With four and a half years until the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off, Qatar is ahead of schedule when it comes to venues, related major projects and even paint.
Of the eight stadiums it will build or renovate for 2022, one ” Khalifa International Stadium ” is already open and will host the World Athletics Championships next year.
Two more, Al Wakrah and Al Bayt stadiums, are expected to be finished by the end of this year and officially opened early in 2019.
Work is also well under way on Lusail Stadium, where the World Cup final and opening game will be played in 2022.
Construction across Doha ” the 2022 World Cup is effectively a one-city tournament and the longest distance between venues just 55 kilometres ” progresses despite the Gulf political crisis.
In the 13 months since Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies froze all relations with Qatar, World Cup organisers have proved resilient.
The embargo, in place since June 5, 2017, cut off the supply of construction materials from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but they were swiftly replaced by imports from Malaysia and China.
New roads, hotels, museums, neighbourhoods even towns ” including the estimated $45 billion Lusail ” have been built.
Doha’s first metro system, costing $36 billion, is on track to open in 2019.
Qatar expects up to 1.5 million fans to attend in 2022 and they will be housed in a combination of hotels, Airbnb properties, tents and some 12,000 on cruise ships.
Designated fan zones will be put in place as well as regulated areas where fans can drink.
For security, Qatar will use foreign police officers to try and combat hooliganism, say organisers, as they aim to deliver”the safest World Cup in the world”.
British Typhoon fighter jets bought last year by Qatar for $8 billion will help provide security and patrol the skies during the event.