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Businesses vying to get on the teamsheet

View of Doha Corniche in 2012
View of Doha Corniche, which will host a festival during the World Cup. The event's organisers are looking for companies to work on it

Regional and international companies are jostling to win work in the final months before the World Cup

Qatar’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup – as well as the tournament period from November 21 to December 18 – present huge opportunities for local, regional and international businesses.

Many of those opportunities have already been snapped up, especially the construction contracts for stadiums and other large-scale infrastructure, but plenty more remain.

Searches continue for companies to outsource career development services for Qatari nationals and provide stadium data centre monitoring systems while, last October, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy signed an agreement with Accor for the French hotels group to manage the host’s real estate operations until the end of 2022.

Business has been booming in Qatar for a long time now, from construction to hospitality to many other businesses that are impacted due to all the infrastructure work that was done,” said Hassan Akasheh, general manager of media and advertising agency FP7 McCann Doha, which handled the Supreme Committee’s advertising account for three years.

“At the moment, we have several World Cup-related projects under FP7 McCann Doha, and many of its sister companies are involved in separate projects.”

The World Cup has significantly ramped up competition in the advertising, communications and marketing industry as new and established agencies attempt to make the most of the opportunities. “Lots of agencies, small and medium, are trying to win business,” said Akasheh.

“Aside from creative campaigns, there is big demand among brands for on-ground customer activations and engagement with sponsors, especially in the fan zones and stadiums.”

Qatar 2022 sponsors include Budweiser, Hisense, McDonald’s and Vivo, while companies including Qatar Airways, Adidas, Coca Cola and are listed as FIFA sponsors.  

At the time of writing, the Supreme Committee is inviting companies to pitch for the Lusail Boulevard/Plaza brand activation contract, and seeking experienced event management companies to tender for the Old Doha Port contract.

The latter includes the organisation of events, event branding, the provision of staff and temporary fit-out contracts for pop-up shops. Other tenders cover the events supply chain.

“Qatar doesn’t really have the infrastructure that Dubai has in terms of an events industry,” according to Dan Bolton, owner and director of Dubai-based Dan Bolton Creative Management Agency, which specialises in performance design and production.

“The industry is still quite local and small so they’re looking for talent that they can fly in. And, with the bigger clients and the bigger productions and all the international visitors coming in, they’re looking for people who can work with them.”

In March, Bolton’s agency joined forces with Trinity Talent Qatar and picked up the contract to design and deliver the World Cup’s volunteer centre.

“The team are currently on the ground making all of that happen,” said Bolton. “That’s the first project that we were offered but that’s extending quite a lot now with other opportunities.”

Those opportunities include activations, VIP hospitality entertainment, fan zone events and various initiatives related to a festival that is being planned at Doha Corniche during the World Cup.

Staff provision is another area of opportunity. “Everybody’s looking for manpower, everybody’s looking for staff to facilitate all of the different jobs that are available, which might not necessarily be able to be filled solely with people based in Qatar,” added Bolton.

“I think people are beginning to wake up to the fact that it’s not long to go until the tournament. The countdown is really on.”

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