Qatar learns mega-event bidding lessons from 2022 World Cup Campaign

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By Mark Bisson and Ed Hula  www.worldfootballinsider.com

(WFI) Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, secretary general of the Qatar Olympic Committee, tells INSIDER that the Gulf nation’s successful 2022 World Cup bid, based around much-hyped cooling technologies, has paved the way for his country to secure future mega-events.

2022 World Cup Qatar
2022 World Cup Qatar

Speaking about the lessons from the FIFA World Cup bid for Doha’s 2017 bid for the world athletics championships, he underlined the strategy to combat the desert country’s fierce summer heat.

“The main issue is really the cooling technology, which we have introduced before with the 2022 bid,” he told INSIDER.

“We know in October it’s definitely different than July and August in Doha, and the weather is nice there… but in case, the cooling technology is there,” he added of Doha’s proposals to stage the prestigious athletics event.

“The second thing we learned from 2022 is the new region, the new market. This is something that we are talking about.”

Sheikh Saoud, who is chairing Doha’s bid for the IAAF 2017 World Athletics Championships, added: “The main point for us is really going to a new region. For going to a new region, you have to be flexible in date, and that’s what happened with the IAAF.”

The track-and-field federation would allow Doha to stage its flagship competition outside of the traditional summer window. London is also bidding for the athletics championships, with the IAAF decision to be announced in Monaco on Nov. 11 .

Qatar shocked the world when it secured the 2022 football tournament last December ahead of frontrunners the USA. The bid campaign placed great emphasis on bringing the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time.

After also announcing that Russia had won for the FIFA vote to stage the 2018 World Cup, president Sepp Blatter said at the time that he was “a happy president” because the quadrennial competition was heading to new lands.

Sheikh Saoud’s comments to INSIDER came in Lausanne, Switzerland on the sidelines of the IOC’s briefing for the six applicant cities for the 2020 Olympics.

In addition to Doha’s 2017, the Qatari capital is bidding for the Olympics for a second time after missing out on 2016. Baku, Istanbul, Madrid, Rome and Tokyo are also vying to stage the 2020 Games.

Qatari Bank Prepares for World Cup Construction

Qatari bank Al Khaliji is launching a specialised contracting finance division to support infrastructure projects for the 2022 World Cup.

“Qatar is expected to spend a staggering $150bn on hosting FIFA World Cup 2022,” said Robin MCcall, group CEO of Al Khaliji, noting that the major projects included development of Metro Rail, state-of-the-art stadiums, hotels as well as other infrastructure schemes.

“Major contractors and sub contractors involved in these projects will need to resort to bank finance. Al Khaliji has introduced a specialized contracting finance division to cater for the requirements seamlessly and efficiently for contractors and subcontractors awarded with projects,” he added.

Qatar 2022 chiefs have reiterated to INSIDER in recent months that the Gulf nation will keep within its $4 billion budget to develop the 12 host stadia. Nine are being built from scratch and three existing venues renovated and expanded.

They say the additional billions, quoted by a number of financial analysts as being linked to the World Cup, are being invested in infrastructure projects earmarked in the Qatar Masterplan that would have been developed regardless of whether or not the country had won the 2022 bid. More info