Qatar is looking forward to attracting more sports companies as it aims to create a $20 billion sports sector before the World Cup scheduled in 2022. The Qatar Financial Center or QFC is responsible for licensing foreign companies, especially in the finance sector and exempt them from the local ownership laws. The QFC aims to license over 150 companies by the year 2022 starting with 25 companies this year. According to Yousef Al Jaida, CEO at Qatar Financial Center, the aims is to ensure that a successful sports sector is up and running by 2022.
The country plans to attract sports related multinationals and also smoothen the process of commercializing sports-related service within the country. This plan also involves turning Qatar into a regional hub for local and international sporting events as a run-up to the World Cup in 2022, which it will be hosting. FIFA has already established a joint venture with Qatar to help organize the tournament. According to Jaida, a lot of value chain is moving towards the country due to the World Cup 2022.
This year, Qatar will stage the World Championships in Athletics which is a biennial event. The International Association of Athletics Federations has organized the same. Jaida also said that Qatar is looking at a wide range of sports service companies, education and training, legal companies, equipment and sportswear and so on.
Last year, the Qatar Financial Center announced plans for plenty of attractive incentives like seed capital, free office space and so on in order to compete with its neighboring competitor, Dubai. QFC is currently interested in attracting companies in areas like Fintech, Islamic Finance, as well as media. It plans of attracting over 100 companies over different sectors by the World Cup in 2022.
In an effort to diversify its gas centered economy, Qatar is trying to draw foreign investment in different sectors. The diplomatic and trade boycott against Qatar in 2017 by UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain also propelled this new move. No figure is currently available about the present value of sports investments in the country.
Jaida also said Qatar is getting ready to serve as an alternative hub to Dubai for local markets like Oman, Kuwait Pakistan, and Turkey, with whom relations have grown stronger since the trade boycott. He also stated that the geopolitical situation in the region has led to the development of interesting ties with governments of other neighboring countries.