The Business Year

Nasser Al Khater CEO, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

QATAR - Economy

Nasser Al Khater

CEO, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Bio

Nasser Al Khater is the CEO of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the joint venture between Qatar and FIFA that was launched in 2019. He is also a senior advisor to the Secretary General’s Office of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. He is responsible for leading the planning and delivery for the FIFA World Cup 2022️. Before joining the bid committee in 2009, Al Khater worked at Shell Qatar and HSBC, as well as with Qatari government agencies to establish development strategies for SMEs and national leadership development programs, which led to the establishment of Enterprise Qatar and the Qatar Leadership Centre.

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is just the beginning to making Qatar a regional sporting hub as the country continues growing its sports events-hosting portfolio.
How have you developed Qatar World Cup’s sustainability, and how will it take shape during the event itself?

Nasser Al Khater: From day one, we knew the World Cup was more than a 28-day footballing event. It was a chance to harness the power of football to drive positive and sustainable change beyond the tournament. A key part of that is realizing and leaving behind a sustainable human, social, economic, and environmental change not just in Qatar, but the region as well. To achieve such change, ourselves and key stakeholders in Qatar have worked on several campaigns to ensure a lasting legacy of institutional and cultural change across various sectors including tourism, hospitality, economy, education and more. Qatar is committed to host a carbon-neutral World Cup. Key elements such as fan transportation via the Doha metro to stadiums and wider festivitieas, electric buses and the tournament’s small geographical footprint supports that vision. We have also achieved ISO 20121 certification, the third-party international standard that sets requirements for developing and implementing an effective management system to deliver a sustainable event. Qatar 2022 is the first World Cup in history to achieve this certification

Technology and innovation will be key to the hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. How will it help improve fan experience and the overall smooth organization of the event?

Nasser Al Khater: Qatar 2022 is an innovative tournament across all fronts. It is a tournament of firsts. Qatar 2022 is the first edition of the tournament to be held in the Middle East and Arab World. For many fans, this will be their first time visiting Qatar or even the region, so the World Cup is more than just the football; it is a unique opportunity for fans to explore our region’s rich culture, heritage, and customs—a chance for them to experience them all firsthand and dismiss any misconceptions they may have held about it for years. The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be the most compact tournament yet, with no two stadiums further than an hour apart, meaning internal air travel is eliminated, and visitors and players alike can stay in the same accommodation throughout the tournament, further reducing the tournament’s carbon footprint and supporting efforts to host the first carbon neutral edition of the event. Fans will be able to make the most of the football atmosphere in the stadiums and across the country by attending more than one live match in a day—an unprecedented opportunity for passionate fans. A key promise in our bid, this will also be the first World Cup to feature cooled stadiums. While temperatures will be mild in November and December, the cooling technology will be used to overall the fan experience by ensuring constant cool and clean air. Outside of the stadiums, the fans will have the chance to immerse themselves in an electric environment of celebration, whether at the fan zones, concerts, beaches or even in the malls—the country will be one big football festival offering something for everyone.

How would you evaluate the whole ecosystem created to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the infrastructure where the games will be held?

Nasser Al Khater: We are pleased to let fans see the world-class facilities that Qatar has developed for their national teams. As with all of our World Cup projects, legacy planning has been a key factor, and many of the training sites renovated and built will benefit local clubs and communities long after the tournament has finished. The new hotels will also support Qatar’s growing tourism industry post-2022. Over the last decade, Qatar has hosted over 600 regional and international sporting events, including the FIFA Club World Cup on two occasions, and our major test event, the FIFA Arab Cup. These tournaments in particular have helped us to prepare for the greatest show on Earth and prepare to welcome the world to our home.

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