Monday, December 20, 2010

Qatar - Do you have what it takes?

So Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup in 2022.

Which is great news for me, as Qatar is one of the territories I'm handling at work and it looks like business will soar for another decade till they're ready to host the world cup.

But what I'm wondering is... will they be able to handle it?
The infrastructure development alone will be a huge task, and while the country is developing in leaps and bounds ( Qatar did quite well this year, I've achieved my sales target!), they are still a long way away from being world-class.

But the other point I'm wondering about is, whether they'll be able to handle the culture-shock they're going to be facing. The World Cup is going to be one Big party. And though the Middle East loves their football, we all know they're not the best party-people.

I was at the F1 races held in Abu Dhabi this year as a marshal, and the people who came to see the races were uber-rich people just looking to show-off and have a good time. My post (from where we monitor the race) overlooked the marina, where all the luxury yachts were docked to watch the races. The party would start in the morning, with music playing, men and women drinking, topless women sunning themselves etc.
I was also at Vettel's after-party for a bit, where they were basically spraying everyone with champagne (even the reporters and camera-men) and just going crazy!

The folk from dxb and Abu dhabi were able to handle this, and though the guys went nuts for the women, they did take it in their stride and obviously, enjoy themselves thoroughly. But the marshals who were flown in from Bahrain almost had their eyes popping out of their sockets with shock and wonder. *grin*

So, the big question for me is, will Qatar is able to handle their country being over-run by the rich and beautiful who want nothing but a good, long party? Will they be able to handle all the wet-t shirts parties and the drunken people walking around their streets?

I've been to Qatar, several times, and it felt like I was in a small arabic town. (Bahrain was worse)! And it was no place for single women, as I kept getting stares even if all I was doing was walking down the street!

For the F1, Abu Dhabi has a different island altogether, away from the city, called the Yas Island, where all the action happened. Not that the city was devoid of action, but it was nothing compared to what was happening at Yas Island itself. And Abu Dhabi is a lot more cosmopolitan than Qatar (though it doesn't hold a candle to Dxb! Dubai rocks even though Abu Dhabi is the capital! :P)

Will Qatar do something similar? Will they build an island and separate the party-place from the prop room? Or will they slowly get their country geared up to face the rest of the world?

What do you think?

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