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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Qatar to expand airport ahead of World Cup 2022

Qatar is working on improving its laws and infrastructure in order to successfully host the World Cup 2022. The country is committed to upgrade its legal system and individual freedoms so that maximum number of foreign tourists can be attracted to Qatar.

Qatar announced a major expansion of its Hamad international airport, almost doubling the number of visitors it can receive as the Gulf state prepares to host the 2022 World Cup. Qatar has been working on improving its laws and infrastructure to host the world cup in 2022.

The FIFA Club World Cup is an international men’s football competition organized by the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s global governing body. It attracts people from across the world to watch the tournament which helps the host country to present its soft image before the world.

Qatar has been addressing every allegation and challenge posed by human rights organizations over its World Cup preparations. “I would like to assure any fan, of any gender, (sexual) orientation, religion, race to rest assured that Qatar is one of safest countries in the world — and they’ll all be welcome here,”  chief executive of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Nasser al-Khater recently said.

According to the official reports, work on the first phase of the expansion is scheduled to start next year and be completed two years later, expanding capacity from 35 million to 53 million passengers annually.

The second phase is due to be completed after 2022 and will enable the airport, inaugurated in 2014, to handle up to 60 million passengers per year.

The decision to revamp the only international airport in gas-rich Qatar comes despite a fall in the number of tourists visiting the emirate as a result of a two-year boycott mounted by neighboring countries.

Read more: Qatar – An Emerging Hospitality Hub

“The expansion… is a vital part of the future success of the Qatar Airways group, and of course of the country’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup and beyond,” said the carrier’s CEO Akbar al-Baker.

Qatar has been under a land, air and sea embargo since June 2017 by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Egypt, over its alleged support of radical groups.Doha has categorically denied the accusations.

London-based Capital Economics said last month that the number of visitors to Qatar had dropped by 20 per cent from pre-boycott levels “reflecting weak arrivals from the rest of the Gulf”.

In the first year of the blockade, flights to Doha dived 25 per cent and Qatar Airways flights sank 20 per cent, according to Capital Economics.

It attracts people from across the world to watch the tournament which helps the host country to present its soft image before the world

Qatar Airways reported last month that it posted $639 million in losses in the fiscal year ending in March, attributing the loss to closure of some major destinations. To ward off the impact of the boycott, Qatar implemented an economic diversification plan and opened Hamad Port last year to boost trade and facilitate export-import services.

Recently, Al-Attiyah, Secretary-General National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), pointed to “the seriousness of the violations affecting Qatari children as a result of the blockade imposed on the country, expressing regret that the celebration of the Universal Children’s Day coincided with the continuing violations and discriminatory measures of the blockade countries, which did not exclude any category of Qatari society, including children”.

She added that these violations against Qatari children, even children from the blockade countries, are no longer hidden because of their deprivation of their basic rights, especially the right to family reunification with their parents, where Qatari children were prevented from travelling and settling with their parents, only because they were Qatari citizens.

Furthermore, Al-Attiyah said that the arbitrary decision affected infants and deprived them of their parents, while others found themselves victims because blockade countries citizens were forcibly separated from their Qatari husbands or wives. It is a matter of serious human rights which is affecting the lives of many in Qatar and beyond.

Read more: FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar Approves Minimum Wage Law & Exit Permits

Secretary-General called on the blockade countries to stop their violations that did not exclude children, to abide by the international laws and conventions they have ratified in the field of protecting children’s rights, and to implement the resolutions of international organizations and bodies asking them to stop their violations. She also hoped that the international community may play a role in this regard to protect the rights of children and women in the State of Qatar.