Some say the country is learning from the mistakes made by neighboring Dubai in building extravagant but unnecessary projects.
"'They have to plan what to with it after the event,' said Ziad Makhzoumi, chief financial officer at Dubai builder Arabtec (ARTC.DU). 'They are trying to design what is practical for later.'
On the plus side, Dubai is on the mend, albeit slowly, and both destinations are wealthy enough to invest for the long term. Both are also reachable from nearly every major city on earth via long-haul flights, making them a natural global hub for trade, finance and tourism.
Goldman Sachs estimates that Qatar, flush with cash, will spend around $65 billion to prepare for the World Cup, when some 500,000 fans will descend on a country of just 1.7 million people, of whom 80 percent are expatriates."