Metro.

Unlike venues that risk becoming white elephants once the events are over, the new metro lines will almost certainly have a positive impact on both Doha and Dubai long after 2022.