Gulf sports billions: "sportswashing" or transforming regional economic activity?

Oil-rich governments of the Arab states of the Gulf are spending billions on professional sports in the hope it will accelerate economic transformation. Professor Simon Chadwick reviews the opportunities to develop their sport sectors and secure the significant revenues that could be generated. Al Bayt Stadium, Qatar, during the 2022 FIFA World Cup | Mohammed Sardar/Kushared IT'S JUST SIX months since the  FIFA  Qatar World Cup  ended, but the next phase of the Gulf nation’s sports development plan is in full swing. The  Qatar Grand Prix  returns this October, the  Asian Cup  is being staged during 2024 and the country will host the  Asian Games  in 2030. It was notable that during the World Cup few commentators engaged in their usual discussion about the tournament’s economic impact. Most instead preferred to label Qatar’s hosting of the event as being, at best, an example of nation-building or, at worst, “sportswashing”. Similar cynicism has been levelled at the  Saudi Arabian P

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