Though, the Saudi-led blockade slowed down the preparations for FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar as the supply was stopped from the siege countries, immense wealth and a five year time window has allowed Qatar to continue their work without any stress.
The new arrangements made by Qatar will now bypass the blockade, the Malaysian steel will be replacing the Saudi, while Oman will supply materials that were initially ordered from the UAE. Even China will likely be stepping in a big way by supplying dozens of products. Qatar has also found ways in erecting facilities to build bleachers.
“For every challenge that we face, there are solutions that keep popping up,” SecretaryGeneral of the Qatar World Cup Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy Hassan Al Thawadi said. “We are working with our contractors to make sure we actually deliver long-term supply chain solutions and alternatives.” Neither he nor analysts ventured estimates for the cost overruns.
The vast reserves of Qatar will allow them to host the event successfully. Even before the siege tacked on costs, Qatar had committed $200bn to build new stadiums, a $35bn metro and rail system, and a new city for 200,000 people. It also set out to double the size of its airport to handle as many as 53 million passengers a year.
‘‘The World Cup is a do-or-die project for Qatar” and it will pay for it, said Adel Abdel Ghafar, visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center.
“It’s a matter of prestige and national pride and they are fully invested in it, so I don’t see work for the project being stopped.”
Around 1800 workers are sweating it out to finish the Al Wakra stadium by the end of the year. Meanwhile, the other stadiums will likely be completed by 2020, allowing an 18 month trial period.
Contractors said that they had to act fast to find new markets for comparable materials, and that’s delayed things. Al Thawadi said that won’t affect the overall schedule and that cost overruns as a result of having to create last-minute supply chains have been minimal.
“The good thing is we have a buffer,” Al Thawadi said.