Qatar’s 2020 budget was recorded as the state’s biggest budget in five fiscal years, following the heavy spending on mega infrastructure projects. Qatari government announced its plan to spend 1.9% more in 2020 than 2019 budget, presenting a 210.5 billion Qatari riyal (USD 58bn) budget for the completion of infrastructure projects including facilities for hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
According to the Finance Ministry, revenues in 2020 are expected to remain unchanged at 211 billion riyals (USD 58bn), based on an oil price assumption of 200 riyals (USD 55) per barrel. Qatar expects a surplus of 500 million riyals (USD 137m) in 2020, compared to a 4.4 billion (USD 1.2m) riyals surplus in 2019 accordingly.
The ministry stated that the 2020 budget is designed to achieve efficiency in the current expenditure while maintaining the allocations required to complete major approved projects.
Furthermore, according to Sheikh Khalifa, Qatar Chamber chairman, the spending is also expected to continue even after the 2022 World Cup, as more than 150 large-scale projects will be offered after the games, including infrastructure projects, hospitals, roads and construction of buildings, as well as schools.
The world's biggest liquefied natural gas exporter plans to spend 90 billion riyals (USD 25bn) on major projects throughout 2020, a 0.6%increase and the largest share of the overall budget. New projects worth approximately 11.5 billion riyals (USD 3.2bn) will be awarded in 2020. Spending allocations are also expected to increase 3.3% to 59 billion riyals (USD16.2) for salaries and wages.
As the 2022 World Cup is around the corner, there are currently two fully-operational stadiums and six other stadiums which are expected to be up and running by 2021. The Khalifa International Stadium is the first tournament-ready venue in Qatar. The 40,000 capacity stadium, which was built in 1976 in Doha, has already hosted the Gulf Cup, Asian Games, the AFC Asian Cup and also World Athletics Championships.
Besides world cup stadiums, Sharq Crossings is also included as one of the most important infrastructure projects in Qatar. The USD 12 billion worth project will be started in the third quarter of 2020, involving three extensions interconnected by subsea tunnels. The crossings is considered as a strategic hub for the main roads in the country, linking Ras Abboud Street and the West Bay area.
Another mega project is the development of futuristic and sustainable Lusail City. The USD 45bn project is projected to have the capacity of 450,000 people, extending to an area of 38 sqm and will include four exclusive islands and 19 multi-purpose residential, mixed-use, entertainment, and commercial districts. It will have a Tram network connected to the Doha Metro with four lines interconnecting the districts within the city.
Qatar also unveiled expansion project for Hamad International Airport in Doha, featuring a 10,000 sqm indoor tropical garden in a central concourse and a 268 sqm water feature as the project’s highlight. Phase A construction will begin by early 2020, increasing the airport’s capacity to more than 53 million passengers annually by 2022, while Phase B will be completed by 2022 and extend passenger capacity to more than 60 million annually.