Highlighting Qatar’s efforts to ensure workers’ welfare, about $30mn will be reimbursed by the contractors this year to those workers who had paid recruitment fees in their home countries, a top official of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) told Monday.
“By 2020, about 83% of our workforce will have their recruitment fee reimbursed amounting to $30mn. 50% are our workers while the other 50% are those enlisted to our projects by our contractors,” SC general secretary Hassan al-Thawadi explained.
He was addressing the Education City Speaker Series organized by Qatar Foundation (QF). The session was moderated by Michael Jabri-Pickett, editor-in-chief, External Communications, QF.
Al-Thawadi pointed out that Qatar is committed to worker’s welfare and has applied a universal minimum wage.
“It is unfortunate that many workers had to pay exorbitant amounts as recruitment fees in their home countries to get opportunities to work in our projects. After we came to know of such practice, we initiated a program to resolve this issue and the contractors willingly took part in the program,” he recalled.
The SC official revealed that the infrastructure development for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is at an advanced stage with many of the works to be completed by this year.
“Three more stadiums will be completed this year, all the major expressways are to be completed by the end of this year and Doha Metro- already functional – will be fully operational this year,” he stated.
“As part of the testing of the readiness for the tournament, we will be hosting the World Club Football championship 2020 on the lines of the same competition last year. We will also be ready with other elements of the tournament in the coming days,” noted the SC secretary-general.
“The developments taking place for the tournament are in line with the vision of the nation and fit in with the needs of the country. The Metro has a huge potential for the country and the World Cup is a catalyst for it. Moreover, research and innovation are an integral part of the tournament to make it the most advanced tournament,” he explained.
According to al-Thawadi, innovation is at the core of the tournament and he highlighted a particular project by QF’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).
“The HBKU project will be a groundbreaking one. I cannot disclose more details, but it will be used beyond 2022 and can have a great global impact. We have applied several sustainable practices and materials in the infrastructure development for the tournament. Moreover, we have committed to making the tournament a carbon-neutral event,” he pointed out.
The official highlighted that the World Cup is an opportunity not just for Qatar but for the entire region. He also noted that SC in a few months’ time will be launching a program for volunteers in preparation for the tournament.
“As for the tournament tickets, we are developing a ticketing strategy so that a significant portion goes for the local fans and at the same time another significant part goes for the international fans,” he concluded.
Khalifa Essa al-Kubaisi, media relations, and press office manager, QF said, “Our Education City Speaker Series hosts experts and thought-leaders from Qatar and beyond to give their insights and share their experiences on a wide spectrum of topics. It provides the community of Qatar with an opportunity to both hear from, and engage with, these speakers in the spirit of open dialogue and the exchange of perspectives”.
Meanwhile, Qatar Green Building Council ( QGBC), director Meshal al-Shamari, commented “ In the last quarter of 2019 we saw mega sports, huge food festivals, conferences, exhibitions. QGBC has developed a new Green Event Certification to ensure all of these events are environment-friendly, and we have started, as a first stage, with attempts to implement and test this system with some of the sport events and exhibitions, and we hope in the second stage that it will be applied to all events in Qatar before 2022.”