Skyrocketing rent and resident evictions ahead of Qatar World Cup
The global sporting event has been mired in controversy over the abuse and deaths of thousands of migrants
By News Desk - May 20 2022

(Photo credit: AP)

Residents of Qatar have experienced a sharp hike in their home rent and some even evictions to make room for football fans who will flood in next November to attend the 2022 World Cup, according to a report by Middle East Eye (MEE) on 20 May.

“Anxiety is brewing here,” one resident told MEE, “and there’s an increasing number of landlords trying to pressure people out of their homes in the lead-up to the World Cup.”

Some residents told the news agency: ”They are being asked to sign two-year contracts at increased prices, at best, or being told to vacate, at worst.”

In April, Qatari local media reported that rental listings in Doha and its surrounding areas saw increases of between 36 and 45 percent in the last quarter of 2021.

A resident at The Pearl-Qatar told MEE: “Everyone knows … there’s a shortage in accommodation. That’s why they want to increase the price by 20 percent for two years. After the World Cup, demand will decrease.”

The upcoming World Cup has been mired in controversy since Qatar was awarded hosting duties, in particular in relation to the mistreatment of migrant workers.

The accusations of various non-government organizations (NGOs) over the deaths of at least eight thousand migrant workers – mainly from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan – as well as the confiscation of their passports, non-payment of wages, excessive working hours in high temperatures, overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions, have resounded in recent years and resulted the abolition of the Kafala system, considered by many as a form of slavery.

The reform came into force in 2020.

Amnesty International and other human rights NGOs are calling for a compensation mechanism for the migrant workers who suffered during the construction of World Cup stadiums.

“The abuses were predictable and preventable,” Amnesty International said on 19 May.

The amount of compensation is estimated at 420 million euros, a small percentage of the revenue anticipated by FIFA for the event: 5.7 billion dollars.

“This is an amount that is not less than the amount that FIFA gives to teams during the World Cup, the objective is to invest in programs aimed at preventing abuse in the future,” said Stephen Cockburn, spokesperson for Amnesty International.

The Qatari government described the allegations as “certainly untrue.”

According to an official statement, “Qatar works proactively with NGOs, to resolve grievances submitted to them by workers.”

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