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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Official: Qatar to confirm World Cup 2022 venues by year-end

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Design for Al Rayyan Stadium
Design for Al Rayyan Stadium

Qatar will decide the final number of stadiums it plans to build to host the World Cup in 2022 before the end of this year, a spokesman for the local organizing committee has told Reuters.

Qatar’s World Cup bid pledged to build 12 stadiums, although it now seems possible that the country may build just eight, the minimum number FIFA rules require in order to host the 64 matches played during the international tournament.

Work is already underway to build from scratch or redevelop five stadium sites, while the designs for a sixth arena at Lusail City, which will host the opening ceremony and final match, are being prepared by Foster + Partners, the firm led by British architect Sir Norman Foster.

An official from World Cup organizers the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) also said last year that sites at Qatar Sports Club in Dafna/West Bay, and another near Hamad International Airport were also ear-marked for development as venues.

This would bring the number of stadiums sites already openly discussed to eight.

However, the unnamed spokesman for the SCDL did not confirm this number, and told Reuters that the number of venues was “still to be confirmed” and that “a decision was expected to be reached towards the end of 2015.”

The spokesman also refused to reveal the cost of the venues, at least two of which have been designed by internationally-renowned architects.

“Due to the stadiums currently going through the tender process, we are not in a position to release any further budgetary figures at this stage,” he added.

Final approval

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

When a final decision has been reached, Qatar will submit its proposal on the number of hosting venues to FIFA, and the football world governing body will take the final decision on the arenas that will be used.

FIFA had previously said it would rule on this earlier this year, but it has since been embroiled in allegations of corruption and its President Sepp Blatter has announced his resignation.

US and Swiss officials are now undertaking separate investigations into possible corruption in the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

The venues

Designs for five of the planned venues have already been revealed.

Al Wakrah stadium, designed by AECOM and Zaha Hadid architects, was the first venue to be confirmed and it is being built from scratch in the rapidly-expanding fishing town south of Doha.

Al Wakrah Stadium
Al Wakrah Stadium

The modular, 40,000-seater stadium has been designed to resemble a dhow boat that Qataris traditionally used for pearl diving, and is slated for a 2018 completion.

Enabling works are already underway and the first concrete has been poured above ground on the site. Those bidding for the lucrative construction deal include Contracting firm BAM International in a joint venture with Qatar’s Urbacon Contracting and Trading (UCC).

The winning tenders for the site are expected to be announced later this year or in early 2016, Construction Week reports.

Meanwhile, Italian firm Salini Impregilo Group, which has a joint venture with Qatar-based Galfar Al Misnad and the Italian firm Cimolai, has signed a QR3.11 billion (€770 million) contract for the construction, operation and maintenance of the 70-000 seater Al Bayt Al Khor stadium, north of Doha.

Al Khor Al Bayt Stadium
Al Khor Al Bayt Stadium

The stadium’s design will resemble a traditional tent used by nomads around the region, and at the time of the design launch last year, the Supreme Committee said the exterior would be covered in black fabric, with the traditional red and white fabric on the interior.

It is due for completion by September 2018.

The Qatar Foundation Stadium in Education City has been designed to be a “diamond in the desert” whose geometric patterns will appear to change color as the sun arcs across the sky, according to its architect Mark Fenwick. The 40,000 capacity venue will be used for matches through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup and construction of it is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

Khalifa International Stadium in the Aspire Zone is also being extensively remodeled and is expected to be the first venue to be complete when work wraps up next year.

Khalifa Stadium
Khalifa Stadium

It will keep its iconic metal arches, but will be reconfigured inside to create a 40,000-seater venue in a complex which will also include an Olympic and sports museum.

The main contractors on the refurbishment are a joint venture comprised of local contracting firm Midmac and a subsidiary of Belgium–headquartered Besix Group, Six Construct.

Meanwhile, Al Rayyan Stadium, which is set for a 2019 completion date, will be totally rebuilt rather than just refurbished, as was originally planned.

Designed by UK-based Ramboll and Pattern, the rectangular-shaped building was inspired by sand dunes and is slated to have soft corners and undulating waves, drawing on Islamic geometric influences that are also evident in the facade of Qatar’s iconic Burj Al Arab building in West Bay.

Cooling technology

Al Wakrah weather stadium
Al Wakrah stadium weather monitoring station

Although the 2022 World Cup will now not be played in the summer, Qatar is continuing with plans to develop cooling technology that would enable athletes to compete even when it’s 50 degrees outside.

Last week, the Supreme Committee said it had installed a weather station at Al Wakrah stadium, with equipment monitoring meteorological data every five minutes and air quality information every 15 minutes.

Two additional weather stations will be installed at the Al Rayyan and Lusail stadium sites, and data collection and analysis of the information will be conducted for at least three years to help calibrate the cooling technology for the venues, the SCDL said.

Thoughts?

25 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

They better hurry up and decide and start making some progress. There is only five years left and four have already been wasted since the award. Not much time left to get everything ready especially with Qatar’s record on project overruns and substandard companies and workers. As with the problems they have with the roads which now have to be relayed, they need to choose their contractors carefully, if ashgal should give contracts to companies who know how to build good roads, for example France and Germany, not to companies from the Arab world and Asia whose roads are a disaster. 2022 needs to Keane for this. A cheap price is soon forgotten when you have to pay more for rework.

Nuremburg
Nuremburg
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I have to agree with you on this, who knows who ‘HBK’ or ‘QBC’ is? I would rather they select contractors by their reputation rather than their nationality.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Nuremburg

The nationality doesn’t matter too much, (except for some Arab contractors) it is the low price they like but if you have to keep ripping up your roads every two years then it is not a cheap price.

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Would anyone care to speculate just what has been ticked off the SCDL’s To Do list since December 2010 when they were awarded the tournament. It’s been almost 5 years and we are still having to wade through promises and speculation about how many stadiums they might build? Isn’t it maybe time they got busy and started doing stuff? (Or if they have been doing stuff, share it with the rest of us?)

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

I’d hate to think but let me try.

They changed their name
They made statements denying corruption in the bid
They attended the Brazil WC on mass at huge cost
They just started digging the foundation for the first stadium. (Original bid said first stadium would be complete by 2015)
They have a nice new building to work in
They issue lots of pictures of what stadiums will look like

Mr. B
6 years ago

I guess there’s no better country to have these white elephants than a super-rich one.

That is, if Qatar gets to keep the World Cup at all.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. B

Do you still have hopes that Qatar will be stripped of the WC? Even British newspapers gave up on this! Anyway keep dreaming 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Even if bribery is proved they won’t lose the WC, the reason they might lost it is security as the situation in Saudi is worrying these days.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

FIFA has already said if there was corruption and vote buying, there is going to be another vote. Doesn’t look good. Its not people hoping as much as it is reality.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

FIFA’s current situation has impacted its power to take any serious actions. So even if bribery is confirmed Qatar and Russia will keep the WC. Can you imagine FIFA doing this to Russia? That’s likely to become a major international relations issue. And if they do not do it to Russia then they will not do it to Qatar. I think Qatar is now in a more comfortable position regarding this issue since the pressure is now on FIFA.

Katie Harrington
Katie Harrington
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I hope Qatar keeps the WC for one reason only; rights for the labourers. It’s a long road to 2022, and if Qatar keeps the games, pressure from NGOs and the media will increase. This has already had an effect, with pledges to abandon the kafalla system – now we have 7 years to turn the pledges into a reality.

Nuremburg
Nuremburg
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

To be fair it isn’t reality. Absolutely zero sources have wholly confirmed that Qatar has ‘bought’ votes.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Nuremburg

This is 100% not a true statement. The special investigator flatly stated this and it was omitted from his report, which is why he resigned and is suing FIFA. Second to this, the FBI in the US is following the money trail and is investigating this, and third, the vote buying was reported in 2011 and Sep Blatter stated that it occurred, but in his words, it didn’t work, which is laughable. This is all well documented and reported, nothing new. So yes, it is reality….unless, Qatar is the only country in the last 25 years that won this under fair, legal, and uncorrupt terms….seems unlikely, and that’s the reality. I don’t give two hoots about it. I think having the world cup here is a good thing for the sport. We will see how it turns out, but with new leadership and the need to give the impression that FIFA has fixed it’s house, the new vote seems quite likely no matter how much Qatar wants to deny that as a potential outcome.

Vishal
Vishal
6 years ago

Nothing new to report ? You have simply merged all your previous articles… Boring!

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Vishal

It’s been like that daily since Ramadan. DN is dying, slowly…..

sadam
sadam
6 years ago

good more projects to come! 🙂

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

We get all this regurgitated info on the stadiums etc, but when will we get some info on the plans to accommodate and entertain the grass-roots football fans who would normally travel in their 100’s of 1000’s to a WC? There were over 2m visitors to Germany for WC2006. I’m still convinced that Qatar is deliberately trying to discourage the 2* & 3* fans from travelling to WC2022 and that it is planned to be a 5* event only for VIP’s and the rich. That is not what a WC is about. I’m not griping for the sake of it, I genuinely fear that WC2022 will be the lowest point ever for those who love football.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

It has to be an event for the rich because this is Qatar. The same would have happened if it was organized in Luxembourg or Monaco. Is Qatar now supposed to build cheap accommodation for the poor fans from Europe? Even if it does the airline ticket, the food, and the tickets for the matches will make it expensive. People in Europe are used to travelling by train or by low-cost airlines, and sort out their accommodation in univeristy dormitories or through air bnb. That is not the case here and I find it ridiculous to expect Qatar to make it like that just to please few thousand of fans who will come for two weeks.

By the way they said they planning to accommodate some fans in cruise ships. May be that’s the cheap one meant fo r people who want to enjoy the WC while not spending much.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

You are wrong about the European venues. It would not be given to Lux. or Monaco in the first place. Even if it was given to them the fans would stay in neighbouring countries.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Yacine you obviously have no concept of what a World Cup is supposed to be. It is (was?) a (perhaps once in a lifetime) opportunity for football-lovers from all backgrounds to be able to attend a tournament of the worlds best footballers. For that it needs infrastructure, and specifically adequate accommodation ranging from campsites through to 5* hotels. Adequate, in the case of for instance WC2006 Germany, means the ability to cope with 2 million visitors – the vast majority of which stayed in below 4* accommodation – something which neither Luxembourg nor Monaco could possibly offer (hence a WC would never be awarded to them) and which Qatar will intentionally fail to provide. Instead of trying to attract as many as possible of the worlds true footballing fraternity Qatar has organised a tournament for the rich, and will grudgingly herd the “few thousand of (sic) fans who will come for two weeks” onto cruise ships where the VIP guests and Qatar as a nation will be spared their embarrassing presence. Thank you Yacine for confirming the Ethos of Qatar’s bid for WC2022 and why it should never have been awarded to Qatar. WC2022 will be for the glory of Qatar and it’s rich guests, and whilst it’s not the first time in the history that a nation has staged a WC with that aim, it is the first time that true football fans will have been sacrificed to achieve it.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Building the infrastructure for the WC is a long term investment and for accommodation in particular, it needs to be useable after the event. You can already see that Qatar is currently full of 5-star hotels along with some 4-stars and very very few 3-star hotels. If they start building tens or hundreds of 3-star hotels, who would use them later? That’s not part of their strategy and it does not make sense to do it just to please the few thousands of fans who would come for two weeks. The cruise ship is a temporary solution like others and it seems fun for me. I don’t know why you see it as a bad solution. I am sure there will also be other temporary solutions to meet the demands of all the budgets, so it is too early to accuse Qatar of neglecting football fans.

As for the WC being for “the glory of Qatar and it’s (sic) rich guests”, well that is the case everywhere. The WC and the Olympics are two big events that have major impact on the image of the host country. People like you are only interested in the games, but others (businesses, politicians, leaders, etc) are more interested in the business side of it, as well as in the image it reflects both internally and externally.

Qatar is doing a gigantic effort to organize the WC, so let’s not criticize it just for the sake of it. And if criticism should be, it should be directed to the FIFA. Qatar is doing its work following the plan discussed and approved by FIFA.

KK
KK
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

a bit frustrated ?

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed

Probably, maybe, possibly, by the end of the year that it happens…. Nothing like an exact date, we love to keep on mulling.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Can’t beat a quality bit of mulling, it was what inshalla was invented for!

Luis Henrique Rolim
6 years ago

Did you guys (Doha News) try to reach the unnamed SCDL spokesman? It seems difficult to get a reliable source on that, even for Reuters.

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