DOHA: Qatar is spending nearly $500m every week on World Cup infrastructure projects and will continue to do so until 2021, according to the Gulf state’s Finance Minister.
Ali Shareef Al-Emadi said. “We are spending close to $500m per week on capital projects and this will carry on for the next three to four years to achieve our goal and objective of really getting the country ready for 2022.”
His inclusion of general assisting infrastructure in World Cup cost estimations contrasted with the organising Supreme Committee’s attempts to differentiate between projects under scrutiny from international workers’ rights organisations.
More than $200bn is being spent in total by Qatar in preparation for the 2022 finals, the first to be held in the Middle East and Arab world.
Al-Emadi added: “Some 90pc of the 2022 contracts have already been awarded. That doesn’t mean the stadiums only, we are talking about highways, rail, ports, airports, those are really underway, even hospitals and everything.
“We are really giving ourselves a good chance of delivering things on time and we don’t want to get in a place that we start painting while people are coming to the country.”
Asked if this would make Qatar’s tournament the most expensive World Cup ever, the minister said the money was being used to benefit the entire country.
“We are putting $200bn in terms of infrastructure… If you look at stand alone, the World Cup, no it is not.”
Al-Emadi said the money for World Cup projects had been protected from cuts despite recent budget constraints because of energy price fluctuations.