The staging of the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha has provided a preview of how Qatar would host a “successful” 2022 FIFA World Cup, according to the president of the Qatar-Indonesia Business Council.
Speaking to Gulf Times Wednesday, Farhan al-Sayed stressed that the international event not only placed Qatar in the global sport and tourism map, but also created economic benefits among many sectors of the country.
“In terms of business, the hotel, telecommunications, food and beverage, and transport sectors, as well as the airline industry also did well and benefited a lot from this 10-day event; Qatar was very busy even after the event as many delegations stayed to see other destinations in the country.
“For the tourism industry, the event also brought in around 2,000 athletes from more 200 countries, participating in 49 athletics events, so you could just imagine the growth in footfall experienced by many establishments across Doha, al-Sayed pointed out.
Al-Sayed said Qatar’s “economic consumption grew” because of the influx of many visitors during the staging of the events, specifically in the malls, restaurants, and retail establishments in the souqs, which witnessed brisk business from the presence of many tourists.
“Major players in the transport industry also made good business; and this arrival of many tourists and commuters has opened the doors for Qatar further because now a lot of people would want to visit Qatar as the athletics event put the country under the international spotlight.
“Qatar is on a roll because not only because the country hosted the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships, but it is also the venue of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games Qatar 2019 from October 12 to16,” al-Sayed said.
With some of the world’s best athletes from all five continents competing later in the week, al-Sayed said the influx of many delegations will again cause a trickledown effect to many business establishments across Doha.
“This is an eye opener for the Qatar Olympic Committee and other sports federations that were watching how things were held during the event. I congratulate all the organisers involved in this for a superb job they have accomplished,” al-Sayed said.
“With the all stations in the metro coming online during the World Cup, many athletes and their fans will experience how world-class Qatar is in terms of its transport industry because of the careful preparations government has taken to make this world-class sporting event a success,” al-Sayed noted.
He noted that the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships “will drum up further interest” among Qataris and expatriates to take up athletics aside from other sports, such as football.
“The games served as an eye opener for the younger generation,” he added.