‘The first World Cup in the Arab world and Middle East offers us a unique opportunity to celebrate humanity.’
Speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum (QEF), H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy reaffirmed the country’s commitment to host a FIFA World Cup™ that is open to all, and that acts as a bridge between cultures.
Speaking during a one-on-one interview with Simone Foxman, Middle East Correspondent for Bloomberg Television, Al Thawadi said: “The first World Cup in the Arab world and Middle East offers us a unique opportunity to celebrate football, and for fans to get to know people from different walks in a true celebration of humanity.”
Al Thawadi went on to discuss how the tournament has had a transformative impact on the country.
“The last ten years have showcased our resourcefulness, our resilience, our adherence to our values, along with a commitment to progress and a recognition of our role in the global community,” said Al Thawadi.
Since being awarded the rights to host the FIFA World Cup™, Qatar has delivered on major infrastructure projects including a modern metro system comprised of 37 station stops, a modern rail network as well as putting in place many labour reforms.
Al Thawadi said: “Our commitment to the human rights of our workers over the last 12 years has been unwavering. Through the labour reforms we have made, we have set the benchmark in this field for the region. The experts have recognized this, and I am happy to see that the World Cup’s legacy is being delivered before the tournament kicks off.”
Nasser Al Khater, Chief Executive Officer of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC, took part in a QEF panel discussion titled ‘Sports and Tourism: A Win-Win for National Growth?’
Al Khater highlighted how stadiums built for the tournament would continue to serve the country long after the final whistle, making them a sustainable investment for the country’s future.
“One of the key objectives we had in 2010 when we won the rights to host the World Cup was to design the legacy of the stadium prior to designing the stadium itself. This was done based on the location of the stadium and depending on what the needs of the immediate community were.”
Al Khater went on to explain the exhaustive consultation process that each stadium went through, citing Al Janoub Stadium where the community highlighted the need for more green space and leisure activities, all of which have been built into the stadium’s precinct.
“Many of the country’s football clubs will have their facilities move to World Cup stadiums after the tournament ends, enabling us to repurpose the neighbourhoods in which their older facilities are currently situated,” he added.
In August, Qatar will mark 100 days to go until the launch of the tournament. The tournament will kick off on 21 November 2022 and conclude 28 days later on 18 December – on Qatar’s National Day.
The Qatar Economic Forum was organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and hosted in collaboration with a number of partners, notably Bloomberg, the international financial data and analysis company. This year’s event brought together some of the world’s most influential financial and economic thinkers, policymakers and business leaders under the theme ‘Equalizing the Global Recovery’.