Qatar is spending almost half a billion US dollars on 2022 World Cup projects every week.
The Qatari finance minister, Ali Shareef Al-Emadi, told reporters that government spending on 2022 World Cup and infrastructure projects are reaching as much as $500 million a week. He added that such spending could continue over the next four years to get the country ready for the tournament.
With the 2020 FIFA World Cup approaching fast, Qatar is in a hurry to complete massive projects to accommodate the games. They are currently involved in infrastructure, housing, stadium and other mega projects that need to be ready in time.
Half a billion dollars a week fits into the country’s $200 billion World Cup budget, which they will invest in the first football championship of its kind. They have flown in some of the world’s leading engineers and architects to build innovations like air conditioned stadiums, as well as new roads, highways, rails, airports, and even hospitals according to Al-Emadi.
The finance minister was speaking to a group of international journalists this Tuesday, whom had been invited to the country for a press trip.
He added that the budget for the football tournament has been protected from cuts, despite Qatar’s $12 billion budget deficit last year, the first in 15 years. For 2017, the state has approved a budget with a $7.7 billion deficit, and are looking to introduce a Value Added Tax, most probably in 2018, in a GCC-wide agreement.
However, Al-Emadi said that the introduction of VAT would not pave way to the introduction of an income tax in the country.