In the wake of attracting more sports companies to the Gulf State before 2022 World Cup, Qatar aims to instigate a $20 Billion sports sector.

Yousuf Al-Jaida, the CEO of Qatar Financial Center (QFC) said at an event that his company which allot licenses foreign companies majorly in finance sector, exempting them from  local ownership laws, aims to license around 150 sports companies by 2022 including 25 this year.

In order to become a regional hub for sporting events while hosting Qatar’s 2022 Soccer World Cup, the drive has been taken to attract sports centric MNCs and infuse commercialization of sports-related services in the state, he said.

FIFA has also established a joint venture in Qatar this month to help run the tournament.

“A lot of the value chain is moving to Qatar as we speak for the World Cup 2022,” Jaida said.

Qatar will play host to the World Championships in Athletics, a biennial event organised by the international Association of Athletics Federations.

Jaida said QFC also aims to attract companies in areas such as Islamic Finance, fintech and media as part of plans to attract 1,000 companies across sectors by the time Qatar hosts the World Cup, up from about 600 at present.

Qatar is looking to draw foreign investment and diversify its gas-centered economy but faces a diplomatic and trade boycott launched by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in 2017. The bloc accuses Doha of supporting terrorism, which it denies.

There was no figure immediately available for the current value of sports investment.

Jaida said Qatar is also positioned to serve as an alternative hub to Dubai for regional markets like Kuwait, Oman, Turkey and Pakistan, where relations have grown stronger since the Gulf rift.

“We believe that due to the geopolitical situation some very interesting government-to-government relations have formed between Qatar and neighboring countries… (and) these can be target markets for companies wishing to do regional activities out of QFC,” Jaida said.


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