An estimated 1.2 million fans have arrived in Qatar for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and even more will be watching from home – this is one of the world’s biggest events. Unfortunately, the enormous crowds and huge number of eyeballs on the games means that ensuring adequate security will be both critical and a Herculean task.
Qatar security forces, along with partners from 13 countries, have already completed a five-day security exercise meant to check the readiness and responsiveness of the emergency services. Qatar is also receiving international maritime security assistance during the month of events from various navies, including those from the UK, Pakistan, Italy, and Turkey.
The UK Royal Navy has deployed three warships to the region for security purposes.
“Three minehunters, plus their mothership, have been tasked to remain in and around Qatar and Central Gulf until Christmas as part of the Qatari-led international security effort, making sure the world’s greatest festival of football is not ruined by a hostile act,” said a Navy spokesperson.
“HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Bangor will conduct round-the-clock patrols of the sea lanes leading to the Gulf state, using state-of-the-art sonar and underwater remote-controlled devices to locate and identify mines or bomb.”
There are additional maritime threats. An article about fans paying $20,000 per night for superyachts in nearby Dubai to watch Qatar World Cup 2022 at sea is a reminder that the region’s waterways will be more crowded than usual, potentially attracting bad actors who figure it will be easier to fit in with the other vessels and go unnoticed. The huge mass of people may make drug smuggling a potentially lucrative option for some bad actors, and terrorism is always a concern at large public gatherings populated by people from around the world.
Windward has experience supporting defense branches and intelligence agencies to safeguard national interests from global safety and security threats, including large-scale events. Our technology offers a holistic view of any vessel’s risk profile with AI-driven insights and uncovers previously hidden connections between ships and/or related companies.
During the duration of the World Cup, Windward will monitor the region from afar, sharing any important insights or trends we discover with the maritime ecosystem and the global community. Let’s hope for some exciting contests, and more importantly, a series of safe games and gatherings.