With 2012 well and truly behind us, you may look back on the highlights of the last year. Surely, most people will reflect on the Olympic Games in London as the outstanding moment of the past 12 months. But what can Qatar learn from hosting a major international sporting event? And does the country have enough time to be ready for the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
In 10 years time Doha will be the epicentre for the world’s most popular sport in the most prestigious tournament. Since FIFA announced Qatar would be the first country in the Middle East to ever host the World Cup, it is fair to say that the last two years have been spent in the planning phase. But will there be enough time to complete the huge projects such as nine new stadia, a new rail network, multiple hotels, roads, bridges etc.?
Only this week FIFA’s General Secretary Jerome Valcke told the Soccerex convention in Rio that the vital wider infrastructure work for the World Cup in Brazil was lagging behind. Mr Valcke has highlighted a lack of hotels for the estimated 500,000 overseas visitors. Of course what impact will the next few years have on the two million residents whilst the City is transformed?
But putting aside the logistical headaches and the deadlines that need to be met, what are the key points that Qatar wants the world to remember post World Cup? The London Olympics, for example, talked of “legacy”.
What are your thoughts on Qatar hosting the World Cup? What impact will this have on you? And what do you think Qatar should strive to achieve as an everlasting memory?