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Business of Sport

Sports business news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

Budweiser campaign curbed, not crashed, by Qatar beer ban

A last-minute decision to ban the sale of alcohol at Qatar’s World Cup stadiums will seriously limit Budweiser sales in the Gulf state, but will not derail its owner’s global campaign during the tournament, industry analysts said. Soccer world governing body FIFA’s announcement of the ban on Friday, just two days before the event kicks […]

Argentina fans on Copacabana beach in Rio during the 2014 World Cup. Visiting fans represented 0.7% of the population in Brazil. For Qatar, the percentage will be far higher

Shops on target: Qatar retailers set for $1.2bn World Cup windfall

Qatar’s retailers are tipped to be big winners at the 2022 World Cup. New forecasts for the tournament’s impact, compiled by Fitch Solutions, suggest that the sector can expect a $1.2 billion windfall in the fourth quarter. Fitch is predicting that the Fifa competition will drive a sharp rise in Qatar’s GDP growth from 1.5 […]

Qatar World Cup

All eyes on Doha as World Cup finally comes to town

Late autumn is typically a busy time in the Doha social calendar, as temperatures fall in Qatar and locals and wealthier expats return from cooler climes.  This year the atmosphere is different. In one respect, the city has never been busier, as an army of labourers puts the finishing touches to the stadiums, hotels, malls, […]

Lusail stadium

Lusail City is ready for Qatar 2022 … and beyond

All over the Gulf, Vision 2030 mega-projects are somewhere on the road from drawing-board dream to functioning reality. One has already got there: Lusail City in Qatar. Work on the development began almost a decade ago, spurred on by preparations for the 2022 World Cup. At the time, the site was a mere village, about […]

Dubai gears up for 120 match-day shuttle flights to Qatar World Cup

Dubai Airports is preparing for a massive surge in passenger numbers at Dubai World Central (DWC), with the match day shuttle flights to Doha, Qatar, for the FIFA World Cup 2022 all set to start from November 20. UAE’s low-cost Flydubai and Qatar Airways will fly up to 120 match-day shuttle flights in and out […]

Beer to cost nearly $14 per half-litre at Qatar World Cup

Half a litre of beer will cost QR 50 ($13.73) inside the main fan zone at the soccer World Cup in Qatar, a source with knowledge of alcohol sales at the tournament told Reuters. Major World Cup sponsor Budweiser has exclusive rights to sell beer at the finals and will serve its products at the […]

Pool, Water, Resort

Qatar’s non-oil sector slows despite World Cup 2022

Qatar’s headline Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in October fell below the neutral 50 mark, bringing an end to 27 consecutive months of growth, as the country prepares to host the Fifa World Cup later this month.  The latest PMI survey data from Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) shows that the index fell to 48.4 in October […]


Bahrain set for surge in visitors from Europe’s World Cup giants

Europeans are flocking to Bahrain this autumn, with flight bookings from Germany, France and the UK up significantly on pre-pandemic levels in what could be a World Cup windfall for the island’s tourism industry. As nearby Qatar prepares to host the tournament, which starts on November 20, an influx of tourists from defending champions France, […]

The legacy of falconry lives on in the Arab world

Falcons and the sport of falconry remain not only a thriving niche business but also a proud legacy representing the Gulf’s culture.  The third Saudi Falcons Club auction, which concludes on November 15, has already sold six falcons for SR 645,000 ($172,000). The auction in Malham, north of Riyadh, is run in conjunction with the […]

Renowned artist paints boots and balls for Qatar’s World Cup

Lili Cantero, a 29-year-old Paraguayan artist famed for painting intricate and personal soccer boots for stars including Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho, is preparing a new colourful show of her work to take to the World Cup in Qatar. The Asuncion-born artist is painting some two dozen sets of boots, balls and canvases, many inspired by […]

AC Milan eyes renewal of Emirates deal as it trims losses

AC Milan trimmed its annual loss last year thanks to rising commercial revenue and continued cost discipline, the Italian soccer champions said on Wednesday, as it eyes the renewal of a long-standing sponsorship deal with airline Emirates. Recently bought by investment firm RedBird Capital Partners in a €1.2 billion ($1.2 billion) deal, AC Milan slashed […]

Clothing, Apparel, Person

FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar win bid to stage 2023 Asian Cup

Qatar has won the bid to host the 18th edition of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, state-owned Qatar News Agency reported. Qatar is the reigning AFC Asian Cup champion and will be hosting the tournament for the third time after staging the 1988 and 2011 editions.  The Gulf nation’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup […]

Qatar Stadium 974

Qatar may change dismantling plans for World Cup stadiums

With plans to bid to host more major events, such as the Olympics, Qatar may alter its plans to dismantle its stadiums after the World Cup, the Qatar Tribune reported, citing Mohamed Nabeel Al Atwaan, FM director, Stadium 974 Operations at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. The dismantling of Stadium 974 (previously called […]

Real Madrid renews sponsorship deal with Emirates until 2026

Spanish soccer club Real Madrid has renewed a sponsorship deal with the airline Emirates until 2026, the team said on Friday. While the parties did not disclose financial details, Spanish sports newspaper Marca reported the contract’s value at about €70 million per year plus variables. The United Arab Emirates flag carrier’s logo has been emblazoned […]

Newcastle United Saudi

Saudi’s Newcastle Utd deal looks to kick start regeneration funding

The purchase of Newcastle United FC by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund could open doors to wider investments in regeneration projects in the North East of England, according to the executive director of the Saudi British Joint Business Council, who will visit the area later this month to review potential opportunities. Chris Innes-Hopkins said that […]

Four golfers drop out of LIV lawsuit against PGA Tour

Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson and three other golfers dropped out of a lawsuit on Tuesday which was filed against the PGA Tour last month over its decision to suspend players who participated on the new LIV Golf circuit. Mickelson, who counts six major championships among his 45 career PGA Tour wins, asked to be […]