Through the decades, we have seen World Cups held in North America, East Asia and Africa. And now the Middle East. On December 2, 2010, it was announced that the world’s most coveted football tournament will be touching down in Qatar in 2022.
For the first time, the Arab world was given an opportunity to celebrate its heritage and footballing passion on a global stage. Football is the number one viewed sport in Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, with over 10 million fans. Compare that with the fact that Qatar is the smallest nation to host the FIFA World Cup both in terms of geography and population, and the true scale and scope of this tournament becomes apparent.
With the country expected to bring in more than 1.5 million spectators from all over, which is a huge increase on the existing population, and billions more tuning in to watch the 64 matches over 28 days, the impact on Qatar cannot be understated.
Cultural context is important. Qatar has always welcomed prospective families, businesspeople and expats looking for new career opportunities, business endeavours and adventures. With a diverse demographic making up Qatar’s population, the World Cup will be a cultural moment to bring the country’s fans together through the shared experience and excitement of the tournament.
A hotspot for new entrants
A young country attracts young families. As opportunities boom, young professionals have been eager to relocate to a country that welcomes youthful ambition. This young population drives the economy, shaping Qatar’s future, accelerated by a blend of local and international communities.
The FIFA World Cup acts as a stage for what the country has to offer. As technology advances, Doha is aiming towards being a flagship of what to expect in a world constantly accelerated by innovation.
While the international perspective of Qatar is focused on elevating the traditions of the Middle East in unique destinations like the Museum of Islamic Art, it is replete with forward-thinking ambition to celebrate art, food, culture and innovation on a far broader scale. This is one reflection of a young population motivated to unlock its full potential.
Scripting history on the move
Qatar’s history is still being written at a fast pace and the FIFA World Cup has a big part to play. People want to help build a country that can continue to reach new heights. An eclectic and broad spectrum of skills have come together to design and host a sporting event, one that’s grounded in Arabian heritage and celebrates Qatar’s place on the world stage.
Further landmark experiences, such as Formula 1 and a motor show are already forming part of the experience ecosystem of this nation, and more are sure to follow.
The FIFA World Cup may be uncharted territory for the region, but expectations are high. But apart from the best of the world’s footballing talent, Qatar too takes the global centerstage.