As the oil-rich nation of Qatar prepares for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, development is in the forefront of all conversations for the next four years.
In its bid to host the most lavish FIFA World Cup of all time, the oil-rich nation of Qatar has gone all out on it’s development plans to impress visitors. Now, for the next four years, it’s a race to complete nine new stadiums and renovate three existing stadiums to accommodate the more than one million anticipated fans to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.
The 40,000 Khalifa International Stadium has been extensively renovated to the tune of $94 million and is now fully air conditioned, with a special cooling mechanism for the pitch. Not only that, the venue now has new changing rooms, media tribune, VIP areas, a sports museum, and a new roof design that covers all seats.
The secretary general of the organizing committee, Hassan Al Thawadi commented, “The completion of our first stadium more than five years before the Qatar World Cup begins is an important milestone that reflects our determination to deliver a tournament the entire Arab world is proud to be a part of.”
Not only that, the construction of the most crucial venue, the Lusail Iconic Stadium designed by Foster + Partners has officially begun development on the northern edge of Doha on the Persian Gulf Coast at a cost of an estimate $767 million.
“It is an honor to design this centerpiece stadium – we are delighted to have won the international competition. This is an exciting step forward in stadium design – it will be the first to break the mould of the free standing suburban concept, and instead anticipates the grid of this future city, of which it will be an integral part,” said Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners.
The stadium is set to accommodate more than 80,000 people and will be used for the FIFA World Cup 2022 opening and final matches. It is being built in the new development city of Lusail with a construction budget of $45 billion and will serve as a catalyst for further growth in the area. Real estate company Qatari Diar is said to be overlooking this project.
The company calls Lusail it’s ‘flagship project’ and is putting it forward as “More than just another development, it is a self-contained and comprehensively planned city signifying Qatar’s progress on a grand scale.”
Lusail City, designed for development before the FIFA World Cup appointment, will be a metropolis of the future. It includes a commercial district, a lagoon, two marinas, a swanky mall, luxury hotels, a hospital, a zoo, golf courses, and more. The plan also includes underground pedestrian tunnels and water taxis. There will be housing for 250,000 people and a metropolitan rail connection to the centre of Doha.
“My sights are 100% set on Qatar for the next four years” says Silvio Sulichin, CEO of Trillionaire Group Llc. “Small to mid-rise developments are my focus, where our seasoned investors can get in, obtain approvals and build in a quick four years for immediate returns.”
The total budget designated for the development of all eight stadiums is approximately $10 billion. The 12 venues will be divided among seven host cities which inlcude Al-Dayeen, Al-Khor, Al-Shamal, Al-Wakrah, Doha, Lusail and Umm Slal.
Al-Khor Stadium is also under construction which holds a capacity to accommodate 60,000 people and has a construction budget of $900 million. The contractors of this stadium are the Italian firm Salini Impregilo along with Galfar and Cimolai.
Salini Imporegilo is already working on the $1.9 billion Doha Metro project called Red Line North, and the Abu Hamour hydraulic project in Qatar. The Al-Khor Stadium is the firm’s third, big project with the oil rich country.
There are nine more lavish stadiums under construction and in line to accommodate millions of fans in 2022 including Al Wakrah Stadium and Qatar Foundation Stadium.
At this pace, Qatar will be the dream destination for soccer fans in 2022 with the architectural design industry running in a close second place.
Either way, Qatar is the place to be in 2022!
Contributing to this story Peony Hirwani, London.