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FIFA World Cup estimated to contribute Rs4.25Trillion to Qatar’s economy

Qatar’s GDP is estimated to grow by 4.1 per cent in 2022, the country is looking to make it 12% 2030 as apost-Covid19 recovery

LAHORE: The 2022 FIFA World Cup, which saw 32 teams from five confederations playing 64 matches during the course of 29 days, is expected to contribute $17 billion (Pakistani Rs4.25 trillion) to Qatar’s economy during the event when final calculations are carried out, besides providing $35 billion (Pakistani Rs8.75 trillion) betting boon for bookmakers operating across the planet.

A week ago, Qatar World Cup 2022 CEO, Nasser al-Khater, had hoped that the FIFA event would contribute $17 billion to Qatar’s economy during the event.

The dollar to Pakistani rupee conversion in this story has been done at Rs250 to one American dollar, a figure that is higher than the interbank Pak Rupee greenback parity and less than the black-market value of the US currency.

As Argentine trampled all over France in the intensely-fought final Sunday, the amount of money that may well have been spent on gambling is hence more than double the revenues reaped by Qatar.

As far as betting during the World Cup is concerned, a November 28 report of eminent US media house The Bloomberg had stated: “A total of $35 billion will be wagered on the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a 65% increase on the previous edition after a surge in online gambling during the deadly pandemic, according to analysts at Barclays.”

Although Brazil were the favourites to win the World Cup, many online betting websites had rightfully thought Argentine would triumph and bag final honours — though most had predicted before the start of the game that it would be a drawn fixture till the stipulated 90-minute time. Or to put it more simply, odds were stacked against France right from the start. But extra time saw betting trends fluctuating at a great speed in favour of both teams.

Qatar has reportedly spent at least $229 billion (Pakistani Rs57.25 trillion) on infrastructure in the 11 years since winning the bid to host the World Cup, according to a May 5 report of the “Reuters.

Here follow some more financial aspects of this World Cup as reported by dozens of international media houses during the last few months or so:

To host the World Cup, Qatar has spent an amount of $6.5 billion (Pak Rs1.625 trillion) to build seven new stadiums for the tournament and renovated an eighth.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar will generate roughly $7.58 billion (Pak Rs1.895 trillion) in revenue, topping the previous record of $5.4 billion (Pak Rs1.35 trillion) from the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Thanks to the once-in-four-year tournament, Qatar’s GDP is estimated to grow by 4.1 per cent in 2022. As Qatar’s tourism sector has been steadily bouncing back from Covid’s impact, the country is looking to make it 12% of its GDP by 2030.

There is no doubt that the hotel business is one of the main beneficiaries of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. With an estimated 1.5 million tourists believed to have descended on Qatar for the tournament, over 150 new hotels were built for the event.

As per global real estate consultant Knight Frank’s report, by 2025, the hotel industry in Qatar could see 89% growth to over 56,000 hotel rooms, which will cost over $7 billion (Pak Rs1.75 trillion).

More than three billion football fans across the world will be glued to their television screens during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Apart from TV networks paying top dollar for broadcast rights, sponsors were also predicted to pour a record-high amount of money—up to $1.72 billion (Pak Rs430 billion) into advertising during the event to vie for attention from viewers.

As the tournament kick-started, data showed that Chinese companies emerged as the biggest sponsors — $1.4 billion (Pak Rs350 billion).

Most notably, it is likely the last World Cup tournament for Lionel Messi, the Argentina striker — who is considered one of the greatest ever footballers of all time. It is also highly likely that 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo will don the Portuguese colours for one final time.

Cooling systems at stadiums, accommodation investments, including private islands, villas, apartments and hotels are few of many examples demonstrating such huge costs. If we consider only Doha, more than $15 billion (Pak Rs3.75 trillion) has been spent on an accommodation complex known as The Pearl, while $36 billion (Pak Rs9 trillion) has been spent on the Doha Metro.

On top of that, investments in new cities such as Lusail City, constructed around Lusail Stadium, feature 22 hotels and enough housing for 200,000 residents, as well as a theme park, two marinas and two golf courses.

On November 21, 2022, The Guardian had reported: “FIFA has increased its World Cup revenue by more than $1 billion (Pak Rs250 billion) after taking the tournament to Qatar, the governing body has revealed.”

Revenue generated by the four-year cycle of the Qatar World Cup (from 2018 to 2022, including an extra five months because of the winter schedule) will reach $7.5 billion (Pak Rs1,875 billion), compared with $6.4 billion (Rs1.6 trillion) for the previous cycle in Russia.

FIFA officials estimate the windfall will generate an extra $700,000 in investment for the game, with $300,000 accounted for in emergency Covid funding.

FIFA has allocated $440 million (Pak Rs110 billion) in prize money for the 2022 World Cup, up from $400 million (Rs100 billion) in 2018 and $358 million (Rs89.5 billion) in 2014.

FIFA had confirmed in April 2022 that the Champions would receive a purse of $42 million (Pak Rs10.5 billion), an increase of $4 million (Rs1 billion) as compared to the 2018 prize money.

Prior to 2006, cup-winning teams pocketed more than $10 million (Rs2.5 billion).

In 1982, winners Italy had walked away with an estimated $2.2 million (equivalent to Rs550 million of today). Simply qualifying for the event meant that each team would be paid a $1.5 million (Rs375 million) participation fees. But sides made much larger sums by progressing through the knock-out stages.

Based on the prize money break down revealed by FIFA, reaching the semi-finals had ensured that the four top teams received more than the amount doled out to the 2006 World Cup winners.

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