Qatar spending $500ma week on World Cup infrastructure projects

Posted February 11, 2017

Asked if this would make the gas-rich Emirate's tournament the most expensive World Cup ever, the minister said no. And to do that, Qatar is spending an eye-popping $500 million per week.

Qatar, the small country on the Arabian Peninsula with a population less than that of Nevada, is spending nearly half a billion dollars per week in preparation for the 2022 World Cup according to the country's finance minister.

"We are putting $200 billion in terms of infrastructure".

According to Qatar's finance minister, Ali Shareef Al Emadi, the country is spending upwards of $500 million Dollars a week on major infrastructure, from stadiums to roads, and may continue to do so until 2021. But Qatar is planning to have everything ready soon, with the finance minister recently telling reporters that the country had already awarded 90 percent of the contracts for the projects.

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As things stand in qualifying, they are the ninth best team in Asia, a confederation that receives 4.5 places at the World Cup. The money for the world cup had been protected from the cuts to the national budget caused by low oil and gas prices.

In 2014 Brazil struggled to get many of its stadiums ready. The extreme temperatures, high costs and workers conditions have made Qatar one of the most controversial World Cup host nations.

Last year, Qatar ran an estimated budget deficit of more than US$12 billion, its first in 15 years. The numbers may seem like a lot but the finance minister thinks Qatar will keep spending like this for another three to four years.

The pressure on the state finances is now easing because of higher oil prices, and Emadi said Qatar might not need to issue global bonds this year.