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Nasser Al Khater: 2022 World Cup has brought about several social changes in Qatar

08:32 GMT+3 21/11/2021
Nasser Al Khater; Qatar
The CEO of the 2022 World Cup urged fans to visit Qatar and experience a memorable World Cup in Qatar.

It was in 2008 that H.H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani announced the Qatar National Vision 2030 which defined the long-term goals the country aimed to achieve and thereby, improve the quality of living for the future generations.

One of the issues addressed in the document was ‘the size and quality of the expatriate labour force and the selected path of development'.

Obviously, winning the bid to host the 2022 World Cup has, to an extent, expedited some transformation in the Qatari society especially in the last decade or so. 

Nasser Al-Khater, the CEO of the 2022 World Cup, pointed that there have been massive changes seen in the last 10 years with minimum wage protection for workers and environmental sustainability being among the principal ones.

In 2021, Qatar introduced a minimum wage law and became the first country in the Middle-East to adopt a non-discriminatory minimum wage, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Earlier, the ‘kafala’ system wherein an employee would need the organisation’s permission before switching jobs was scrapped as this would often lead to exploitation of labourers, who would try to appease their bosses.

The 2022 World Cup has been a catalyst for change in this regard, believes Al-Khater.

“So many answers but I mean the most obvious one is what I was talking about is basically the workers welfare, the improvement in the standards for workers here in Qatar whether that’s instituting a minimum wage or whether that’s instituting a wage protection programme which makes sure that all employers pay their employees on time. 

“Whether that means having more rigorous tools in place so that workers that come to work in Qatar are not being agents back in their respective countries or have to pay fees to apply for jobs here because that’s something we unfortunately saw. We started looking at improving the standards and there’s been a lot of improvement on that front. Also there has been a big push on sustainability and environment protection here in Qatar. It's becoming quite big and that’s the World Cup has put a sort of environmental friendliness in the spotlight. So, there’s a lot I can discuss on this but here are all the points that came to the top of my mind,” said Al-Khater when asked about the changes Qatar has seen.

With the 2022 World Cup set to kick-off exactly in one year’s time, Al-Khater reiterated that Qatar is a hospitable country and would welcome fans from all over the world with open arms to experience a unique World Cup, which is being hosted for the very first time in the Arab region.

“To encapsulate all in one message, right now I would say that for fans to really come and experience a memorable once in a lifetime opportunity at an exceptional World Cup,” he mentioned.