The opportunities for British companies looking to secure stadium and sports ground work in Qatar are growing in the build up to the World Cup in 2022.
Work on stadium building is well underway and there will also be five fan zones built, as well as 16 new training grounds.
Delegates at the Global Sports Projects Conference 2017 in London were told that the 2022 World Cup is Qatar’s major focus, but that a future bid for the Olympic Games is also on the cards.
Darren Johnson from the Department of International Trade in Qatar, said the country is very keen to diversify its economy away from a reliance on oil and gas and move into a knowledge based economy.
He said there is a fantastic relationship between Qatar and the UK, with bilateral trade of around £5 billion a year. Johnson said:
We know that Qatar will be looking at a future Olympic bid, so it is highly like that the venues being developed by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy will in future be transferred over to the Qatar Olympic Committee.
The Olympic Committe runs about 85 to 105 events per year including handball championships and cycling championships and each of these events require British suppliers for seating, overlay, stewarding and security.
As far as the World Cup is concerned work is underway on many of the stadiums, with the Khalifa Stadium refurbishment project set to complete at the turn of this year.
The 60,000 seater Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor is expected to be finished in 2019.
For the Qatar Foundation Stadium, Johnson said there were opportunities for suppliers and contractors in stadium lighting, structural steel, roof façade, cladding, pitch, manpower, seating, screens, security, catering and cleaning.
In addition to the stadiums, however, work will also be done on 41 training grounds.
Our current intelligence is that 16 of these training grounds will be design and build. We imagine that most of these grounds will go to local contracting companies, so I see an opportunity for the British Embassy to link British suppliers with the contractors working on the project. The other 25 will be refurbishments of existing facilities.
Johnson also said five fan zones are set to be built for the tournament: at Sports Roundabout with a capacity of 60,000, west of Lusail with 50,000 capacity; Sealine Resort with 8,750 capacity; Zekreet 3,400 capacity; Salwa Road 20,000 capacity. He added:
We see an opportunity with these fan zones for British suppliers to be involved, whether through security, catering, or companies that can provide entertainment and experience.
The message I would give about this is that Qatar very much wants to celebrate its culture and invest in its culture and this will be highlighted within the fan zones. There also needs to be entertaintment and the highest quality of service to World Cup fans as well, so there is a blending of these two together.
Image: Darren Johnson speaking at the Global Sports Project Conference