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Qatar is spending
almost $500m
(£400m) a week on
major infrastructure
projects as it
prepares for the
2022 Fifa World Cup,
its finance minister
has said.
Ali al-Emadi expected
spending to continue at
that level for three to
four years as new
stadiums, motorways,
rail links and hospitals
are built.
More than $200bn
(£160bn) will be spent in
total by the gas-rich
But Mr Emadi denied
that the plans would
make the 2022
tournament the most
expensive World Cup
The 2014 World Cup in
Brazil is reported to
have cost $11bn
(£8.8bn) to host, while
Russia increased
government spending
on the 2018 World Cup
by $321m to $10.7bn.
Brazil struggled to get
many of its stadiums
ready, but Mr Emadi told
reporters in Doha on
Tuesday that Qatar had
already awarded 90%
of the contracts for
2022 projects and that
two-thirds would be
delivered within the
next 24 months.
“We are giving
ourselves a good chance
to deliver things on
time,” he added. “We
don’t want to be in a
place where we start
painting when people
are coming to the
In order to achieve this,
contractors have
brought in hundreds of
thousands of migrant
workers, mainly from
South Asian nations,
who human rights
groups say have been
exploited and forced to
work under dangerous
Qatar’s government
has denied the workers
are exploited and in
December it
implemented reforms
designed to improve the
rights of the migrant
Mr Emadi said the
money for the World
Cup projects had been
protected from cuts to
the national budget
caused by low oil and
gas prices.
Last year, Qatar had an
estimated budget
deficit of more than $
12.8bn, and the 2017
budget has a projected
deficit of $7.8bn.
The pressure on the
state finances is now
easing because of
higher oil prices, and Mr
Emadi said Qatar might
not need to issue
international bonds this
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