Qatar is set to build a whole new city in the desert in order to meet the demands of tourism and the 2022 World Cup, with the country set for a huge increase in visitor numbers.
Airport City, to be built adjacent to Doha airport, will be designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his firm, OMA. There are grand plans for the city, which will not be completely finished until sometime around 2040. However, the first phase of development of the 10km2 site will be ready for the hordes of football tourists likely to descend on the country for the World Cup in 2022.
OMA plans to create a city filled with green spaces, with a “green spine” breaking off into a series of gardens and parks, set within residential spaces built to accommodate up to 200,000 people. The city will be a hub for high-end shopping and dining, and will be encircled by a “Desert Park”.
Qatar is preparing for it biggest ever boost in tourist numbers, with up to 300,000 tourists likely to fly to Qatar for the World Cup alone, and plenty more tourists attracted to the country as a residual effect of the extra publicity that the World Cup brings. Hosting such an event can do wonders for a nations tourism credentials, something that Brazil is attempting to make the most of, with the 2014 World Cup just around the corner.
Qatar certainly faces a monumental task to prepare the country, and its football and tourism infrastructures, in time for 2022, but it is a task that is being approached head-on, with world-class facilities and attractions turning Qatar into a major player on the tourism map.