Doha has approached contractors for another sporting venue as it moves closer to starting construction work on the $4bn of stadiums and arenas it plans to build for the 2020 Olympic Games and football’s 2022 World Cup.

The Qatar Olympic Committee has invited selected contractors to express interest in building the Al-Thumama multi-purpose sports hall at Lusail to the north of Doha. The hall will be built at the future Olympic park at Lusail, on vacant land in close proximity of the road that connects Doha’s West Bay with Al-Khor, close to the Qatar Shooting Association and Lusail Racing Circuit.

The project involves building a 19,132-seater multi-purpose hall with 16,432 fixed and 2,700 retractable seats for basketball, volleyball and handball games. It will have a basement and five above ground levels, with a mezzanine between the ground and the first floor. The built-up area is 107,650 square metres.

The Olympic committee has already invited contractors to express interest in two packages. The first is the enabling works and the second is for the construction of the main building, site infrastructure and facades. Both packages will be completed as lump-sum fixed-price contracts.

Contractors have already expressed interest in the design and build contract for the steel structure with associated cladding and glazing works. The 14 companies that want to take part in the tender are:

  • Cimolai (Italy)
  • Cleveland Bridge (UAE)
  • Donges Steeltec (Germany)
  • Eiffel Construction (France)
  • Eversendai Engineering (Malaysia)
  • Permasteelisa Gartner (Italy)
  • Ingemetal (Spain)
  • Max Boegl (Germany)
  • Mero (Germany)
  • Nurol (Turkey)
  • Seele (Germnay)
  • Victor Buyck (Malaysia)
  • Waagner Biro (Germany)
  • William Hare (UK)

The Al-Thumama multi-purpose hall is the second Olympic facility that contractors have been approached for this year. In February, contractors were asked to express interest in construction contracts for a new venue at the Al-Sadd sports club, close to the Al-Waab intersection in Doha.

The sports hall will be designed for basketball, volleyball, handball, badminton and gymnastics, with a total seating capacity of 7,500. The hall will have a total built-up area of 52,200 square metres and will consist of five levels and basement car parking. The two packages that will be tendered on that project are for the enabling works and main building works and site infrastructure.

The projects are part of Doha’s extensive plans to upgrade its sporting infrastructure for the Olympics and World Cup and create new opportunities for sporting events for the region.  

Doha secured the rights to host Fifa’s football World Cup in late 2010 and is one of five cities that have applied to host the Olympics in 2020 along with Baku, Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo. Candidate cities will be picked on 23 May, ahead of the host being selected on 7 September.

On 14 April, Qatar’s Heir Apparent, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the president of the Qatar Olympic Committee, and chairman of the Doha 2020 bid, led a presentation to the Association of National Olympic Committees in Moscow. At the event, he said: “We want to utilise the 2020 Games to create new sporting and commercial opportunities for the Olympic Movement, and develop sporting programmes and venues that benefit an entire region.”

The heir apparent’s comments highlight the concerns in Doha that it is building facilities for one-off events that will not be used in the future. “Our plan ensures no ‘white elephants’, it is a totally sustainable approach – for the environment, for the venues, for our communities and for sport in the region,” says Noora al-Mannai, the chief executive officer of Doha’s Olympic bid.

Doha says many of the facilities it needs for the Olympics are already built. It estimates that 35 per cent of the venues required to host the games already exist, while 56 per cent of the competition sites are already planned and budgeted for in Qatar’s 2030 Vision plan. Doha has already invited contractors to express interest in one of the planned venues. “Qatar has put in place a sports masterplan, which is the basis of Doha’s bid and means that 91 per cent of our Games sports venues are already built or planned and budgeted for,” says Al-Mannai.

Another key concern for the organising committees in Doha is holding sporting events during the hot weather of the summer. Qatar plans to mitigate these concerns for the Olympics by hosting the event in October. “Athletes are at the heart of this vision. They must have the right conditions to perform. That is why the QOC has been engaging with the International Federations on the timing of a possible Doha 2020 Games,” said Sheikh Tamim. “This has resulted in our proposal to host the Olympic Games from 2-18 October and the Paralympic Games from the 4-15 November.  “We have chosen those dates to deal directly with the issue of temperature. To ensure excellent conditions for athletes, spectators, and media, similar to those of previous Olympic Host cities.”