RIYADH: Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organisers have unveiled the design for the renovation of the Khalifa International Stadium, the third venue formally proposed for the finals in the Gulf state.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy made the annoncement at a ceremonial dinner in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, on the sidelines of the Gulf Cup.
Attendees included Abdullatif Al Zayani, GCC Secretary General, Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdul Aziz, General President of Youth Welfare and presidents of Gulf football associations.
The redevelopment includes revamping the venue to include a seating capacity of 40,000 during the tournament in order to be compliant with FIFA’s stadium requirements for hosting group, round of 16 and quarter-final matches. Additionally, innovative cooling technology will be incorporated to ensure an optimal playing temperature of 26 degrees Celsius and provide a comfortable viewing environment for fans and players.
Expressing GCC support for Qatar in hosting the 2022 World Cup™, Al Zayani said: “Having such a global tournament organised by a Gulf state will be a source of pride not only for the Gulf, but for all Arab countries as well. Hosting the FIFA World Cup is a legitimate right for this region, and the GCC will always stand by Qatar to safeguard this right and make the World Cup happen.”
Commenting on the event, Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdul Aziz, General President of Youth Welfare, said: “We are proud to announce from our country the new design for the third proposed World Cup host venue. As host of the tournament, Qatar will be able to bring the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time.
“We in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stand by Qatar and firmly support its right to host this event, as it is a remarkable success for all of us. I am confident that Qatar will deliver an exceptional tournament, introducing our culture and traditions to the world and promoting football and sports across the Gulf and the whole region.”
Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Thani, President of Qatar Football Association, said: “We are pleased to be here with our brothers in Riyadh, which is currently hosting the Gulf Cup.
“This tournament reflects the importance of sport, especially football, in strengthening the brotherly relationship between Gulf countries. Likewise, we hope that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will offer another good opportunity for the people of our region to come together and make it an impressive track record of success.”
Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “Unveiling the design of our third proposed World Cup host venue from Riyadh shows how much the World Cup is welcomed by all the countries and peoples of the region, especially Saudi Arabia, which has been supporting us since the early days of our bid. It also demonstrates our determination and firm commitment to deliver on an amazing tournament, creating a lasting legacy for Qatar, the Gulf States and the whole region.”
Built in 1976, and renovated for the Asian Games in 2006, Khalifa International Stadium will undergo a comprehensive renovation to meet the FIFA standards for World Cup stadiums, which will include adding a new building to the east wing, and building a single roof to cover the whole seating area.
Hilal Jeham Al Kuwari, President of Aspire Zone Foundation, which is supervising the renovation project, said: “Khalifa International Stadium has been always pivotal to the sporting scene in Qatar, having hosted several international tournaments and friendly matches. The aim of the renovation is not only to refurbish the stadium to fulfill the FIFA requirements, but to enhance it with new features as well. In this way, we will be able to keep the stadium sustainable for a longer time and ensure that it will remain a global sports hub as well as a focal point for the local community.”
Among the new additions, the stadium will include the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum. This museum will include historic sport collections and interactive exhibits, demonstrating the strong relationship that connects Qatar with world sports. Food courts, shops, multi-purpose rooms, VIP lounges and a health centre will also be available on the upper and lower concourses to be built in the east wing.
In addition, cooling technology will be employed in the stadium and training sites to ensure that players and fans are provided with a comfortable atmosphere. This new technology was tested by the SC at an open-air fan zone set up in Doha during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. The Aspire Zone Foundation also hosted a fan zone the size of a full-scale football pitch to test the cooling technology capabilities for training sites and facilities in Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup™. The fan zones were a great success, bringing the temperature down by 12 degrees Celsius and providing a comfortable environment for more than 15,000 fans.
To ensure that the fans will have a unique experience, the tournament will be the first compact edition of the FIFA World Cup™. This means that players and fans will not have to fly from one city to another for matches. Instead, a modern transport network will be in operation to take fans from their accommodation to the stadiums in less than 45 minutes.
A new road network along with two new metro stations in the surrounding area will connect the stadium to public transport, allowing it to be easily accessible. Meanwhile, the close distance between the stadium and its surrounding hotels and shopping centre will make walking an enjoyable experience.
A joint venture between Midmac Contracting and a subsidiary of the Belgian Besix Group, Six Construct, is overseeing the main contractor works on the stadium. Dar Al Handasah and Projacs are the Design Consultant and Project Manager respectively.
Commenting on the project, Yasir Al Jamal, Acting Assistant Secretary General for Delivery Affairs at the SC, said: “Khalifa International Stadium is the third proposed FIFA World Cup venue to be revealed by the SC so far. This comes after we revealed the designs for Al Wakrah Stadium in November 2013, and Al Bayt-Al Khor City Stadium in June 2014.”
He added: “The SC has previously announced that work will start on five proposed FIFA World Cup venues before the end of this year. In the coming weeks, we will be unveiling the design for Qatar Foundation Stadium, which is currently in the enabling works phase, and Al Rayyan Stadium, which will be announced during Qatar’s National Day Celebrations in Darb Al-Saa’i.”
Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) ensures that all preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ align with Qatar’s other development imperatives, as described in the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2011-2016. Along with its stakeholders, the SC is tasked with delivering stadiums and other infrastructure for an amazing 2022 FIFA World Cup™ that will leave a lasting legacy for Qatar, the region and the world.
The delivery goals of the SC include exceptional programme and stakeholder management to ensure the timely delivery of infrastructure, stadiums and non-competition venues; integrating Qatari culture into all hosting plans, to provide the best possible image of the Middle East when the world arrives in Qatar in 2022; and adopting high environmental standards on all projects, contributing to the delivery of an environmentally friendly tournament.
In addition to delivering infrastructure in line with Qatar’s long-term development plans, legacy goals of the SC include nurturing exceptional local and international talent and incubating the Josoor Institute, a centre of excellence for the sports and events industries in the Middle East; fostering the development of Qatar’s private sector and streamlining regulatory frameworks; and making Qatari football more competitive and increasing participation in sports in Qatar, the region and globally.
The investments that the SC is making today will pay dividends for generations to come, in line with Qatar’s vision of a healthy and prosperous global future.
Aspire Zone Foundation
Aspire Zone Foundation is the spark that has ignited a fiery passion for sports and ushered an entire region of the world into a new era of sports development and sports as a means of healthy living.
Rising to international prominence through successful staging of 2006 Asian Games, Aspire Zone Foundation is home to some of the world’s finest sport stadia and venues offering a stimulating combination of sport, sports medicine and research, and sport education. Originally having been established in 2003 as a Sports City project, Aspire Zone Foundation has carried on to evolve and today works to develop sports champions, promote healthy lifestyles and galvanize the sports economy of today, and of the future, through a network of member-organizations: Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, ASPETAR, and Aspire LOGISTICS. Aspire Zone Foundation was voted the World’s Leading Sports Tourism Development Project for the World Travel Awards 2011.