Qatar to plant 16,000 trees ahead of 2022 World Cup

Qatar to plant 16,000 trees ahead of 2022 World Cup
The trees are one more cost to the whopping $500 million-a-week Doha is spending on infrastructure projects ahead of the tournament.
2 min read
22 February, 2018
The nursery is growing trees to be planted at the 2022 World Cup [Getty]

Qatar will plant at least 16,000 trees to "beautify" the eight stadiums planned for the 2022 World Cup, its organisers said.

The trees will include a mix of local shrubs and other varieties imported from China, Spain and Thailand, which will be grown at a nursery just outside Doha.

Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the body responsible for the World Cup, opened the site on Thursday.

Many of the local trees will be uprooted from elsewhere in Qatar, as authorities make way for World Cup-related infrastructure projects coming at a price tag of $500-million-a-week.

"Our target was 16,000 trees," said Yasser Abdulla al-Mulla, a landscape senior manager, reported AFP. "If we need more we can get more, why not?"

Grass that will be planted around the stadiums will also be grown at the nursery, which is currently staffed by 50 workers.

The trees and turf will be grown using recycled water, organisers said, though no cost for the project was given.

Organisation committee head Hassan Al-Thawadi said the nursery was "a great example of how the state is achieving self-sufficiency," an apparent reference to the ongoing Gulf diplomatic crisis that has seen Qatar isolated by the Saudi-led blockade.

Since being awarded the World Cup, Qatar has come under intense criticism for the treatment of its migrant workforce, numbering around two million.

Figures from the Supreme Committee this week showed there were almost 20,000 workers on World Cup stadium sites.

In 2017, Human Rights Watch said hundreds of migrant workers were dying each year labouring under extreme weather conditions - summer temperatures in the desert-country can reach up to 50 degrees celsius. 

Officials have not made public the number of migrant labour deaths so far. 

FIFA is expected to decide later this year if Qatar needs a ninth stadium for the 2022 tournament.