Qatar splurges $229bn on its World Cup, but has it scored an own goal?
It spent up to 18% of its GDP on infrastructure, but many fear much of the new build may sit idle after the tournament
Tucked behind Doha’s $300m Lusail Boulevard, where construction workers are toiling to transform desert into a Champs Elysees-inspired commercial thoroughfare before the 2022 Soccer World Cup, sits a sole convenience store.
With the main stadium, four skyscrapers and blocks of flats designed for some 200,000 people all in Lusail, its manager Younes waits somewhat anxiously behind his till, anticipating a rush of trade when the event finally kicks off in November.
Gas-rich Qatar, in an attempt to emulate the dramatic transformation of Gulf rivals Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has spent at least $229bn on infrastructure in the 11 years since winning the bid to host the World Cup...