Buoyed by the World Cup, Qatar is expected to record the "highest growth" in retail sales in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) region, with an estimated 36% y-o-y to reach $18.5bn in 2022, Alpen Capital said in a report.
This can be primarily attributed to an estimated 145.5% y-o-y growth in tourist arrivals as the country hosts the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, one of the biggest sporting events globally.
More than 1mn visitors are expected to visit the country during the event, which is likely to significantly boost the revenues for the retail industry and add approximately $17bn to the nation’s economy.
However, growth is expected to normalise post the completion of the FIFA World Cup with retail sales reaching $21.2bn in 2026, equating to an annualised growth rate of 3.5% since 2022.
Although Qatar is a relatively smaller market compared to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, it is likely to benefit from the long-list of global sporting events lined up to take place in the country during the forecasted period, Alpen Capital noted.
The rise in number of football fans from across the globe will help increase retail sales not only in Qatar but also the neighbouring GCC nations. Qatar Duty Free has been named as the Official Retail Store for the global footballing event.
This includes a licence to exclusively sell all FIFA World Cup 2022 merchandise and collectables in the fan zones and at all stadiums hosting the matches in Qatar.
Fans will also be able to purchase tournament memorabilia at Hamad International Airport, the Official Airport of the FIFA World Cup 2022, and at numerous outlets in malls across the country. In addition to hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022, the country has bid to hold several other international sporting events, festivals and tourism related activities in the coming years.
Some of the major international sporting events lined up to take place in the country include the Formula 1, International Golf Championship, World Championship of Motorcycles, 2024 World Aquatics Championships, and 2030 Asian Games, among others.
“These will help drive retail sales across the region,” Alpen Capital noted.