A boycott imposed on Qatar by four Arab nations is likely to impact the country’s ongoing preparations for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, according to expert analysts.
Qatar is in the process of building a number of stadiums for the national football team tournament, as well as additional transport links and an entire city – all of which formed a key basis of its successful bid proposal.
However, the country’s ongoing support for extremism has led to criticism from other Arab nations Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), all of which have imposed trade bans on Qatar.
This move has forced Qatar to look further afield for vital resources required to support its ongoing preparations for the World Cup, including construction materials. The cost of importing these resources from farther abroad is much higher and could in turn increase an already-huge budget for the tournament.
According to The National, before added costs, Qatar had committed $200bn (€169bn/£151.3bn) to building new stadiums for the World Cup, as well as $35bn for a metro and rail system, and a new city that will become home to 200,000 people.
Allison Wood, of the Control Risks advisory in Dubai, UAE, has said that ongoing uncertainty over trade relationships with other Arab states could impact plans for the tournament, while building contractors concerned over delayed or lack of payment prior to the boycotts will now “likely be exacerbated” by the situation.
“The goods from new supply chains are often more expensive and a lot of contractors are already operating on quite low margins, so higher costs of material can really cut into their bottom line,” Wood said, according to The National.
“There’s no doubt that the boycott will put an additional premium on what was already going to be a very expensive World Cup.”