Qatar’s population increases by 13.2% in the year before the World Cup
Qatar’s population has grown by 13.2% over the past year, official data shows, as the tiny Arab Gulf state recruits thousands of foreign workers ahead of hosting the FIFA World Cup this month. next to deal with an unprecedented influx of fans.
The wealthy gas producer’s population stood at 2.94 million after some 370,000 more people moved to Qatar over the past year, according to data collected in September and published by the Qatar Statistical Authority last week.
Low-income migrant workers and other foreigners make up the bulk of the country’s population, while Qatari nationals number around 380,000.
World Cup organizers are facing a staff shortage as Qatar prepares to receive around 1.2 million visitors to football’s biggest event, which is expected to put pressure on its infrastructure, hospitality and its security sector.
Hotel operator Accor is recruiting 12,000 temporary workers overseas to operate 65,000 rooms in apartments and houses serving as temporary accommodation for ventilators. Qatar has reached an agreement with Turkey to provide more than 3,000 riot police and Pakistan has also agreed to deploy troops to Qatar during the tournament.
Qatar has built highways, seven football stadiums, hotels and skyscrapers, spending at least $229 billion on infrastructure, budget documents show. About half of Qatar’s population is employed in the construction industry.
In the years following the tournament, Qatar’s population is expected to shrink by around 1.2% year-on-year and fall to 2.5 million by 2027, according to forecasts by the International Monetary Fund.