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The most expensive in history.. Did the Qatar World Cup fall into the trap of "miscalculations?"

 Apart from the competition inside the green rectangle, the 2022 World Cup, hosted by Qatar at the end of this year, won the title of "the most expensive tournament in the history of Sports", after its equipment funds amounted to about 220 billion dollars, according to the most modest statistics.

The most expensive in history.. Did the Qatar World Cup fall into the trap of "miscalculations?"

The most expensive in history. Did the Qatar World Cup fall into the trap of "miscalculations?"

This special edition did not need any drama to go down in history, it is enough that it is the first to be held in the Middle East or in the winter, and that its competitions are held in an area that is the smallest among the 22 countries that hosted its previous 21 editions.

But a recent study published by foreign reports, most notably Reuters, the American magazine Forbes and the American website "Frontofficesports", which specializes in economic matters related to sports, said that Qatar incurred an imaginary cost to host the World Cup, amounting to 220 billion US dollars, which may exceed twice the total spent to host all versions of the tournament throughout history.

The most expensive Qatar World Cup in history

The American website "Frontofficesports" revealed the significant differences between the cost of the Qatar World Cup and the previous 7 editions, where the 2014 tournament in Brazil was the most expensive by 15 billion dollars.

According to the source, the cost of the 1994 World Cup in America amounted to 500 million dollars, in 1998 France 2.3 billion, then it increased to 7 billion in 2002 (Japan and South Korea), and decreased to 4.3 billion in 2006 (Germany).

The 2010 World Cup, held on the black continent for the first time, specifically in South Africa, cost 3.6 billion, against 15 billion for the 2014 edition in Brazil, and the cost of the 2018 Russia World Cup decreased to 11.6 billion.

Thus, the total amount spent on the equipment of the last 7 editions of the World Cup is about 44.3 billion dollars, which is almost 20% of the cost of the Qatar World Cup, noting that the versions that preceded that period did not need all the current complications in terms of stadiums, host cities, and others, as well as the number of teams, was less than the current situation.

Extended investment plans

The site pointed out that the costs associated with the construction of new stadiums in Qatar ranged from 6.5 to 10 billion dollars, while another 210 billion was spent on infrastructure and preparations for hosting the tournament within the "Qatar 2030" plan, the construction of hotels, advanced underground transportation, airports, and others.

According to the Qatari plans, hosting the World Cup has stimulated the start of these projects, which are now seen as long-term investments.

A government official told Reuters that most of the work was planned separately as Qatar seeks to diversify its non-energy-dependent economic activities, aspiring to become a regional business center, and to increase the number of tourists 3-fold to reach 6 million tourists annually by 2030.

Does Qatar benefit from hosting the World Cup?

Doha is not expected to make a profit that compensates for the volume of spending on hosting the World Cup or to recover a significant percentage of the amounts paid.

The report of" Frontofficesports " indicated that the revenues of the 2022 World Cup may reach 20 billion dollars, which is almost 9% of the previously mentioned cost.

The most expensive in history.. Did the Qatar World Cup fall into the trap of "miscalculations?"

The small size of Qatar will pose a dilemma for the fans ' delegations, as the organizers estimate that 1.2 million fans will visit the country over the 28 days of the tournament.

The arrival of fans from 32 competing countries to attend the matches in 8 stadiums inside and on the outskirts of the capital Doha, on the positive side, means that fans will have easy access to all stadiums, which increases the possibility of watching more than one match a day unlike the last two editions in Russia and Brazil, where flights were often needed to travel from one place to another.

But it also means that there will be real pressure on the limited accommodation market in Qatar, given the large numbers expected to attend the World Cup.

In recent days, the projects and Legacy Committee in the state of Qatar, which is responsible for organizing the tournament, unveiled a flight program for one-day fans, from the Arabian Gulf countries, especially the cities of Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait, and Muscat, to attend the 2022 World Cup competitions.

According to the advertiser, 60 flights will be organized daily from Dubai to Qatar, as well as 40 from Riyadh and Jeddah, 48 from Muscat, and 16 from Kuwait via Kuwait Airways, according to the Saudi newspaper "Asharq al-Awsat".

The program developed in this regard allows the fan from the mentioned countries to travel to Qatar and return home on the same day immediately after the end of the matches.

Press reports said that the prices of air tickets between Dubai and Doha witnessed increases ranging between 300 and 400% during the World Cup period - between November 21 and December 18 - in light of the high demand for only 5 daily flights between the two cities.

The trap of miscalculations

In addition to direct revenues and profits, Qatar expects profits indirectly, by becoming a source of attracting foreign investments to it.

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But the economic website "invest monitor" excludes that the volume of foreign investments in Qatar will increase as a result of hosting the 2022 World Cup, citing what the economies of the last 3 countries that hosted the World Cup have witnessed. 

South Africa, Brazil, and Russia did not see any jumps in the rate of foreign investments after hosting the World Cup in 2010, 2014, and 2018, respectively, but they often saw a decline even before the corona pandemic at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020.
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