Qatar against the backdrop of 2022 World Cup: what the Arab country looks like without football
Qatar has become the first Arab country to host the World Cup on its territory. In general, competitions of this type are held for the first time in the Middle East, as well as for the first time in the Northern Hemisphere in the autumn-winter season — from November 20 to December 18. Such unique championship has attracted the attention of millions of people from all over the planet, but not every one of them paid attention to how life goes outside the stadiums. Aigul Ziyatdinova, an employee of Realnoe Vremya, translator, is among those who these days is not only watching the matches, but also helping in their organisation as a volunteer.
The “architectural miracle” shown in the photo below is a five-star hotel built specifically for fans and officials. Its structure resembles two crossed sabers, as on the coat of arms of Qatar. The hotel is the flagship project of the Qatari architectural and design company Katara Hospitality, formerly known as Qatar National Hotels Company.
The decision to hold the championship at this time of the year was made for a reason — because of the specifics of weather conditions. If now the daytime temperature is +30 degrees Celsius, then in summer it rises to +40 or +50 degrees. Besides, the World Cup is also held in a reduced period — only 29 days. However, at this time, the embankments of Qatar resemble the embankments of Turkey or Greece, decorated with expensive yachts and colourful, as if toy houses.
Another interesting fact is that Qatar received the right to host the 2022 World Cup twelve years ago, and the construction of stadiums began only in 2013 and took 4 years. As many as eight stadiums have appeared in five cities of this state. According to preliminary data, the 2022 championship will be the most expensive in the history of the tournament, more than $200 billion will be invested in the 2022 World Cup. Such rapid development and high investments have a basis: Qatar is the third largest natural gas reserves, the sixth exporter of natural gas and a major exporter of oil and petroleum products (21st place in the world).
Speaking of the state, it is worth noting that Qatar has a land border with Saudi Arabia, as well as a sea border with the islands of Bahrain and the UAE. Doha is the capital, the seat of government and the location of major commercial and financial institutions. It is also home to more than half of the population. The city is also considered a major cultural centre with various museums and educational centres. A large number of glass and concrete high-rises also make it look like Dubai or New York.
Thanks to its significant oil and gas reserves, Qatar has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world — oil and gas production account for more than 50% of GDP, 85% of the value of exports and 70% of the revenue of the state budget. In the ranking (for 2012) compiled by Forbes, Qatar was the first in terms of “average income per capita”, which amounted to $88,222.
It is possible to get to the 2022 World Cup in different ways — being a tourist, a football fan, a temporary worker and, of course, a volunteer. Today, volunteering opens many doors, allowing people to see the world and contribute to the common work.