Several sources claim that Qatar spent "at least" $229 billion in total over the past decade to prepare for hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. I won't list all of the sources that make this claim, but here is an example from Reuters:
Gas-rich Qatar, in an attempt to emulate the dramatic transformation of Gulf rivals Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has spent at least $229 billion on infrastructure in the 11 years since winning the bid to host the World Cup.
This figure is wildly out of line with the spending on previous events of this type. It's also more than Qatar's GDP, which currently stands at below $200 billion. These facts caused me to be skeptical of the accuracy of this estimate.
I have looked for some detailed accounting of exactly what this money was spent on and when, but I haven't been able to locate any such information; most sources only seem to quote a headline figure such as $220 billion or $229 billion of total cost and don't elaborate further.
I have two questions here:
- Did Qatar really spend some amount on the order of $229 billion or more preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup over the past decade?
- If so, then what exactly was this money spent on and when? Is it possible to provide some rough accounting of what this money has purchased in very broad terms?