Browsing 'world cup 2022' News

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Al Rumaila Park in 2013

One of Qatar’s oldest and most popular parks should reopen to visitors by the end of this year, officials have announced.

Due to its location off of the Corniche, Al Rumaila Park will also serve as a fan zone during the 2022 World Cup, the Private Engineering Office said.

The venue, also known as Al Bida Park, was once a popular picnic location for many residents. It had a children’s playground, several small shops and a heritage center called Cultural Village.

Elysia Windrum/Doha News

Rumaila Park works in 2014

It closed three years ago for renovations. In that time, a new underground parking garage that can hold 6,000 cars has been added.

Gymnasiums for men and women, outdoor exercise equipment, more playgrounds and an 850-seat open theater are also in the works.

Additionally, there will be bicycle, horse and camel tracks as well as service facilities, the PEO said in a statement.

Red road

Ahead of the park’s launch, an adjacent road has been repaved with red asphalt, presumably to mimic red carpet.


New red road

The road, Al Bidda/Majlis Al Tawaan St., stretches from the Emir Diwan to the National Theater.

Roadblocks have been installed to close off the street for pedestrians during holidays like National Day and Sport Day, the PEO said.

They will also likely be used during the World Cup.

Chantelle D'mello

Cooling technology at FIFA Brazil fan zone at Katara, summer 2014.

Qatar has planned several fan zones for the tournament, at which visitors will be able to purchase alcohol, enjoy entertainment and tune into the the matches being played.

So far, Al Rumaila is among the first locations of the zones to be announced.

Grand Park questions

When the park closed in 2014, officials didn’t say how long construction would go for, or what the redevelopment would look like.

However, the works were thought to be connected to the large-scale Doha Grand Park project.

Perkins Eastman

Grand Park rendering

That plan involved redeveloping a stretch of land from the Qatar Sports Club down to Al Rayyan Road, to create an urban green space similar to New York’s Central Park or Hyde Park in London.

However, this project had been previously shelved, and it is unclear if it will go ahead at all.


All photos courtesy of SCDL

Qatar’s sixth World Cup stadium will mimic the traditional “gahfiya,” the rounded skullcap worn by many men in the Middle East, organizers have announced.

The stadium is shaped like a white bowl and adorned with an intricate pattern.

It’s a nod to the cap that holds the ghutra and aghal in place on the head, forming “a symbol of dignity and independence,” the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) said in a statement.

The World Cup venue is the only one designed by a Qatari — architect Ibrahim Jaidah, who also did the Fire Station gallery and the new Ministry of Interior building.

According to SCDL Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi, the new design “embodies everything that unites us as Arabs and Muslims, and is a fitting tribute to the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East.”

Other upcoming 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar also honor Arab traditions.


Al Bayt Al Khor stadium

For example, the Al Wakrah stadium is designed to look like a dhow, while Al Khor Al Bayt mirrors Bedouin tents and Qatari hospitality.

Stadium specs

The 40,000 seat Al Thumama stadium will host group stage and quarterfinal matches during the tournament.

It is located between E-Ring and F-Ring Roads, or between the Medical Commission and the under-construction Kahramaa Awareness Park.


Al Thumama stadium rendering

The venue is being built by a joint Qatar-Turkey venture between Al Jaber Engineering and Tekfen.

Once the World Cup is over, the stadium will be dismantled to house half the number of fans.

It will also become a sporting and leisure hub for the community, featuring a hotel, outdoor training pitches, basketball courts, an aquatic center, running track and community retail space, among others.

Despite the ongoing blockade by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, Qatar’s tight timeline to deliver World Cup stadiums remains on schedule, a senior official said.

The crisis has “caused an inconvenience,” Al Thawadi told Al Jazeera.

But “we have very quickly moved on to plan B, found alternative sources of supply as well as alternative routes of supply…projects are on schedule. No delays have occurred.”

Two designs left

The crown jewel of Qatar’s World Cup will be Lusail Stadium, which will host the opening and final matches of the tournament.

The design for the venue was supposed to be unveiled in early 2017, but this has not yet occurred.


Construction at Lusail stadium site

The open-air stadium will be Qatar’s largest, and is expected to seat some 80,000 football fans during the tournament.

Like the Al Thumama stadium, it is eying a 2020 completion.

The design for Qatar’s Ras Abu Aboud venue also remains a mystery for now.




Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar is not in danger of losing hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup over the ongoing Gulf crisis, the head of FIFA has said.

The vote of confidence comes as Qatar faces an economic and diplomatic boycott from some of its neighbors.

As the dispute enters its second week, there are serious concerns about how the row will affect the import of labor and raw materials into the country.


FIFA President Gianni Infantino

However, speaking to Swiss media this week, FIFA President Gianni Infantino pointed out that the tournament is still five years away. And diplomatic relations should be back to normal by the time 2022 rolls around.

According to AFP, Infantino added that he was happy to help in any way to resolve the crisis.

But “the essential role of FIFA, as I understand it, is to deal with football and not to interfere in geopolitics,” he said.

Construction delays

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain closed their land, sea and air borders to Qatar a week ago.

Since then, authorities have been working with new food suppliers to ensure residents experience no shortages.

Mwani Qatar, which operates Hamad Port, has also announced a direct service to Sohar Port in Oman to help bring imports in.

However, the new border controls along with travel restrictions have many people concerned about whether Qatar will meet its tight construction deadlines ahead of 2022.

Speaking to the Telegraph, a construction economist said the new Gulf dispute “could not have come at a worse time” for Qatar.

Graham Robinson, director of economic forecasting firm Global Construction Perspectives, said that the sheer number of canceled flights from the Gulf to Doha could “acutely affect labor supply.”


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

This is already the case for some Indian workers who had plans to head to Qatar, according to local media reports.

The uncertainty has also worried some nations. The Philippines for example temporarily banned its citizens from working in Qatar last week. After an outcry from its own citizens however, it quickly scaled back the rule.

Force majeure

Construction costs could also go up in the coming weeks, pushing back deadlines, according to Robinson.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

He said:

“There is the potential for significant disruption and also massive cost overruns as getting construction materials into Qatar to build stadiums may yet prove more difficult, time consuming and costly.”

Legally speaking, some contractors are already talking about invoking force majeure clauses to protect their businesses if they can’t deliver on projects.

But for now, FIFA said it is not worried about missed deadlines. Officials will remain in “regular contact” with Qatar authorities to monitor the situation, Infantino said.