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Al Wakrah Stadium


Al Wakrah Stadium

An employee on the under-construction Al Wakrah stadium died on-site yesterday in a “work-related” incident, Qatar’s World Cup organizers have said.

This is the first person to die while working on one of these stadiums.

In a brief statement on its website, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) gave no information about the identity of the victim or what happened.

Wakrah Stadium workers - for illustrative purposes only


Wakrah Stadium workers – for illustrative purposes only

Speaking to Doha News, a spokesman refused to answer any questions about the incident, saying that an investigation was ongoing.

The statement said:

“It is with deep regret we announce a work-related fatality on one of our projects.

Following an incident on Al Wakrah Stadium on Saturday morning, a full investigation is underway to determine the factors which contributed to the death of one of our workers.”

It added that the “relevant authorities were immediately informed” and that the family of the worker has been notified.

“We offer them all the necessary support they may need at such a difficult time,” it added.

Previous injuries

Earlier this year, World Cup organizers announced that two Indian expats contracted on the stadiums had died in non-work related incidents.

One of them was a 52-year-old painter working on the Khalifa International Stadium site who went into cardiac arrest during lunch at one of the site’s dining halls and died in the hospital in October 2015.

Construction workers eat at Khalifa Stadium

Peter Kovessy / Doha News

Khalifa Stadium mess hall

And in January of this year, a 55-year-old truck driver suffered a heart attack in his accommodation and later passed away.

Meanwhile, six individuals suffered serious injuries. These ranged from a fractured ankle to the amputation of one worker’s fingertip after it became caught between two steel beams, according to a worker welfare report.

Debunked estimates

Previously, critics of Qatar have claimed that thousands of expatriate workers brought to the country will die before 2022.

In 2013, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) asserted that more than 4,000 people risked death “if no action is taken to give migrant workers’ rights.”

ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow

Penny Yi Wang / Doha News

ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow

The union’s figures were based on fatality data from the Nepali and Indian embassies in Qatar and factored in all deaths, not just those on construction sites or even people working on World Cup projects.

This claim was later repeated by other organizations and media outlets.

But earlier this year, ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow appeared to back-track, telling Doha News she had never suggested anyone has died building World Cup stadiums:

“We’ve never said that,” she said. “I’ve never said ‘on World Cup stadiums’…I’ve said up to 4,000 workers will die in Qatar before a ball is kicked off in 2022. That’s a very conservative figure.”


Al Rayyan stadium rendering


Al Rayyan stadium rendering

In a major milestone, construction workers have finished excavation on the upcoming Al Rayyan stadium and began pouring concrete into the stands this week.

According to World Cup organizers, the move marks a new phase of construction for the facility and puts them five weeks ahead of schedule.

The stadium is expected to host the quarter finals of the 2022 World Cup and should be completed by 2019.

Al Rayyan Stadium construction


Al Rayyan Stadium construction

Meanwhile, work on the Doha Metro in the surrounding area is also progressing quickly, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) said.

Additionally, the stadium sits next to the upcoming Mall of Qatar, and the road connecting the two is “also nearing completion,” organizers added.

Stadium details

The 40,000 capacity Al Rayyan Stadium is being constructed about 20km west of Doha’s city center, on the site of the now-razed Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium.

That facility was supposed to be refurbished for the World Cup, but ended up being torn down instead to meet FIFA’s technical requirements.

Following its demolition, work on the new stadium began last year.

It is being carried out by a joint venture between Qatar-based Al Balagh Trading & Contracting and India’s Larsen & Toubro Ltd, for an estimated $135 million.

Al Rayyan Stadium rendering


Al Rayyan Stadium rendering

When completed, the stadium complex will include a mosque, aquatics center, shaded walkways, cycling and running tracks, outdoor fitness equipment and a new branch of sports medicine service provider Aspetar, the SCDL previously said.

Though it’s still under construction, the venue has already been awarded Stadium Design of the Year by a panel of international sports facility experts.

It was designed by UK-based Ramboll and Pattern and takes inspiration from Qatar’s desert sand dunes.

Stadiums’ progress

FIFA has not finalized the number of venues Qatar must have to hold the tournament, but it is largely believed to be eight.

In addition to Al Rayyan, four other World Cup stadiums are currently under construction in Qatar: Khalifa International, Al Wakrah, Al Bayt Al Khor and Qatar Foundation.

Qatar Foundation stadium rendering


Qatar Foundation stadium rendering

Three more venues in Lusail, Ras Abu Aboud and Al Thumama are still in the very preliminary stages.

But the SCDL recently said it plans to be “managing eight live construction sites by mid-2017.”


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Eric Esquivel/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s World Cup organizers are pressing ahead with plans to house some of its football fans in temporary villages in the middle of the desert.

The Supreme Committee of Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) issued a tender for the construction of a trial version of the proposed lodgings in local newspapers this week.

A committee official confirmed to Doha News that the tender was for a “pilot fan village” for visitors, who will be able to stay in Arabian tents.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Vedran Strelar

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The test camp, which will be near Sealine beach resort next to Al Wakrah, aims to give tourists “an immersive cultural experience” and will be designed with the theme of sand dunes and the sea.

There will be 350 temporary tents and 300 permanent tents which will house a total of 2,000 fans on the 300,000 sq meter site.

The SCDL said it is in talks with other authorities for some of the sites to stay up after the World Cup. It has not yet given an opening date for this pilot camp.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s World Cup organizers are looking at five possible sites across Qatar for establishing these fan villages during the football tournament.

They will have different themes based on the local area, such as heritage; culture; history of Qatar and the Middle East; and sand, dunes and the sea, SCDL said in a statement to Doha News.

Additionally, the fan villages will have on-site entertainment including large screens to show the matches, shops and health centers.

Announcing a tender to build the pilot fan village, Abdulaziz Ali Al-Mawlawi, SC technical manager, said:

“This type of accommodation is a great way to experience Qatar and the Middle East, giving fans the option of a tournament experience which will showcase the best of the culture, traditions and unique landmarks of our country.”

There will be different types of camp to suit all budgets, he added.

Rooms shortage

Tournament organizers first publicly discussed the idea of a desert camp site for fans in March this year.

World Cup governing body FIFA requires 60,000 rooms to be ready for traveling fans and officials during the event in late 2022.

For illustrative purposes only

Chantelle D'mello

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Currently, Qatar has around 20,000 hotel rooms and apartments, mostly in five-star facilities.

But even with a building boom well underway, experts have predicted that the number of available rooms will not exceed 46,000.

In addition to tents, cruise ships are also being floated as an option. They may provide an additional 6,000 guest rooms for 12,000 fans.

Affordable experience

David Goodger, a UK-based director in Oxford Economics’ tourism, previously described the idea of desert camps as a cost-effective way to accommodate fans who were unable or unwilling to pay for five-star hotels.

He also suggested constructing fan zones in the camps to enhance the experience for spectators.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

“It’s great weather for camping and it’s an option that I could see working really well,” he told Doha News earlier this year.

A number of established, local tour operators already offer desert camping experiences, typically in large, Bedouin-style tents.

Some, such as Regency’s site at Sealine, cater to those who prefer “glamping” more than roughing it.

Facilities can include luxury, en suite tents fitted air conditioning, king-size beds and even fluffy robes and slippers.