• Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

After the World Cup, Qatar’s hotels and stadiums are vacant and have no future plans.

ByJosh Taylor

Dec 16, 2022

It was unlikely that most football fans would have been able to locate Qatar on a map when it was chosen as the host nation for the World Cup back in 2010.
Qatar will return to being comparatively quiet after a month in which more than 700,000 fans poured on Doha. Both the spectators and the large number of migrant workers have already begun to return home. Real estate brokers worry that apartments won’t be built, hotels won’t have enough rooms, and certain stadiums won’t be utilised ever again.
Then there is Qatar’s position internationally, despite the fact that it provides approximately 25% of the liquefied natural gas imports that Europe needs to survive the winter. The nation received criticism on the rights of migrant workers and an opposition to LGBTQ pride emblems before the emphasis of the World Cup went to drama and upsets on the playing field. That is not likely to disappear.
In addition to World Cup news this week, a European Union corruption scandal including bribery claims has focused attention on Qatar. And once a legal battle begins next month, it will once again draw attention to how one of the largest athletic events was given to a little city-state in one of the world’s hottest places. Several officials are charged in a US indictment with accepting funds to support Qatar’s candidacy. The nation disputes having to pay anyone for hosting privileges.
The locals of Qatar will reap some long-term advantages, “Christina Philippou, senior professor in sports finance at the University of Portsmouth in the UK, made the statement. “However, if the main objective was to promote Qatar across the world, I believe there were some less positive aspects. It was a pretty costly advertising effort, and I’m not sure if it was successful one.
There is no denying that Qatar improved its labour rights following scrutiny from campaigners. The reigning emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, told local parliamentarians that some of the criticism was helpful for the growth of the nation a month before the tournament began on Nov. 20. He also retaliated against what he described as a “unprecedented campaign” that was “full of fabrications and double standards” and had questionable intentions.
The long-term goal of Qatar was to compete with Dubai in the area for business and tourism by modernising its image through the competition. There has been precedent for it. Major athletic events have long been seen to be the spark that changes cities.
The 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona were hailed as the model of a sporting triumph, providing much-needed infrastructure and tourists to the ailing Spanish city. As the excitement subsided, criticism of cost overruns and the misrepresentation of social advantages developed, much like it did after the Athens Olympics and the European Football Championships in Portugal years later.
According to a new report from the University of Surrey in the UK, the economic advantage of hosting the quadrennial World Cup may also be a lie, with no obvious gain in the immediate aftermath of the tournament.
Qatar is no exception. Empty buildings may already be seen in the city’s commercial and residential areas. According to the organisers, 765,000 fans visited Qatar during the first two weeks of the competition, which was less than the 1.2 million visitors Qatar had planned for.
However, many of those who travelled there weren’t let down. Shock outcomes, such as Saudi Arabia defeating Argentina, Germany leaving early, Brazil losing to Croatia in the quarterfinals, and Morocco moving on to the semifinals, increased the convenience of the competition being held in a single location.
Jason Daley, an American who has gone to every World Cup since 2006 and manages social media pages that update fans about the competition, said, “It’s amazing to be able to see all the different cultures and people, and it’s lot more family friendly.” The process of entering the stadiums and passing through security has been relatively simple in comparison to the last two World Cups.
In a statement to Bloomberg News, a representative of the Qatari government said: “The doubters who thought Qatar wouldn’t be able to successfully hold a World Cup have been proven wrong. Some of those naysayers today acknowledge that the World Cup in Qatar was the safest, family-friendliest, and most easily accessible World Cup ever for fans worldwide.”
It’s uncertain how Qatar will continue to draw tourists in such large numbers. The world’s focus will quickly turn elsewhere as the victors leave Qatar’s Hamad International Airport, which includes an indoor tropical garden complex.
The Real Madrid football club will debut its own theme park in 2019, complete with rides, activities, a museum, and souvenir shops. It’s the ideal after-World Cup destination. But rather than Doha, it will be in Dubai.
Since there isn’t a strong local football league, many of the stadiums will be dismantled or altered. After holding a fashion show and concerts, Stadium 974—named after Qatar’s international dialling code—will be removed. It was built out of shipping containers.
Developing nations have been guaranteed 170,000 seats from other venues. The other six stadiums will be converted into hotels, retail spaces, or smaller football fields for regional clubs, further saturating an already oversaturated real estate market.
According to Ross Griffin, an assistant professor at Qatar University, “the infrastructure, including as the metro system, would have been created regardless of the tournament being hosted.” “However, it gave everything a handy end date.”

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