Browsing 'stadium' News

Lusail Stadium rendering, as submitted by Qatar during bid process.

Qatar 2022 Bid Committee

Lusail Stadium rendering, as submitted by Qatar during bid process.

The firm led by British architect Sir Norman Foster will design Qatar’s flagship football stadium at Lusail city, which will host the World Cup opening ceremony and final match in 2022, the local organizing committee has confirmed.

Lusail Stadium, which is the eighth Qatar venue to be confirmed, is expected to be the largest of Qatar’s World Cup arenas, with the capacity to seat 80,000 people.

It will feature an open-air pitch that can be cooled to 26C using cooled and shaded spectator stands, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) said in a statement yesterday.

Lusail Stadium rendering, as submitted by Qatar during bid process.

Qatar 2022 Bid Committee

Lusail Stadium rendering, as submitted by Qatar during bid process.

Foster + Partners will collaborate with sports and stadium experts including ARUP and Populous to create the final design for the arena, which will be an “iconic, contemporary stadium inspired by Qatari culture,”the committee’s Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi said.

Details of the final design have yet to be publicly revealed, though a preliminary rendering was submitted when Qatar first bid for the World Cup five years ago.

Describing his ethos for the new stadium, Foster, who is chairman and founder of Foster + Partners, said: “This is an exciting step forward in stadium design – it will be the first to break the mold of the free-standing suburban concept, and instead anticipates the grid of this future city, of which it will be an integral part.”

He continued:

“The project also pioneers the idea of an ongoing life for the stadium beyond the big event. The environmental strategies, particularly those that address the players as well as the spectators, will also be of international interest to the sporting public as well as those concerned with the architecture.”

Workers’ rights

All contracts for the Lusail stadium project will be governed by the SCDL’s Workers Welfare Standards, which were announced in 2013 and outline a number of basic rights that all contractors working on World Cup-related projects in Qatar are required to follow.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Richard Messenger/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Among the provisions of the charter are that workers engaged directly or indirectly on World Cup projects enjoy health safety, equality in terms of rights irrespective of belief, nationality ethnicity and religion, access to accurate information regarding workers’ rights and safer living conditions.

Qatar Foundation also has a similar charter, and last month public works authority Ashghal was said to be considering adopting a scheme that would stipulate guaranteed minimum living and working conditions.

Qatar has come under intense international scrutiny for its treatment of migrant workers since it was announced as host city for the 2022 World Cup.

Following yesterday’s announcement about Lusail, human rights activists appealed to Lord Foster to ensure the arena will be built ethically. Speaking to the Independent, Amnesty International researcher Mustafa Qadri said:

“Whether or not Sir Norman speaks out on Qatar’s exploitative labor conditions, he should scrupulously ensure that his company and those with which it does business are not complicit in human-rights violations taking place in Qatar.”

Foster + Partners has designed dozens of landmark buildings throughout the world, and is currently drawing up plans for an extension to the passenger terminal at Hamad International Airport (HIA), which opened last year.

Other projects in the Gulf include the design of the new passenger terminal being built at Kuwait International Airport and the under-construction Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.

Other stadiums

Lusail Stadium is the eighth arena to be confirmed as a venue for hosting World Cup matches in Qatar.

While the nation made its bid on the basis of games on 12 sites, it is expected to pare that number, with an official decision to be announced this year. FIFA requires at least eight venues to be used to host the 64 matches during the international tournament.

Al Khor Al Bayt Stadium

Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

Al Khor Al Bayt Stadium

So far, the SC has revealed the designs for four of the stadiums.

Al Wakrah stadium was the first to be revealed, and has been designed by British architect Zaha Hadid. Along with the 60,000-seater Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor, it is set for completion in 2018.

Khalifa International Stadium at Aspire Zone will be extensively remodeled, but will retain its iconic arcs and include an Olympic and sports museum among its facilities when it is set to be the first finished stadium in 2016.

Also set to be built by the end of 2018 is the Qatar Foundation stadium in Education City.

Qatar Foundation stadium rendering


Qatar Foundation stadium rendering

That venue has been dubbed the “diamond in the desert” due to the design of its geometric patterns that appear to change color as the sun arcs across the sky, architect Mark Fenwick said when the stadium design was unveiled in December.

Expected to seat 40,000 spectators, it will be used for matches through to the quarter finals.

While organizers have said that Al Rayyan Stadium will be totally rebuilt rather than just refurbished as was originally planned, they have not yet revealed a design for this venue.

Other confirmed sites for stadiums include Qatar Sports Club in Dafna/West Bay, and another venue near the new airport.

Work on these is expected to get underway in the second quarter of 2015.

Meanwhile, speculation on the dates for the World Cup in Qatar should end soon, as FIFA is expected to confirm on March 19 when the tournament will take place – likely in the cooler winter months.


Khalifa International Stadium

Qatar 2022 Bid Committee

Khalifa International Stadium

Local organizers of the 2022 World Cup say a contract has been awarded to refurbish Khalifa International Stadium, narrowing the final list of venues that will be used for the international football tournament.

Khalifa stadium, located in the Aspire Zone, is the fourth facility confirmed by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, which is overseeing Qatar’s World Cup preparations.

Organizers have previously announced plans to construct new stadia in Al Wakrah and Al Khor, as well as refurbishing Al Rayyan Stadium.

Qatar initially proposed using 12 stadia to host the World Cup, but has been in discussion with FIFA about reducing the number of facilities. Committee officials say that the country’s small geographic size means that fewer stadia will be required to host the tournament’s 64 matches, but reports say that concerns about rising costs and delays are also prompting organizers to scale back their plans.

In a statement to Doha News, the Supreme Committee noted that FIFA requires a minimum of eight stadia to host the World Cup and that local officials will submit a proposal on the number of venues to be used in the 2022 World Cup to FIFA by the end of the year.

A final decision is expected by March 2015.

In addition to the four confirmed stadia – all of which the Supreme Committee says are in various early or pre-construction stages – organizers initially proposed building new facilities at Al Shamal, Doha Port, Education City, Lusail, Qatar University, Sports City and Umm Slal. The Al Gharafa stadium was also slated to be upgraded.

It’s not clear which of those plans would be shelved if FIFA approves a paring down of the number of stadia. However, the Supreme Committee recently confirmed that plans for a Qatar Foundation Stadium at Education City is currently in the detailed design development phase and that a tendering process to select a main contractor is underway.

Five stadia are expected to be under construction or renovation by the end of 2014, according to the Supreme Committee.

Khalifa International Stadium

The job of refurbishing the nearly three-decade-old facility was given to a joint venture comprised of local contracting firm Midmac and a subsidiary of Belgium–headquartered Besix Group, Six Construct.

Besix knows Khalifa stadium well – it was part of the team involved in the US$90.12 million job renovating the facility for the 2006 Asian Games, according to its website.

Midmac’s well-known local projects, meanwhile, include constructing the 51-story Tornado Tower office building in Al Dafna.

The Supreme Committee declined to say how much the contract to refurbish the stadium for the World Cup is worth. However, as a hint of the scope of the project, Eversendai – a Malaysian subcontractor working on Khalifa stadium – said its share of the job was worth the equivalent of QR130.54 million (US$35.85 million).

Constructed in 1976 and upgraded in 2005, Khalifa stadium is slated to receive a new roof as well as cooling technology.

The Supreme Committee demonstrated some its strategies to keep spectators cool during a showing of this summer’s World Cup matches at Katara.

While organizers say they are prepared to employ such strategies to allow the tournament to be held during summer, where the temperature in Qatar can exceed 50C (122F), many are calling for the World Cup to be moved to the cooler winter months for the safety of players and spectators.

Other work to the stadium, according to Eversendai, includes re-engineering and dismantling lighting arches as well as the engineering, supply, fabrication and construction of various steel structures.

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.


Images courtesy of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

Qatar’s FIFA World Cup stadium in Al Khor will be modeled on a traditional tent used by nomads, the 2022 organizing committee has announced.

The ‘Al Bayt’ Stadium in Al Khor will seat 60,000 football fans and is set to be one of the venues for the semi-finals, according to The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL), which revealed the plans at a public briefing at Al Khor Sports Club yesterday.

Al Bayt, meaning ‘the house,’ is modeled on the Bayt Al Sha’ar, a black and white tent traditionally used by nomads around the region. For those passing through the desert, the presence of this tent symbolized hospitality.

The Al Bayt Stadium’s exterior will be covered in fabric, and its interior will reflect the traditional red and white fabric interior.

The stadium – which will be situated at the heart of a one million square meter complex which will also include a hospital, a mall, and a park – is scheduled to be competed by 2018.

Design questions


Elysia Windrum

At a public briefing yesterday, officials were quizzed by one resident about the suitability of black material for the stadium’s exterior, in light of Qatar’s hot, sandy climate.

They replied that cleaning equipment for the material is available, and that Aspire has recently used the same black material on another building for the first time.

This installation is now being used as a test for the stadium and will be analyzed after the hot summer months to see what damage, if any, has been caused by the climate.

Final design plans are still under consideration, with an option to reverse the use of black and white material on the stadium’s exterior, making white the major color, officials said.

Al Bayt stadium will be a modular design. After the World Cup, the top tier of seats will be removed and donated to developing countries lacking sports infrastructure, reducing the seating capacity from 60,000 people to 32,000.

The stadium will also use sustainable materials and renewable energy, adhering to international green building standards such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS).

Furthermore, amid international criticisms about the mistreatment of the country’s laborers, the construction of Al Bayt will be done under the Workers’ Welfare Standards which were launched in February by the SCDL, officials said.

Despite bribery allegations made by the international press linked to Qatar’s bid for 2022 – and an ongoing FIFA investigation – officials were not quizzed about the claims at the public event, which was primarily attended by local residents.

Community complex

Launching the design, Aspire Zone Foundation President Hilal Al-Kuwari said the stadium and surrounding sporting complex aimed to enhance Al Khor’s existing social infrastructure:

“It’s not all about the stadium, but an area that attracts people and provide local residents of Al Khor and Al Thakhira communities with facilities.

Just as Bayt Al Sha’ar continues to remain central to family life in Qatar today, the precinct surrounding Al Bayt Stadium will become a focal point of community life long after the 2022 FIFA World Cup has concluded.”

A mall, hospital, mosque, hotel, communal rooms, parks and landscapes for horse-riding, running and cycling are expected to be included in the complex.

As well as providing services for locals, these centers will help offset maintenance expenses for the stadium as well as keep a constant revenue stream for the community, officials said.

A local engagement program, which will include regular majilis discussions, is planned to keep the Al Khor community up-to-date on the progress of the complex.

No decision about the usage of the stadium after 2022 has been made yet, officials said, adding that they were “still studying the possible options.”

Other stadia

Preparatory works have already begun on one other World Cup venue, Al Wakra stadium, which is also due to be finished by 2018.

Designs for a redevelopment of Al Rayyan stadium were also announced in February, but work on the project has not yet begun.

During its bid, Qatar proposed plans for 12 World Cup stadiums, but there has recently been talk about reducing that number.

The SCDL issued a statement last month, following rumors that Qatar had cut its planned number of stadia due to costs and delays.

In the statement, it said that “the final proposed line-up of host venues is ongoing in consultation with FIFA” and that discussions were still underway about the “appropriate number” of stadia.

Under FIFA guidelines, World Cup hosts can have a minimum of eight stadiums and a maximum of 12.

While Qatar’s venues are expected to be reduced to nearer eight, the SCDL said that the FIFA Executive Committee will decide on the final number of host venues by March next year.