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What does Qatar tourism get thanks to the 2022 World Cup?

What does Qatar tourism get thanks to the 2022 World Cup?

What does Qatar tourism get thanks to the 2022 World Cup?

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    The total number of visitors and revenue for the tourism industry from the 2022 World Cup has not been announced, but Qatar has "won" in some aspects, such as promoting its image.

    Qatar returned to a quiet rhythm after Argentina won the 2022 World Cup on December 18 and the teams and fans returned home in turn.  An oil-rich nation, Qatar challenged the "money can't buy everything" notion by owning a French football club and then hosting the World Cup.

    Popularity is something that many Qataris feel satisfied because at least the name of their country has been widely known around the world.  Many people did not even know of the existence of this country with an area of ​​just over 11,500 square kilometers.  But now, they not only know, but also come to watch football, contributing to supporting Qatar in promoting the country's image, and attracting tourists to visit later.


    What does Qatar tourism get thanks to the 2022 World Cup?
    Corniche, the road along the coast in Doha. Photo: Anh Ngoc

    To serve the 2022 World Cup, Qatar invested 300 billion USD, most of which is building infrastructure such as stadiums, and accommodations for more than 750,000 fans.  Qatar's effort to organize this World Cup is said to be a desire to reduce economic dependence on oil and gas and develop tourism.

    A Qatari official said the economy had been boosted by the World Cup.  The event also accelerated their diversification initiatives. By 2030, Qatar aims to welcome 6 million international visitors, three times more than in 2019.

    "The World Cup is a unique marketing lever to promote Qatar's image as a tourist destination," the official said.

    During a month of the tournament, the often deserted buildings scattered in the residential areas and commercial centers of Qatar are packed with tourists.  They had to serve at full capacity, meeting hundreds of thousands of people at the same time.  The fact that tourists flock to watch the World Cup in large numbers also causes rents to increase by 20-30%.

    One hotelier once estimated that new hotels could recover 15% or more of construction costs if they were fully booked during the tournament.  Homeowners in residential areas can also rent out apartments for $1,000 per night.

    Berthold Trenkel, Chief Operating Officer of Qatar Tourism (the country's tourism operator) said that the 2022 World Cup will bring new life to Qatar's tourism industry, which is often ranked behind Dubai. Visitors from Saudi Arabia, who were absent after a diplomatic disagreement in 2017 and due to the pandemic, returned once again.  They account for 24% of the country's tourist arrivals, topping the list of foreign visitors.

    Besides, many businesses expect to take this opportunity, the government will relax visa policy and residence law to encourage foreigners to come and invest more.  According to Abbas Ouni, manager of a real estate business, hosting the World Cup "is a golden opportunity and a precious gift for Qatar. The government needs to prepare to make it easier for people who want to live here”.


    What will the post-World Cup be?

    "I always talk to people about the fear of December 19, when the tournament is over. Because after that, we'll be back to normal," said Berthold Trenkel, Qatar Tourism's chief operating officer.

    In fact, no need to wait until December 19, Doha has been empty since a few days before the final.  Fewer matches mean fewer fans staying.  There will also be fewer visitors to newly built beach clubs or restaurants and bars.


    What does Qatar tourism get thanks to the 2022 World Cup?
    Many constructions in Qatar have not been completed even though the World Cup has ended. Photo: Bloomberg

    Returning tourists also make the apartments empty.  Rents fell because of less demand.  Currently, the host is trying to find other guests to fill in. And those who intend to rent say that they will take advantage of this post-World Cup opportunity to bargain down the house price.

    Chirag Doshi, a chief investment officer of an insurance company in Doha, said that after the World Cup, the sectors that were "particularly vulnerable" were real estate, hotels, and catering.  "The capacity generated for this large-scale event will take time to absorb, leading to a recession or economic hardship," Doshi said.

    In the "crazy" race to complete the construction of hotels and residential areas before the World Cup, many projects are still unfinished.  The hotel is in the high-end Andaz Doha segment, expected to be completed by the end of 2022, but may not open until next year.  The current state of the hotel remains in disarray, filled with construction workers and unopened attractions.  This means that the hotel has missed the opportunity to make money from the World Cup.

    However, Qatar is a country with strong economic potential.  It is increasing its liquefied natural gas supply capacity by more than 60% and has closed deals to ship to China and Germany for at least 15 years.  This project will bring huge economic benefits.  As a result, most investors and credit unions are confident that the government will eventually step in and help them mitigate their difficulties.



    21 Dec 2022
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