The much awaited 22nd FIFA men's World Cup is taking place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022. The small and oil and natural gas-rich Arabian Gulf nation has reportedly spent $200 billion so far on infrastructure to accommodate over one million visitors during the month-long sports extravaganza. Against this backdrop, the Qatar economy is expected to grow at a faster pace of 4.6% in 2022 compared to 1.5% in 2021, forecasts GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The much-awaited football tournament is expected to not only put Qatar on the global map as the epicenter of international tourism and business activities but also provide a major boost to the economy. The country has spent enormous amounts of money to upgrade infrastructure in hospitality, power generation, 5G telecommunications and transport. Bindi Patel, Economic Research Analyst at GlobalData
“Qatar’s economy will not only be driven by the investments and rising tourist inflows during the World Cup but also from higher exports of fossil fuels amid the rising demand from European nations.”

GlobalData projects the number of international arrivals in the country to rise by 162% over last year to 2.2 million in 2022. With a surge in tourist inflows and an increase in tourism spending during the World Cup, the wholesale and retail sector are forecast to record a growth rate of 7.6%, whereas investments to upgrade road, railways, and airports are expected to boost the construction sector by 7.3% in 2022.

In terms of potential ticket revenue, GlobalData forecasts an estimated $360.3 million for Qatar across 64 games due to be played during the World Cup. There are 27 active partnerships held by FIFA and the Qatar World Cup, out of which seven hold an estimated value more than $100 million for the current rights cycle alone. The total sponsorship revenue from these 27 deals alone comes out at an estimated value of $1.7 billion.

Huge infrastructure investments have also opened millions of job opportunities in key sectors including construction, real estate, and hospitality. GlobalData forecasts the unemployment rate in Qatar to decline to 0.7% in 2022 from 1.8% in 2021. Rising employment opportunities is also expected to boost domestic demand and real household consumption expenditure is projected to rise by 6.3% in 2022 compared to 3.7% in 2021.

Patel concludes: Although Qatar is the first Arab nation to host the world’s biggest sporting event, which has demonstrated the region’s capability in hosting international events, several concerns including corruption scandals, terror financing, and human rights violation continue to remain a cause of concern towards the overall development of the economy.

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