The World Cup proved to be big for sports and Qatar's business future

The World Cup proved to be big for sports and Qatar's business future

July 5, 20232 min read

The 2022 FIFA World Cup was one of the world’s most-watched sporting events, but it also provided an opportunity for exponential growth for business development in the Middle East.

Qatar was selected as the first country from the Middle East to host the worldwide tournament over 12 years ago, allowing plenty of time to prepare for the competition and create everlasting business relationships.

Kyriaki Kaplanidou, a UF professor and researcher, published a study in 2016 for the Journal of Business Research, working alongside her fellow colleagues.

The study followed the industrial progress made in Qatar after its 2010 selection and demonstrated how their networking efforts improved the Persian Gulf region business infrastructure.

“The country has invested a great deal of time and money to expand its physical and human resources. They’ve had to understand how business is done in other countries, learn innovative construction techniques and develop their human capital in areas of knowledge, skill and awareness of other cultures and business practices,” Kaplanidou said.

Kaplanidou and her team interviewed 24 Qatar sports organizations stakeholders, both indirectly and directly involved with the 2022 World Cup.

Her research found that almost all the interviewees highlighted Qatar’s characteristics that either impede or improve their current development status.

The most highlighted criteria pertained to labor cases pertaining to hazardous working conditions and displayed racial discrimination, as the United Nations put Qatar on blast for their treatment of infrastructure workers.

The government decided to implement changes and with the introduction of new, stricter labor laws, Qatar is now considered one of the most worker-friendly places in the Gulf Region.

Despite all the controversy surrounding the FIFA World Cup host country, fans were still excited to cheer on their team of choice, and the tournament provided Middle East countries with something to be proud of.

“It will be interesting to see if the country can reposition itself in the business world and establish its presence in other industries now that it has gained new experience and knowledge through the process of preparing for this mega event,” Kaplanidou said.

By Halle Burton

Connect with:
  • Kyriaki Kaplanidou
    Kyriaki Kaplanidou Professor

    Kyriaki Kaplanidou's research explores the impacts and legacies of sport events on communities.

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