Qatar official announces plans to build two more World Cup stadiums

 Existing Qatar Sports Club stadium


Existing Qatar Sports Club stadium

Qatar’s World Cup organizers have announced plans to build new more stadiums ahead of the tournament in 2022 – one on the site of the Qatar Sports Club in Dafna/West Bay, and another near Hamad International Airport.

That brings the total number of confirmed World Cup game venues in Qatar to seven so far.

FIFA requires at least eight venues to be used to host the 64 matches during the international tournament. While Qatar made its bid based on holding games on 12 sites, it will likely pare that number.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) is expected to submit a proposal to FIFA by the end the year, outlining what it believes would be an appropriate number of host venues. The final tally will be decided by the world football governing body’s executive committee in March 2015.

The two latest venues were revealed by SCDL Competition Venues Director Ghanim Al Kuwari while he was speaking earlier this week at the stadiums and arenas international conference Fourth Coliseum MENA ConfEx in Doha, Doha Stadium Plus Qatar reports.

New stadiums

According to DSP, the stadium near HIA is expected to be similar in design to the Doha Port stadium.

Work on the new stadiums is expected to begin in the second quarter of next year, according to Al Kuwari. He added that work was also underway to construct the other facilities needed to host the World Cup.

That includes 64 team-based training sites, headquarters for FIFA, an international broadcast center and 60,000 FIFA hotel rooms, in addition to rooms for the hundreds of thousands of spectators expected to attend the matches.

 Hamad International Airport

Qatar Museums Authority

Hamad International Airport

Neither Qatar Sports Club nor the HIA stadium was mentioned by Qatar during its bid for the 2022 World Cup.

The tournament stadiums were initially slated to be located in Al Wakrah, Doha Port, Al Shamal, Al Khor, Umm Slal, Sports City, Lusail, Qatar University and Education City. And three existing stadiums – Al Gharafa, Al Rayyan and Khalifa International – were supposed to be renovated.

So far, only five of these venues have been confirmed, including Al Wakrah, Al Bayt Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Khalifa International and  Education City. The SCDL previously said that works on all of these venues should be underway by the end of this year.

So far, SC has only formally released designs for two of them, Al Wakrah and Al Bayt Al Khor, which are both expected to be finished by 2018.

Al Wakrah

Designed by AECOM and Zaha Hadid Architects – the firm behind the London Aquatics Center built for the 2012 Olympics – Al Wakrah stadium is based on a dhow boat, traditionally used in Qatar for pearl fishing.

2022 Supreme Committee

The 40,000 seater arena will have detachable top tiers to reduce its capacity to 20,000 after the 2022 World Cup. These modules will be donated to countries in need of sporting infrastructure, according to Qatar’s plans to recycle its stadia after the event.

Qatar-based contractor HBK is doing the enabling works and a main contractor is expected to be announced before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, work is also underway for the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor, which is modeled on a black and white nomadic tent.

The arena’s exterior will be covered in fabric, while its interior will reflect the traditional red and white fabric of the traditional tent.

The 60,000 seater stadium, which is expected to hold one of the semi-finals, will also be of a modular design, with a removable top tier or seats which will reduce capacity from to 32,000 after the event.

It will be situated atthe heart of a one million square meter complex which will also have community facilities including a hospital, a mall, and a park.

Khalifa Stadium

Details for the design of Khalifa International stadium in the Aspire Zone are expected to be revealed later this month. It is likely that works to the arena will be much more extensive than previously outlined.

Mark Kirchner/Flickr

Built in 1976 and refurbished in 2005, the current stadium includes an athletics track, which does not conform to FIFA’s requirements for a World Cup venue. Because of the track, spectators there complain about poor sight lines and sitting a long way from the action on the pitch.

Previously, SCDL said the stadium would be refurbished, with a new roof and cooling technology added. When contacted by Doha News, it declined to comment on the news that the works would be more extensive than this, and would include construction of an Olympics and Sports museum within the stadium.

In September this year, SCDL announced that a  joint venture comprising local contracting firm Midmac and a subsidiary of Belgian-based Besix Group, Six Construct had won the contract for the works to the stadium.

The Supreme Committee said the stadium can currently accommodate 34,000 spectators when oriented for FIFA football and would be expanded, but did not provide a specific figure.

Previous reports suggested the facility would be able to seat 68,000 people.

Al Rayyan stadium


Last month, it was announced that Al Rayyan stadium would be totally rebuilt, rather than just refurbished, as SCDL had previously said.

While the design for the stadium would not be revealed until National Day, the SCDL previously said the venue would have facilities including a social club, cricket ground and trails for running or walking. Like the other stadiums, it will also have a removable top seating tier.

Construction is expected to be complete by 2019.


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