PARIS, France – Qatar has faced unprecedented criticism since winning the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, some of which amounted to slander, its ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, said on Tuesday.
”We initially dealt with the matter in good faith”, Sheikh Tamim said in a televised policy speech, adding that some of the early criticism was constructive.
But, he said, a campaign against Qatar expanded to ”include fabrications and double standards that were so ferocious that it has unfortunately prompted many people to question the real reason and motives behind the campaign”.
Qatar, the first Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup, has come under intense international criticism for its treatment of foreign workers and restrictive social laws.
The emir was addressing a session of the Gulf Arab state’s advisory Shura Council as Doha gears up to host soccer’s main global event, which kicks off on Nov.20.
Qatar expects 1.2 million visitors during the tournament, creating an unprecedented logistical and policing challenge for the tiny Gulf Arab state.
Sheikh Tamim said hosting the World Cup was ‘a great test for a country the size of Qatar”.
”We accepted this challenge out of our faith in our potential, we the Qataris, to tackle the mission and make it a success”, he said.
”It is a championship for all, and its success is success for all”.
Doha has introduced reforms including rules to protect workers from heat and a monthly minimum wage of 1,000 riyals ($275), and says it continues to develop its labour system.
Foreign workers account for 85% of the 3 million population of Qatar, which is among the world’s top natural gas producers and one of the wealthiest nations per capita.
Sheikh Tamim said higher energy prices have helped Qatar realize a government budget surplus of 47.3 billion riyals ($12.8 billion) for the first half of 2022, versus a projected deficit, and gross domestic product growth of 4.3%, according to initial estimates.
”The budget surplus will be directed to reducing the level of public debt and increasing the state’s financial reserves”, he said.
The World Cup would allow Qatar to showcase its economic and institutional strength and cultural identity”, he said.
SABIC’s Quarterly Net Profits Slumps 94% On Lower Sales Prices
PARIS, France – Petrochemicals firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter net profit slumped 94% on lower average sales prices. SABIC posted a net income of 0.29 billion riyals ($77.28 million) in the three – month period ended Dec. 31, down from 4.97 billion riyals in the year-ago period. Princes across…
Ukraine Gets Support From Saudis With $400 Million Aid Deal
PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia signed agreements worth $400 million with Ukraine on Sunday after the kingdom’s foreign minister made a surprise visit to Kyiv, a movie praised by Washington. Prince Faisal bin Farhan met President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, his chief of staff Andriy Yermak, his Ukrainian counterpart Dymytro Kuleba, and others. He was the highest-ranking…
Saudi Arabia Pauses Wealth Fund Plan To Acquire Egyptian Bank – Sources
PARIS, France – Saudi Arabia has put a plan by its sovereign wealth fund to acquire the United Bank of Egypt on hold because of a disagreement with the Egyptian authorities over its valuation, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The pause is the most recent stumble in the vast investment programme promised…
Still Filming, Spielberg, 76, Wins Berlin Lifetime Awards
PARIS, France — Director Steven Spielberg, picking up a lifetime achievement awards at the Berlin Film Festival, said the prospect of making new films continued to excite him at 76, and unveiled new details of his planned HBO series. The director, whose credits include some of the biggest – grossing and best – loved works…
UAE Names ADNOC Chief Jaber As COP28 Climate Conference President
PARIS, France – The United Arab Emirates said on Thursday that Sultan al – Jaber, the head of state oil giant ADNOC, would act as president of the COP28 climate conference it is hosting this year. Jaber, also UAE’s minister of industry and technology and its climate envoy, will help develop the COP28 agenda and…
Leave a Reply