The major contribution of US companies towards preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ was highlighted during an event in Doha.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy's (SC) Nasser Al Khater told the Second US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue forum that companies such as CISCO, CH2M and AECOM had made a significant contribution towards tournament planning since Qatar won the right to host the tournament nine years ago.
Qatar's robust economic partnership with the US includes bilateral trade and investment in various sectors, with plans to double the current $125 billion Qatar-US economic partnership in the coming years. Annual bilateral trade between the countries currently totals almost $6 billion.
During a roundtable discussion, Al Khater, the SC's Chief of Tournament Readiness & Experience Group, said: "Since 2010, we've been proud to call a number of the US's biggest and best organisations strategic partners on our World Cup journey. We promised to host one of the best FIFA World Cups ever seen – and by ensuring we have the best companies working on our World Cup projects, we will be able to do just that."
Al Khater continued: "We've engaged with more than 30 US organisations across a range of industries, including some of our most important projects to-date.
"In construction, we've worked with Turner International, CH2M, Jacobs and AECOM. CISCO, Oracle and Amazon have been working with us on everything from IT to networking to cyber-security solutions, while leading US universities, including Georgetown and Northwestern, along with Facebook, have been helping to support our legacy programmes."
Al Khater went on to say Qatar is looking forward to welcoming thousands of US fans in 2022 – and also said the country would be happy to share knowledge with the US, Canada and Mexico ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup™, which the three countries will host jointly.
"Despite not qualifying for Russia 2018, thousands of US fans attended the tournament and the US was again – for the third tournament in a row – the biggest purchaser of tournament tickets after the host country. We hope the US retains this title in 2022 and that we can welcome thousands of US fans to our country to experience the first tournament in the Arab world."
Al Khater continued: "As was the case with us learning from South Africa in 2010, Brazil in 2014 and, most recently, from Russia last summer, we are sure we will be able to offer valuable lessons to the organising committee in the US as it prepares to host the first 48-team World Cup, along with Canada and Mexico. My organisation and Qatar stands ready to support you on this journey."
Also at the event, Mohammad Al Hajri, Stakeholder Outreach Manager for the SC's Workers' Welfare Department, participated in a session discussing the current labour situation in Qatar.
Chairing the discussion was Mohammad Hassan Al Obaidly, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, and Martha Newton, Deputy Undersecretary of Labour for International Affairs.
Following a general overview of state-wide developments, Al Hajri discussed the success the of the SC's grievance mechanisms, including the Workers' Welfare Forum elections, which have impacted more than 22,000 workers to-date.
The Second US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue took place at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort. H.E. Ali Bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry, opened the event, which included presentations by Qatar Investment Authority, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Free Zones Authority, Barzan Holdings and Qatar Airways.