(Bloomberg) -- Qatar expects November’s soccer World Cup to add as much as $17 billion to its economy, lower than a previous estimate of $20 billion.
The Gulf country is set to attract 1.2 million visitors, within its earlier estimated range of between 1 million and 1.5 million, Nasser Al Khater, chief executive officer of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday.
Qatar wants to use the tournament to showcase its rapid expansion from a small pearl-diving enclave to Gulf metropolis, energy-exporting power and transit hub. Still, the tournament has been beset with controversies, including over the treatment of migrant workers many from poorer countries.
Al Khater said the criticism was overlooking progress Qatar had made, pointing to legislation including minimum wages for workers and setting their employment hours.
Insufficient accommodation for fans has been another area of concern. To meet expected demand, Qatar has leased two luxury cruise liners, encouraged homeowners to rent their properties to visitors, and set up a system of shuttle flights so fans can stay in other nearby countries.
Thousands of rooms in many luxury hotels have been set aside for FIFA officials and players, and Al Khater said the country will provide more for visitors.
Qatar’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Investment Authority and Investment Promotion Agency Qatar are the underwriters of the Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg. Media City Qatar is the host organization.
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