Residential sector one of biggest beneficiaries of Qatar 2022

The residential sector was arguably one of the biggest beneficiaries of Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, creating an estimated 850,000 new jobs between 2010 and 2022, according to a recent report.

The ‘Destination Qatar 2023’ issued by UK-headquartered Knight Frank, one of the world’s leading independent real estate consultancies, noted that the influx of expatriate workers, which helped the country’s population swell by 60% to an estimated 2.9 million at the end of 2022 (Qatar Planning and Statistics Authority), has placed upward pressure on rents, with some districts in Doha registering rent rises of 25–30% in the last 12 months.

The prime residential leasing market for apartments has seen yearly rents grow by 22% during 2022 to an average of about QR12,300, with three-bedroom apartments at The Pearl commanding the highest lease rates, the report added.

Qatar became the first Arab and Middle East country to host the global football event, which took place from November 20 to December 18, 2022, with a combined total of 3.4 million spectators enjoying the spectacular views from inside the eight stadiums used for the tournament.

The Knight Frank’s 2023 Destination Qatar survey was carried out in partnership with YouGov, and it was designed to measure and understand domestic appetite to invest and own real estate in Qatar.

The report noted that the appetite for home ownership in Qatar received a powerful boost after March 2019, when property rights were extended to international investors. However, the outbreak of the pandemic, coupled with rising demand ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, dampened the buying appetite.

“Indeed, transaction volumes in 2022 were 23% lower than in 2021. However, in the wake of the World Cup, the euphoria surrounding the tournament helped improve overall sentiment. 30% of the high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) sample are interested in buying a residential property in 2023. A further 33% are looking to buy within the next 2-3 years and a further 20% are looking to buy a residential property within the next four to five years,” the report stated.

The report noted that Lusail was the most preferred residential property acquisition location by most of the HNWI respondents to the survey, with 71% of them already owning a home there. Additionally, Lusail Marina and Lusail Waterfront were identified as the two most preferred locations for residential real estate acquisition.” Lusail’s proximity to Doha means it is viewed as a ‘city within a city’. Lusail comprises 19 mixed-use entertainment, business, and residential zones, as well as four islands and a lagoon with two marinas. 25,000 residential structures are also due to be completed in Lusail, including high-rise towers as well as stand-alone family homes.

Generally, hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been economically beneficial for Qatar, as the country sees an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) with the retail and hospitality sectors growing.

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