Qatar sees budget outlay up 5% for World Cup

AP , Wednesday 8 Dec 2021

Qatar foresees a nearly five percent rise in government expenditures next year due to its hosting of the 2022 World Cup, budget estimates released Tuesday show.

Qatar
A picture shows a general view of the pitch ahead of the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 group A football match between Oman and Qatar at the Education City Stadium in Ar-Rayyan on December 3, 2021. AFP

The emirate's planned expenses for 2022 rose by 4.9 percent from last year to 204.3 billion riyals ($55.7 billion), Finance Minister Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari said, according to the official Qatar News Agency.

This was "mainly due to the temporary increase in operational expenses related to the World Cup hosting activities, which include security and operating costs for all related events to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022," the minister said.

Qatar, the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, conservatively projects total revenue of 196 billion riyals, based on an average oil price of $55 a barrel, Kuwari said.

That leaves an expected deficit of 8.3 billion riyals, which the finance ministry would work to cover "through available cash balances and issue of local and foreign debt instruments if the need arises," he said.

A year ago the government projected its 2020 budget surplus of 500 million riyals would be wiped out in 2021 after energy prices fell due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kuwari said there had been a "remarkable recovery in global energy prices".

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