By CW staff
All you need to know about getting involved in the build up to the World Cup
With a little over 11 years until Qatar hosts the 2022 FIFA football World Cup, the tiny Gulf nation is to spend tens of billions of dollars on hundreds of new projects to prepare for the month long event.
A decade is not a long time in construction, particularly when you consider the amount of work that goes in the planning, designing and regulatory processes alone. That, coupled with the fact that Qatar has promised the tournament will adhere to strict safety, quality, health and environmental standards, the coming 11 years will pass fairly quickly for those involved.
Don't, however, expect a flurry of tenders to start flooding out of Qatar immediately. Insiders say that while winning the bid has meant the brakes have come off some major projects, others are still in the planning stages and will take some time yet - up to a year - before they start filtering through.
With Qatar's intentions to host a high-class event, contractors, consultants and sub-contractors should be spending the intervening time ensuring their companies meet current best practice standards. Qatar has already flagged up the notion that it will not award tenders to anyone who doesn't comply so, if you've not addressed it yet, you have precious little time to bring the business up to scratch.
The expected boom in construction is likely to have an impact on the price of materials, so contractors are best advised to ensure they have a solid, dependable supply of what they require.
1. Host cities
Qatar will spread the tournament over seven host cities all within a 25km radius. Host cities include capital Doha, Al-Rayyan, Al-Daayen, UmmSlal, Al-Khor, Al-Wakrah and Al-Shamal. Organisers say the compact nature of the event means spectators will be able to watch several games a day because distances between host stadiums is minimal.
2. First for Arab world
Qatar is the first ever Muslim and Arab country to host the world's greatest football event: the World Cup. For the Arab region, this decision is significant not only in reflecting the development and economic progress within this area of the world, proving that Arab countries are capable of organising major international events, but also in providing an opportunity to promote the correct image of Islamic culture. In addition, it will make room for Arab football in global games, and strengthen the region’s political presence
3. Total budget
The total spend on construction in Qatar leading up to 2022 is expected to top US$ 50 billion. This means major opportunities for contractors and consultants in new sectors such as stadium building, as well as sectors that have up until today, been saturated, such as the hospitality sector. It also means that the start dates for construction and scheduled completion dates for projects already planned, most of which are infrastructure developments, will be accelerated so as to have the appropriate facilities in place by 2022.
Qatar’s government is to spend US$17 billion on increasing its hotel room and guest apartment capacity to 80,000, easily topping the 60,000 capacity demanded by FIFA. There are 100 existing properties, with a further 130 to be built, all but 13 of which will be built after 2016. They will all be located within 20 kilometres of the stadiums.
More than QR2.3 billion has been allocated to the building of nine stadiums, in addition to three that need major renovation. Designed by Albert Speer & Partner GmbH and unveiled at ‘Sport Accord’, the world’s largest sporting convention in Dubai, designs for the five stadiums each boast a different distinctive feature.
6. Host stadium
The 86,250-seat Lusail Iconic Stadium is due to be completed by 2019 and will host the opening and final matches of the competition. The stadium, one of the 12 new arenas, will be surrounded by water and built in the Al Daayen section of Lusail City, a new development north of Doha. It is set to be the most iconic of all the stadiums, and estimated to cost US$ 662 million to build. Designed by architects Foster & Partners, it includes a fully retractable roof (the world’s largest cable-net roof) and environmentally friendly, solar technology that will cool all 12 open-air stadiums to 27 degrees Celcius. Located on an east-west orientation, it will also have shade across the entire pitch.
7. Team hotels
There will be 24 venue-specific team hotels, all of which have been contracted, and 48 venue-specific training sites, of which 36 have been contracted. The ownership and operating responsibility of all training sites will lie with five entities, including the Qatar Olympic Committee, which will manage 24 of them.
8. Team Facilities
The bidding team proposed 64 five-star training camps based on two models: the pairing of 32 hotels with 32 training sites and the other of two villages containing 16 clusters each of luxury houses, facilities and a training pitch. Only 10 of the 64 currently exist, and all cluster developments are still on the drawing board.
9. Transport – by air
The New Doha International Airport, currently undergoing an US $11 billion expansion, will be the key transportation hub for the influx of visitors. The airport covers a land area in excess 22 kilometres and handles around 50 million passengers and 320,000 aircraft landings and takeoffs each year. Over 100 hectares alongside the new airport have been reserved for commercial development, including free trade zone, offices, hotels and retail mall.
10. Transport – by sea
Construction of the new Doha port will need to speed up to be in time for the tournament – the US $7 billion project is currently scheduled for completion in 2023. The scope of work includes construction of new Doha port located in Economic Zone 3, Al Wakra, and will be linked to the mainland by an 8.5 km long trestle bridge. The port will cover an area of 20 square kilometres. It was recently revealed that cruise ships will be able to berth at the port to accommodate visitors.
11. Transport – by rail
The Doha metro should have a number of years of use before the big tournament and the arrival of fans. The US $3 billion project is an 85-KM railway network that will include an east coast link, a high-speed link, a freight link and a light rail system. The railway will serve suburb of Doha and developments such as Lusail, Education city and West Bay. It’s original completion date for 2015 is unlikely to be met.
12. Transport – by road
The Qatar government has committed $20bn to expand the current road network over the next five years. Projects include major new roads connecting the New Doha International Airport to all cities in Qatar, and also the causeway project between Qatar and Bahrain. Within Doha, improvements to the road network that include a multi-lane road tunnel linking the Corniche and current airport area with the West Bay business district. There are also plans to construct a bridge between Abu Dhabi and Qatar, cutting travel time to Qatar (and bypassing Saudi Arabia's border).
13. Getting about
Ticket holders will have free access to public transport during the event. There will be links not only to all venues, stadiums and hotels but also to FIFA Fan Fest zones where spectators will be able to socialise. The compact nature of the event is expected to help keep taxi fares reasonably cheap, while stadiums will also be located close to public transport links.
The event expects to sell around 2,869,000 tickets to fans from all over the world. But selling tickets can be difficult, and Qatar will have to make a concerted effort not to exclude individuals on religious grounds and ensure that tickets easily available. For the South Africa World Cup 2010, FIFA was disappointed by the number of tickets sold to fans in African countries, but came under fire for the way tickets were distributed. Critics claimed that selling tickets online meant many locals without an internet connection couldn’t purchase them.
15. FIFA Fan Fest areas
A dedicated Fan Fest area with will be established in Education City with several satellite Fan Zones around the host cities. The areas will be air-conditioned and will include a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces and, though the bid documents don’t state so categorically, it’s believed that these will be licensed venues where fans will be able to socialise. Locations include Doha City Centre, Al-Rayyan (2), Al-Khor, Al-Daayen and Al-Shamal.
16. Safety and security
Qatar is to implement a nationwide security and intelligence system which will be steered by the Minister of State for Interior Affairs and a dedicated Security Committee and Security Task Force. The plan will tackle effective crowd management, but further details have yet to be thrashed out.
17. Health and medical services
Given the fact the tournament is to take place during the hottest months of the year, Qatar is taking extra measures to ensure players, spectators, officials and families are kept cool and hydrated during the event. Bid documents don’t detail additional medical facilities for Doha itself, but each of the venues will have facilities to help deal with public and player needs.
18. FIFA HQ
The Doha Convention Centre is due for completion in 2017 and will have 100,000m2 of space, with a 35,000m2 main hall. The venue will be used to accommodate the draw halls, media centre, TV compound, meeting rooms and office space required to host the event. The venue is close to high-quality hotels, so FIFA’s elite can be cosseted in the luxury they’re become accustomed to.
19. International broadcast centre
The new IBC will be built by 2020, though no plans have yet been finalised over the location of the new facility. There is an argument that supports basing the facility in Media City, which is central to all main venues, however, final plans will be made after the AFC Asian Cup in January. The Cup event will give Qatar a chance to consult with international media over requirements.
20. Green Qatar
Bidders have promised that all stadiums will be climate controlled and zero carbon emitting. This is to beat temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celcius during the two hottest months of the year when the competition takes place. An environmental working group has already been established to identify, study and monitor the environmental impact, and develop the Green Qatar 2022 plan.
21. Qatar’s football world ranking
The Qatar national football team is currently ranked 113th in the world and have never played in a World Cup. The team, controlled by the Qatar Football Association, has never qualified for the World Cup. They have however, appeared in seven AFC Asian Cup tournaments and won the Gulf Cup twice. For the 2010 World Cup Qatar failed to qualify after finishing fourth in their qualifying group.
Part of Doha’s World Cup legacy includes 22 modular stadiums that will be used for team training venues and, in some cases, major matches. Once the tournament is over, these stadiums will be dismantled and sent to emerging nations to help with their sporting development. Qatar’s bid was also supported by proof of the nation’s support for football development at home for non-elite players (children, expats, women) and abroad (Nepal, Pakistan and Syria).For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.