The FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday. The controversial big event is also a financial deal for Vienna companies. They supplied chandeliers and streetcars – and participated in building a stadium.
The Bakalowits family run a small lighting design business in Favoriten with large orders. She furnished the new hotels, some of which were built for the World Cup, with chandeliers. “Most of the time, international designers approach us,” says Sophie Bakalowits. Orders have been planned together for many years. The price of luxury chandeliers at the Sheraton Doha Hotel in Qatar is about 120,000 euros.
And because human rights have been ignored, the host country, Qatar, has come under heavy criticism. There’s no reason why the Bakalowits shouldn’t do business with Qatar: “We produce in Austria, we assemble it there, and my son goes there personally. From that point of view, we can look in the mirror and be happy that we can represent Austria in this way.”
Vienna companies in Qatar
The controversial World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday. While Austria will not be represented in this field, some Viennese companies are sure to take part.
Stadium construction: “Every accidental death is tragic”
Eight new stadiums were built for the emirate’s World Cup. One of them is from the Viennese construction company Bohr. The “South” arena was built from 2016 to 2019. It looks like a shell, provides space for 40,000 fans and costs 600 million euros. Bohr told Vienna Today about the precarious working conditions on construction sites: In Qatar we have particularly high safety standards in line with our “Vision Zero” preventive strategy. Thus our accident statistics are very low. “
One fatality was recorded at Al Janoub Stadium construction site in 2016 and 2018 respectively. “Every death is due to a tragic accident and we do our best to prevent it with the help of high safety standards, training and courses. These training courses are now already required by other companies. Therefore, occupational safety is one of the priorities of PORR in Qatar.”
Wanzes Tram from Vienna
Siemens also received an order from Qatar Foundation in 2017: to build a tram system for the capital, Doha. 100 million euros for 19 trams and four stations over a distance of 11.5 kilometers.
Meanwhile, furniture from Vienna can be found in the garden of MIA – Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha – “Enzis”, also known from the MuseumsQuartier. It was actually handed over to the museum in 2018 – unrelated to the World Cup, PPAG ztgmbh engineers confirmed to ORF.