Qatar is well positioned to leverage its expertise in sporting event management, PwC said in its ‘Qatar Economy Watch’ report.
Although the World Cup was by far the biggest event that Qatar has hosted, the country already has substantial experience including the Asian Games in 2006 and the first F1 Qatar Grand Prix in 2021, which is becoming an annual event.
Other established annual events include the ExxonMobil Qatar Open Tennis Tournament, Qatar Masters Golf Tournament and the Qatar MotoGP Grand Prix.
More mega-events will follow, including the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, the 2024 World Aquatics and the 2030 Asian Games.
Qatar has also bid in the past to host the Olympics and is reconsidering it for 2036, with a successful FIFA World Cup under its belt.
Qatar’s planning for the FIFA World Cup focused heavily on developing a long-lasting legacy, PwC noted.
Stadium 974, for example, is based on a modular design that features stacks of shipping containers and the plan is to donate it to support sports in another country.
Other stadiums such as Al Bayt, Ahmed Bin Ali, Al Janoub and Al Thumama will be reconfigured to reduce their capacities to between 20,000 and 25,000 seats, in line with domestic needs, freeing up around 170,000 seats to be donated.
The infrastructure that has been built, including these stadia will be used to host future mega events.
Meanwhile, Lusail Stadium will be reconfigured into a community space for schools and will house a number of sports facilities, health clinics and shops.
“While Qatar will continue to focus on sports as a national priority and a core pillar of the country’s global brand, it should explore the potential of hosting global nonsporting mega-events such as music festivals, political and economic summits, and global expositions to encourage tourism and utilise its world-class facilities,” PwC said.
Existing events such as the Doha Forum and the Geneva Motor Show serve as great examples for Qatar to continue to build on.
In preparation for the FIFA World Cup, Qatar made significant leaps towards improving its transportation infrastructure.
This included the development of the three-line, 37-stop Metro along with light rail networks in Msheireb, Lusail and Education City in line with the country’s commitment to sustainability.
Looking ahead, the report noted, there are plans announced to build an additional Metro line and several new stations by 2026, as well as three additional lines for the Lusail Tram.