The allegations of corruption and a possible re-vote on the host of the 2022 World Cup will not only be causing concern for Qataris, the region’s construction industry will also be anxiously holding its breath.
When Qatar won the rights to host the world’s biggest sporting event on 2 December 2010, the region’s contractors quickly began rubbing their hands in anticipation. As part of its audacious bid to host the World Cup, Doha pledged to spend more than $60bn on developing sporting facilities and infrastructure.
Qatar’s impending construction boom has become even more important to the region’s contractors since the wave of anti-government protests began to spread throughout the region. Political stability and a set timeline for the infrastructure programme means that Qatar is set to provide a steady flow of projects in a regional market beset with uncertainty.
It is not just the $4bn-worth of stadiums and 65,000 new hotel rooms that will suffer if Fifa withdraws Qatar’s right to host the event. Several projects planned before Qatar was awarded the World Cup were making little progress and many believed were destined never to reach completion. But the tournament gave new impetus to the schemes.
A prime example is the $4bn Qatar-Bahrain causeway, which has suffered numerous delays and is currently on hold. A key part of Qatar’s bid proposal, it is important that the bridge project is completed before the event.
If the 2022 World Cup is taken away from Qatar, not only will the future of the project be uncertain, it will be a major blow to all Qatar’s development plans and the entire region’s projects market.
Contractors will be hoping that Qatar’s World Cup dream is not stopped from becoming reality.