Qatar spending $500ma week on FIFA World Cup projects

Posted February 11, 2017

Russian Federation has meanwhile increased government spending on the 2018 event by $321 million to $10.7 billion (about N5.35 trillion).

Qatar is now spending $500m a week on capital projects in preparation for its World Cup games in 2022, said its Minister of Finance.

To put that into perspective, Qatar is looking at spending $200 billion by the time the tournament kicks off, which is 19 times more than Russian Federation is projected to spend ($10.7 billion) and 18 times more than Brazil spent ($11 billion).

"We are putting $200 billion in terms of infrastructure".

At the meeting, Minister of Finance Ali Sherif Al Emadi, who is also chairman of the ministerial group for coordination and follow-up of major projects (of strategic importance), gave a detailed presentation on the implementation of current and future projects in key sectors along with the steps taken to implement them.

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"We are giving ourselves a good chance to deliver things on time", he added.

While hosting a FIFA World Cup often means building a batch of new, state-of-the-art stadiums, Qatar's preparations go far beyond that. But Qatar is planning to have everything ready soon, with the finance minister recently telling reporters that the country had already awarded 90 percent of the contracts for the projects. The extreme temperatures, high costs and workers conditions have made Qatar one of the most controversial World Cup host nations.

Last year, Qatar had an estimated budget deficit of more than $12.8 billion, and the 2017 budget has a projected deficit of $7.8 billion.

Qatar, which has the world's third-largest natural gas reserves and produces up to 800,000 barrels of oil a day, has been forced to tighten its belt following a 2014 collapse in the price of crude.

The pressure on the state finances is now easing because of higher oil prices, and Emadi said Qatar might not need to issue global bonds this year.