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Qatar's Luxury Hotels Must Protect Migrant Workers Ahead of World Cup 2022 | Opinion

News Week, Qatar, 18 December 2021 - Qatar and FIFA are keen to paint next year's tournament a success in anticipation of welcoming 1.7 million football fans, sponsors and media to the small Gulf state. The number dwarfs the Qatari population of 300,000 but still falls short of the almost 2 million migrant workers currently toiling in the country.

That legion of migrant workers is only set to grow over the next 11 months, as Qatari-based companies look toward South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Africa to recruit and expand their workforces. Local business is set to draw huge revenue from these visitors, with the hospitality sector—the glitzy, luxury hotels where fans will stay, and high-end restaurants and venues—especially well-placed to benefit from both World Cup fans and the low-cost migrant laborers on whom the Gulf state depends.

These workers are integral to the success of the World Cup, a spectacle which turns on its ability to bring together countries and communities in a joyous celebration of football. However, many workers will be arriving in Qatar burdened by debt due to extortionate (and in some cases, illegal) recruitment fees and find jobs which do not match what was promised by agencies in their home countries. Desperation for employment, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and poor job opportunities back home, means workers are ripe for exploitation. This toxic combination risks blighting the Qatar World Cup 2022. Qatar's luxury hotel brands are currently seeking workers to fill the positions of cleaners, cooks, security and housekeeping staff, to ensure fans, teams and sponsors enjoy an unforgettable FIFA World Cup experience.

But at what cost?

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Source: https://www.newsweek.com/qatars-luxury-hotels-must-protect-migrant-workers-ahead-world-cup-2022-opinion-1660221

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