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nasser al khater

Fans should expect a memorable experience, including the opportunity to attend more than one game a day, when they attend the next FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar.

Speaking during a webinar hosted by the Swiss Business Council Qatar, Nasser Al Khater, CEO of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC, said organisers were working hard to ensure fans enjoyed the most compact tournament in modern history.

“Much of our focus remains on operational planning and ensuring we offer a fan experience which makes this World Cup unique,” said Al Khater, who was speaking to an audience of 21 chairpersons from business councils and chambers of commerce based in Qatar.

“We want to make sure fans have a holistic experience in terms of transport and are able to watch more than one match per day. There will be large fan zones in strategic locations, a vast range of activities and the opportunity to walk between West Bay and Souq Waqif.”

The webinar was organised in order to discuss the challenges posed by the pandemic to Qatar’s business community, including preparations for the World Cup. Al Khater said work had continued unabated in recent months despite the ongoing challenges.

“We have reached 85% completion across our construction portfolio. Two more stadiums will be launched by the end of this year, followed by Lusail, Al Thumama and Ras Abu Aboud in 2021. We will have at least a year between the completion of the stadiums and the beginning of the World Cup.”

Al Khater added: “The pandemic has affected everyone – and of course our project is not immune. However, preparations have continued and we have taken all the necessary health and safety measures – in line with government regulations. We have all become very familiar with Zoom and Microsoft Teams in recent months.”

The recent completion of Education City Stadium – the third tournament-ready venue for Qatar 2022 – was a proud achievement, said Al Khater.

“It was very challenging to organise a digital event during the pandemic but we didn’t want to hold back. We wanted to be innovative and pay tribute to the frontline health workers. The live programmes we produced in collaboration with Qatar Foundation and beIN SPORTS were a fitting tribute to everyone who has given so much to fight this dreadful virus.”

Al Khater said he hoped the pandemic would not affect Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup – but said the country would be prepared for all eventualities.

Al Khater signed off by praising the local business community for being proactive in seeking information regarding the effects of COVID-19 and said he looked forward to continued collaboration in the lead-up to Qatar 2022.