Qatar’s 2022 World Cup stadium build over time [DATA VISUAL]


Satellite images show the massive scale of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup stadium build [DATA VISUAL]

Qatar’s selection as host of the 2022 World Cup launched a massive, decadelong construction project that saw the building of seven stadiums, an airport, subway lines and roads connecting the venues.

It’s not uncommon for a host nation for the World Cup or the Olympic Games to require a significant buildup of infrastructure, but Qatar’s example was unusual. Start to finish, the tiny Persian Gulf monarchy spent an estimated $220 billion and employed thousands of migrant workers to complete the various projects. As Grid has reported, those workers were subjected to tight schedules, extreme heat and other working conditions that were decried by human rights groups and journalists. Despite Qatar’s official count of 40 worker fatalities, a 2021 Guardian investigation found that 6,751 migrant workers from five South Asian countries died in Qatar over the prior decade, likely only a fraction of the toll for migrants from all countries.

A human rights researcher told the Guardian that the majority of migrants in Qatar were likely employed in the World Cup construction frenzy.

As for the sheer scale of that decadelong build, one way to get a sense for it is from the air. Grid collected satellite imagery of eight of the facilities, images captured at varying stages of construction. Put differently, this is a view from the sky of where some of those $220 billion were spent.


Thanks to Lillian Barkley for copy editing this article.

  • Marc Lajoie

    Contributing Senior Data and Visualizations Reporter