Qatar 2022 CEO: Qatar Has Always Been a Regional Sports Superpower

  • Publish date: Friday، 24 June 2022
Qatar 2022 CEO: Qatar Has Always Been a Regional Sports Superpower
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The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, scheduled to take place in November, is receiving its finishing touches in Qatar.

In an interview on the sidelines of this year's Qatar Economic Forum, Nasser Al Khater, CEO of FIFA World Cup Qatar, stated that Qatar has long been a regional sports powerhouse hosting significant events even before winning the bid to host the competition back in 2010.

"The 2006 Asian Games were the first significant event we hosted. Since then, we've hosted more than 600 international and regional events. In terms of sporting events, the World Cup is undoubtedly the largest, but we've also hosted the Handball World Championship, the IWF Athletics World Championship, and Formula 1 for the past few years.

"Qatar has been a regional powerhouse in sports and will continue to be so," he said, indicating that the Gulf state would continue to organize sporting events even after the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

In a panel discussion at QEF on the World Cup, Al Khater identified growing Qatar's brand value as well as the country's status as a tourist destination as key indicators for its success.

The first and most important one is brand, brand value, and an increase in tourism, and to help our friends in tourism to help them achieve their goals in terms of increasing tourism here in Qatar, he said. "In relation to the return of the World Cup there is no direct return, it's an intangible return," he said.

Over the previous ten years, the World Cup has "changed the nation. The World Cup has been the foundation for the development we've witnessed, which has been expedited and [which] was part of the 2030 vision for the country's development and diversification away from the hydrocarbon industry, according to Al Khater.

He informed the panel that one of the main goals for the 2010 World Cup was to "truly create the legacy of the stadium prior to creating the stadium itself."

According to Al Khater, "We decided to build those into the stadiums depending on the place of the stadium and based on what the communities needed at the time."

For instance, the community around the Al Janoub Stadium in the south of the country "needed more leisure activities, community centers, and wedding halls," so the authorities undertook the necessary actions through surveys and site visits to ensure the community's needs are met.

Qatar's Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani clarified the unwarranted criticism of the Gulf nation by the west over its hosting of the 2022 World Cup while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos last month.

"The Middle East has endured discrimination for decades. And I've discovered that a lot of this prejudice stems from people not knowing us or, in certain circumstances, not wanting to know us, added Sheikh Tamim.

The treatment of migrant workers in Doha and the absence of regulations to safeguard them have drawn criticism from throughout the world. To ensure that the rights of workers are protected and upheld, the Gulf state has since implemented significant reforms in recent years.