World Cup Host #Qatar Tries to Build Its Way Out of Covid - Bloomberg

World Cup Host Qatar Tries to Build Its Way Out of Covid - Bloomberg
It’s pretty much business as normal at Lusail, a half-built metropolis north of Doha’s main corniche. At least 20 cranes dot the dusty skyline as a dozen workers toil on the roof of a hotel site overlooking a new artificial island. Trucks ply around a giant mound of sand.
If the coronavirus, global economic squeeze and the future of hydrocarbons are raising questions about the viability of projects across the Gulf, you’d never know it from the scene in Qatar.
With two years to go before the tiny peninsula hosts the soccer World Cup, one of the richest countries on the planet per capita is doing what it knows best: spending its vast wealth from exporting natural gas on the latest stage of Doha’s transformation into a global business and transit hub that’s meant to rival regional neighbors Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Yet the question many foreign residents and Qataris are increasingly asking is whether it’s a model from a now bygone era. The concern, like in much of the Gulf, is that the vaunted economic diversification mainly rests on heavily subsidized real estate development, and it’s not clear what—or who—will be left when sports fans have departed and stadiums have been dismantled.

[Author: nor[email protected] (Rupert Neil Bumfrey)]

Tags: Travel, Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Gulf, Lusail, Rupert Neil Bumfrey, Covid Bloomberg, Host Qatar Tries