Five arenas are confirmed, with at least three more expected
Although Qatars 2022 Fifa World Cup preparations have been clouded with controversy in the past couple of years, the plans to host the football tournament are now moving ahead and major construction work is beginning to take shape.
At the heart of the countrys preparations for the event are the stadiums in which the games will be played. The regulations of footballs governing body, Fifa, require the host nation to have a minimum of eight arenas and a maximum of 12.
Although only five stadiums were proposed as part of Qatars initial bid in 2010, in 2013 several megaprojects were announced, with plans to have 12 stadiums ready for the event. This has since been reconsidered and it is understood only eight will be developed. As of now, five stadiums have been confirmed, with two of them at the tendering stage for the main contract.
As well as expanding the Khalifa International and Al-Rayyan stadiums, the authorities in Qatar are developing an additional three stadiums: Al-Bayt; Al-Wakrah; and the Qatar Foundation stadium.
The Khalifa International stadium was the first World Cup stadium construction contract to be tendered and was awarded to a joint venture of Belgiums Six Construct and the local Midmac Contracting Company. The work being undertaken involves upgrading the venues capacity to 60,000 seats from the current 45,000.
Part of the expansion is the renovation work that will be carried out on a museum that makes up part of the stadium complex in the Khalifa Sports City area. The Khalifa stadium is scheduled to be completed by 2016, and will be followed by the others, which are all expected to be ready between 2018 and 2020.
Construction work on the Al-Rayyan stadium was awarded to a joint venture of US-based Manco and the UKs Buckingham Group Contracting. The facility is expected to be completed in early 2019, with a capacity of about 40,000 seats.
In January, MEED reported that Doha had extended the tender closing date for the main contract for the Al-Wakrah stadium to 22 March. In addition, bids were received on 27 January for work on the Al-Bayt complex. Other stadiums that had previously been announced but have yet to be confirmed are the 80,000-seat Lusail stadium in the Umm Slal area, as well as the 45,000-seat Doha Port stadium.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL), the body tasked with overseeing Qatars World Cup infrastructure plans, has also pledged to ensure the stadiums are built in a modular form to allow for a reduction in capacity after the end of the tournament. It has been confirmed that the seats from the removed sections will be donated to developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa as part of the post-tournament legacy.
Much controversy has surrounded the timing of the 2022 World Cup. Summer temperatures in Doha have driven Fifa to recommend moving the games to November and December.
Prior to this announcement in February, a spokesperson from the SCDL office told MEED that, until told otherwise, plans were going ahead for a summer tournament and that the authorities are expecting air-conditioned facilities as part of the promised legacy, which will ensure Doha is well-positioned to host other tournaments in the future.
Further to this, an engineer from Lebanons Dar al-Handasah, which was appointed as head consultant for the Khalifa International stadium expansion, tells MEED that cooling solutions are part of the plan, as they have been from the beginning.
In the meantime, work for the stadiums is pressing ahead. Another three should be announced soon in order to have the requisite eight ready for the 2022 kick-off.
Qatar Foundation stadium
Architect: RFA Fenwick Iribarren Architects
PMC: Astad Project Management
With a capacity of 40,000, smaller than originally planned, the Qatar Foundation stadium is scheduled for completion by 2018 and will host matches up to the quarter-final stage. The facilities will include medical clinics, gyms, a swimming pool, tennis courts, football pitches, restaurants and cafes.
Architect: Zaha Hadid
The Al-Wakrah stadium will have the capacity to seat 45,000 people during the tournament. Following the World Cup, the capacity of the facility will be reduced to 20,000, with 25,000 seats removed.
Khalifa International stadium (expansion)
Consultant: Dar al-Handasah
PMC: Projacs International
Contractor: Midmac Contracting/Six Construct
The contract awarded to the local Midmac Contacting and Begiums Six Construct involves upgrading the existing stadium and increasing the seating capacity to 60,000 from the current 45,000. It will also include the renovation of the museum at the surrounding Khalifa Sports City.
Al-Rayyan stadium (expansion)
Consultant: Pascal + Watson
The stadium will be rebuilt to seat about 40,000 during the World Cup. Following the tournament, the stadiums modular top tier will be disassembled.
Design consultant: Dar al-Handasah
PMC: Projacs International
The Al-Bayt stadium in Al-Khor City will be modular and, once the World Cup is over, the upper tiers will be removed, leaving a capacity of 32,000. The design of the stadium and its name comes from Bayt al-Shaar, which is a black and white tent traditionally used by Qatari people. It will use environmentally friendly building materials.
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