Harnessing the Success of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: The Road to Professional Development
By: Abdullah Al-Mansoori, Director of Qatar Career Development Center
What’s next? This is a question that has occupied many people’s minds after the successful conclusion of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, which was named as the best tournament of its kind in the 21st century according to a public opinion poll conducted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
There are numerous answers to this question, but simply put, Qatar will host dozens of international and regional sports tournaments, conferences, exhibitions, and various other events. Qatar’s experiences in building complex and advanced infrastructure, both physical and virtual, serve as a solid foundation for hosting global events, be it sports, cultural, or political. Doha has already been ranked as the best sports city in the Arab region, and 19th globally by Burson Cohn & Wolfe, based on analysis of the digital landscape, sports media, and international federation surveys.
However, the question “What’s next?” requires deeper and more meaningful answers, not just taking pride in what has been accomplished so far, or forecasting a prosperous future for the tourism, service, and logistics sectors, or our efforts to diversify the Qatari economy in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV2030). We must all be aware of our obligations to respond to this question, and we must all consider how to transfer the experiences and lessons learned to the post-World Cup phase, creating a true legacy of growth and knowledge.
Qatar’s quest for excellence, which the entire world has witnessed, was only possible after years of preparation and training. As a result of advanced education, specialized training programs, and accumulated expertise in event planning and crisis management, a new generation of competent youth, who gained invaluable experience during the World Cup, has emerged as Qatari cadres took the organizational lead in the tournament.
When discussing experience transfer, it is worth noting that commendable cooperation between a diverse range of public and private sector actors provided an opportunity for experienced professionals from across the state the opportunity to meet and exchange knowledge and experiences. For example, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, with its elite professional cadres, serves as a hub for professional citizens and residents in Qatar, who had previously worked on other major projects in sports, culture, politics, media, technology, project management, and other fields. This hub is a model of bringing together talents and investing in their collaboration, and its success was one of the pillars that facilitated planning and executing the successful hosting of the tournament.
Now that the Supreme Committee has completed its work successfully, its members can work for public or private institutions and share their experiences in dealing with challenges, coordinating efforts, and leveraging the knowledge gained from their work with international expertise in organizing the tournament.
Institutions should seize this golden opportunity and work on implementing professional development mechanisms, such as training courses and workshops, to allow those professional cadres to transfer their experience to their colleagues. This approach falls under the banner of “Enhancing Skills” for the current adult workforce, which will achieve a qualitative advancement in the productivity and efficiency of the workforce based on the recommendations of our experts at the 2022 Career Guidance Stakeholders Platform.
This opportunity is not limited to the employees assigned to work in the officially organized entities for the event. The volunteer program that accompanied the preparations for the World Cup involved more than 20,000 volunteers who participated in various organizational activities, making it one of the largest career development programs in Qatar’s history. The experience gained by these volunteers is a crucial foundation for the diverse workforce with different backgrounds and experiences, which is essential for a healthy and diverse economy.
Every advancement starts from the experiences that our children gain in any field, and they bring it back to their social, academic, and work environments for development and sharing with their peers. This is exactly how knowledge is passed down and shared from one generation to the other, and accumulated for the future.
We must not forget those who worked individually or as part of small businesses and startups – the backbone of any healthy advanced economy – who were given the opportunity to showcase their entrepreneurial skills and gain significant market shares in the local markets throughout the preparations of host the tournament in Qatar. In part, this is due to the immense support that ministries, institutions, and banks generously provided to incubate and nurture small businesses and startup projects.
This support was not limited to the pre-tournament phase, but rather a strategic direction related to QNV2030 and achieving sustainable economic diversity. Therefore, the opportunities we have gained by hosting the tournament are only the beginning of the journey. It is necessary to continue to foster and develop innovation, support all projects to realize their full potential, and expand from local to regional and even global markets, just like the companies that invested in the success of hosting the tournament and, consequently, their own success.
In addition, those with artistic and musical talents who colored our experience and the experiences of everyone who witnessed the events of the World Cup with the most beautiful slogans, designs, graffiti paintings, and various artworks like the official song and poster of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM also made an impact.
Many of these artists worked voluntarily, and many of the artworks related to the World Cup came from students from various universities in the country. For this group, I believe that the opportunity for artists and talents to showcase their creativity to such a large and diverse audience is rare, and it is their responsibility to build on this reach and exposure to further their careers.
In conclusion, I advise the three groups of professionals noted in this article to keep an eye on future trends and changes in the job market, both locally in Qatar and globally, due to the importance of warnings issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF) about the impact of technological developments, which are expected to create more than 58 million new job vacancies by 2030, while 375 million others will be lost, or their fields become obsolete.
Additionally, digitization will generate 97 million future jobs in fields that are yet to be known. This requires you to strive to improve your skills and abilities rather than relying on what you have learned from past experiences, and maintain the skills that originally made you unique in the first place, such as the ability to adapt to and handle change.
These figures will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences for businesses and careers in all countries, particularly in the Arab World, which has the highest unemployment rates globally. Therefore, we must continue the efforts we are making at Qatar Career Development Center (QCDC) to develop professionals, in collaboration with our partners and all relevant stakeholders, so we can build on what we have accomplished and benefit from it in developing the skills of younger generations who are more than capable of meeting the requirements of career development and the demands of the era.