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Plummeting oil prices will not lead Qatar to change its grand construction plans for the 2022 World Cup.
Speaking to a conference in Doha, the Finance Minister Ali Sharif al-Emadi said that the country has enough liquidity and energy buffers to persevere with its enormous spend, with the Gulf Times reporting him as saying: "We are not going to cancel any of the projects related to World Cup."
It follows the declaration from the country's Emir earlier in November that the slide in oil prices would have no impact on the economy.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani told a session of the country's advisory council: "Dear brothers, we are currently facing a decline in the price of oil and fuel..."
He added: "I just would like to emphasise here that our economy is strong and solid, (and) will not be affected by such developments, and our budget is based on a very conservative estimate of the price of fuel."
Ratings agencies have warned that some Gulf states are in danger economically due to the ongoing oil price situation. Standard & Poor's, however, pointed out that Qatar and UAE are least vulnerable to price shocks, with Oman and Bahrain most at risk.
In the five years up to 2013, 60% of Qatar's total revenues came from hydrocarbon, but the majority of that comes in the form of natural gas.
According to the US Energy Information Administration's data, Qatar's budget for 2012-13 assumed an oil export price of $65 per barrel – even when its average export price was almost reaching $110 per barrel.
However, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has been warned that prices could dip below $60 per barrel if the cartel does not cut back on production.
Qatar is expected to spend some $200bn on hosting the World Cup, more than 1,852 per capita than South Africa spent on the event in 2010. The country must build an entire infrastructural system from scratch and has floated the idea of building air conditioned stadia to help players deal with the searing heat.
Ever since the country was awarded the World Cup in 2010, its preparations have been plagued with controversy. Allegations of corruption in the bidding process, along with a litany of human rights abuses, reports of slave labour in the construction process, and fears over the health implications of hosting a sporting event in such temperatures, have all led to calls for the Gulf state to be stripped of the occasion.