On December 2, 2010, FIFA announced that Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, bringing the world’s most prestigious tournament to the Middle East for the first time in the tourney’s 92-year history. Qatar won the privilege to host the World Cup on the fourth ballot, beating Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.
Qatar’s winning bid outlined the “most compact” World Cup ever, with all but one of the 12 proposed venues within 60 kilometers of each other. The organizing committee pledged to construct nine new stadiums and to renovate another three, impressing the FIFA Executive Committee with a breathtaking architectural vision and an ambitious plan to harness the power of the sun’s rays to cool players and fans in an environmentally responsible way.
Qatar will host 31 other nations that will play 64 games, beginning and ending in Lusail Iconic Stadium which was designed specifically for the World Cup and which will have a zero carbon footprint. The tournament also promises to leave a lasting legacy, not only in Qatar but across the world after the organizers pledged to reconfigure nine of the stadiums after the tournament and to provide 170,000 seats to emerging nations to help develop their sports infrastructure.
Qatar’s World Cup strategy includes continued infrastructure development, which will not only enable visitors and residents to enjoy the tournament, but will provide the foundation for future growth and national development.
Qatar has pledged to spend as much as $70 billion to build and expand a world-class infrastructure network. Although much of Qatar’s road network was built during the past 10 years, the government has committed $20 billion to expanding the network until 2016. These commitments include major new roads connecting the Hamad International Airport to all cities in Qatar, and also the new motorway to neighboring Bahrain.
For the first time, Qatar is also developing a world-class rail network after Qatar Railways Company (RAIL) and Deutsche Bahn signed a $26 billion agreement in 2009. The agreement set out a joint venture to construct an environmentally friendly and attractive metro network in Doha, with four lines connecting 98 stations across 300 kilometers. Depending on the need, the lines will run through tunnels, at ground level and as an overhead railway, and will connect major locations such as Hamad International Airport, the Lusail City urban development area, Education City and West Bay.
The agreement also set out plans for a long-distance network that will provide mobility for passengers and freight, with links to neighboring countries Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The long-distance network will include a 180-kilometer long high-speed line to Bahrain, with a top speed of 350 km/h, and a 100 km passenger transport line to Saudi Arabia with speeds of up to 200 km/h. In all, the plans call for 325 km freight transport network, with 270 km used by passenger services.
Finally, Qatar’s World Cup strategy envisions the construction of over 55,000 hotel additional hotel rooms to manage the influx of World Cup guests.
There are already plans to double the supply of rooms in hotels and guest apartments by 2022 to cover the everyday requirements of an economy, and the government, as part of its Qatar National Vision 2030 economic diversification policies, intends to contribute substantial investment in excess of $17 billion in the next years. The Qatari government has also pledged to construct 64 “team base camp” facilities, which include 32 hotels and 32 training sites to accommodate every team.