World football authority Fifa has selected Qatar to host the 2022 football World Cup finals after a ballot of its 22 executive members in Zurich on 2 December.
The Gulf state defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the US.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani attended the ballot and told reporters afterwards, “We have worked very hard over past two years to get to this point. Today we celebrate, but tomorrow, the work begins.
“We acknowledge there is a lot of work for us to do, but we also stand by our promise that we will deliver.”
Qatar will be the first country in the region to host a major sporting event.
With the country’s economy expected to grow by 15.5 per cent this year and soar by 21 per cent in 2011, Qatar is set to embark on an enormous investment programme to build stadiums and associated infrastructure needed for the event. The total cost of construction work is expected to be about $6bn.
Under the proposals submitted to Fifa, Doha will renovate three stadiums and build nine new ones, with the 12 venues divided among seven host cities. This includes the proposed 86,000-capacity Lusail Stadium, which is expected to be completed by 2019 and is scheduled to host the opening and final matches.
Bid organisers said that all the stadiums will be climate-controlled and zero-carbon emitting to combat what could be temperatures as high as 50 degrees centigrade during the two hottest months of the year.
The country has also launched a huge spending policy in recent years to accommodate its growing population, investing billions on rail, air and road links. Plans are also in place to complete a metro system to connect each stadium by 2017.
The country is also set to invest heavily in its hotel and tourism infrastructure to cope with an influx of approximately 400,000 fans. The country currently has around 50,000 hotel rooms, but bid leaders have promised that 95,000 will be available come 2022.