Region pitches to be world sport hub; UAE’s economic stars align to deliver region-beating growth; Rising demand stress-tests project finance capacity
On 20 November, football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off. The month-long tournament is the world’s most-watched single event. Football’s governing body expects 5 billion people to tune into this year’s tournament, up from 3.57 billion for the 2018 edition, which Russia hosted.
The event will confirm the Middle East region’s position as a global sporting hub. Over the past two decades, billions of dollars have been spent on infrastructure for sporting events including athletics, golf, motorsports, boxing and martial arts, swimming, football, cricket and an old regional favourite, horse racing.
These events have boosted the economic visions of the region’s leaders by giving projects an international profile and, in the case of deadlines, a firm completion date. On the more societal level, they open up countries to tourism and allow nations to showcase their hospitality.
More is coming. In 2020, Doha and Riyadh were picked to host upcoming editions of the Asian Games in 2030 and 2034. More recently, the Trojena mountain resort in the northwest of Saudi Arabia was selected to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games.
Even bigger events could join the list. Egypt has confirmed it will bid to host the 2036 Olympic Games, and there are reports of a joint bid for football’s 2036 World Cup by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece.
MEED’s November 2022 edition of MEED Business Review discusses the important role that sport plays in the region’s social and economic development, and the spending required to build new venues and sporting facilities.
Climate, construction and the environment are all challenges that lie ahead for Saudi Arabia’s 2029 Asian Winter Games, writes MEED editor Colin Foreman. Read more
November’s 19-page Market Focus on the UAE, meanwhile, finds the UAE working hard to maintain its economic winning streak and avoid the growing number of political and economic pitfalls in the world’s geopolitically fraught and recession-threatened business landscape.
This month, MEED also presents a special report on project finance and public-private partnerships (PPPs).
After a year of sluggish project spending in 2021, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region has witnessed an uptick in activity in the past year, driving renewed demand for project financing.
This comes as a boon for arrangers, yet is not without challenges.
We hope you enjoy the November 2022 edition of MEED Business Review.
> AGENDA: Region pitches to be global sporting hub
> TROJENA: Saudi winter games challenges perceptions
> BIG INTERVIEW: Sultan Batterjee, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s IHCC
> OPINION: Gulf stands to benefit from global turmoil
> MONTHLY BRIEFING: 20 key developments in the region
> EGYPT/TUNISIA: Cairo and Tunis battle external pressures
> IRAQ/TURKIYE: Baghdad-Ankara relations remain rocky
> PROJECT FINANCE & PPP REPORT:
> Project finance activity tests regional capacity
> PPP market cools, but remains strong
> ABU DHABI REAL ESTATE: Taking Abu Dhabi’s success global
> INTERVIEW: Abdulrahman Abdulla al-Seiari, CEO of Adnoc Drilling
> AGRI-TECH: Riad Bsaibes, president and CEO of Amana Investments
> ENERGY TRANSITION: Energy transition faces litmus test
> INTERVIEW: Acwa Power to halve carbon intensity
> UAE MARKET FOCUS: UAE sidesteps the global economic crunch
> MARKET SNAPSHOT: Egypt projects
> MARKET TALK: Ansaldo Energia expands Middle East presence
> SEPTEMBER 2022 CONTRACTS: UAE records its biggest month of 2022
> BUSINESS OUTLOOK: Finance, oil and gas, construction, power and water contracts