Qatar’s image and economy are improving – who talked about this country just two short years ago? They won a bid to host the world’s largest sporting event- the World Cup- and this small country will be the event’s first ever Middle Eastern host.
The stadiums don’t even exist for the World Cup to be held in 2022. Neither do the hotels, timeshares and resorts that will be necessary to house the 1-2 million people estimated to travel to world cups. This is a group comprised of not only the common football fan, but also press, TV crews and dignitaries.
Qatar has gone on a hotel building splurge across its tiny country. The government has planned to build over 90 thousand rooms by 2022. In 2011, only 15,000 rooms were built. Qatar’s government has also pledged $3 billion to renovating three stadiums and building nine new ones, bringing the country’s total to 12. English is spoken wildly throughout the country, as it is taught to youngsters in school. Foreigners are allowed to drink, but natives cannot even touch alcoholic drinks, so there are questions as to how tourists will be served.
There are cons. Qatar is a strict Muslim country, and some female press are complaining about having to wear burkas. The beaches are not clean and tourist friendly, but some of their press says they are a more liberal country than Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. Also under consideration is that in the Qatar summer, temperatures hover between 107-122 degrees Fahrenheit, conditions that would be deadly to footballers. The very nature of tourism must change, as Qatar carries a strict Visa system.