Having visited Qatar recently and witnessed the phenomenal growth within the country first hand, I was not entirely surprised by the decision of FIFA (soccer’s international governing body) to award the 2022 Football World Cup to this small Gulf state. Many of those unfamiliar with the scale of ambition displayed by Qatar’s rulers are still coming to terms with the prospect of one of the world’s biggest sporting events being held in a country no bigger than the US state of New Jersey and with a population of around 1.6 million. The purported $40–50 billion cost of staging the tournament is enough to impress even a footballer in the UK’s Premiership.
Saudi Aramco is planning to invest $1bn to develop a series of six power stations to meet its own energy demands, according to MEED.
As hefty subsidies drive high electricity consumption, the UAE is looking to solar and nuclear power to cut its reliance on natural gas for generation.
Companies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are aiming at new markets with a cooling technology that could help countries in the Middle East to tackle an alarming rise in peak electrical loads.