Wednesday,15 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1244, (30 April - 6 May 2015)
Wednesday,15 August, 2018
Issue 1244, (30 April - 6 May 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Field No 5

Qatar recently unveiled the design of Al-Rayyan Stadium as the fifth proposed host venue for the 2022 World Cup, reports Inas Mazhar

 Al-Rayyan Stadium
Al-Rayyan Stadium
Al-Ahram Weekly

While Qatar continues to receive criticism over its hosting of the 2022 World Cup, the nation shows no going back after introducing the design of Al-Rayyan Stadium at a special ceremony held at Ali bin Abdullah Fort in Al-Rayyan.

Al-Rayyan Stadium is the fifth stadium design that the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has unveiled. Work is now underway across five stadiums: Al Wakrah, Al Bayt in Al Khor City, Khalifa International Stadium, Qatar Foundation Stadium and Al-Rayyan.

Al-Rayyan Stadium will be built on the site of Al-Rayyan sports club’s former stadium, Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, which was recently deconstructed. During tournament mode, the stadium will have a capacity of 40,000 spectators to be able to host group stage, round-of-16 and quarter-final matches.

After the tournament the stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 21,000 in legacy mode with the upper tier of seats being removed and sent to developing nations in need of sports infrastructure.

According to a statement by the SC, the stadium will also feature the innovative and sustainable cooling technology being delivered by the SC and its stakeholders. This will ensure comfortable viewing conditions for fans and an optimal playing temperature for players during the use of the stadium for domestic competitions, international matches and tournaments hosted in Qatar throughout the year.

“Unveiling the design of Al-Rayyan Stadium is another important step forward in our preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. We will continue to work tirelessly as our vision for the tournament takes shape on the ground,” Hassan Al Thawadi, SC secretary-general said at the launch of the stadium’s design.

“As one of the most successful and widely-supported clubs in Qatar, Al-Rayyan has always played an important part in our hosting plans. We are very confident that this impressively designed stadium and precinct will become a landmark for the Al-Rayyan area and benefit the entire community,” Al Thawadi added.

Al-Rayyan’s sporting heritage and Qatar’s environment is reflected in the design of the stadium. The stadium’s façade will feature a multitude of local patterns and designs, which draw on Qatari culture. Featuring an innovative exterior design, it also aims to create a sense of place unique to Al-Rayyan in particular, and more generally to the culture of Qatar and the Middle East. Most of the hospitality and service areas will be located outside the stadium in dune-like structures, which resemble the sand dunes that surround traditional desert tents.

Sheikh Saud Bin Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani, chairman of Al-Rayyan Sports Club, said they were proud to be part of delivering one of the proposed host venues for the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup. “Al-Rayyan Sports Club has always played a major role in the history of football in Qatar. The new stadium is befitting of the status and popularity of our club, and will greatly benefit the club and residents of Al-Rayyan,” Sheikh Saud said.

Sustainability is at the heart of the design, beginning with the deconstruction of the old stadium, with 90 per cent of the materials resulting from the deconstruction being reused. Some of the materials will be used by local and international artists to create works of public art which reflect the history of Al-Rayyan club.

The state of art design will actively reduce the carbon footprint of the stadium and precinct through on-site renewable energy, lightweight building design, careful selection of materials, and both energy and water efficiency measures. The stadium is designed with the goal of certification under both the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings.

The stadium and surrounding precinct will contain a number of facilities and features that will be used by the local population of Al-Rayyan, including a mosque, members club, athletics track, cricket pitch, tennis courts, hockey pitch, football training pitches, aquatics centre, skate park and cycling track. The precinct will also house a new branch of Aspetar, the leading sports medicine hospital. 

The SC also launched its community outreach programme ‘Jeeran’, which interacts with and involves the communities surrounding 2022 FIFA World Cup projects. Jeeran has engaged with Al-Rayyan residents through several visits to Al-Rayyan Majleses to listen to their views in relation to the new stadium design. This feedback has been taken on board in terms of the construction scheme and will ensure that the stadium leaves a tangible legacy for the residents of Al-Rayyan.

Jeeran is SC’s local engagement programme. Through educational, sports, volunteering, and arts and culture initiatives, Jeeran interacts with a diverse array of communities and individuals. It provides a platform for the SC to hear the community’s thoughts and ideas on its projects on the way to organising the World Cup which it hopes will leave a lasting legacy for Qatar and the region.

Jeeran’s mission is to communicate directly with the community to hear the people’s thoughts and aspirations about projects related to the World Cup and apply them to both the hosting and legacy plans. Jeeran’s social media accounts provide the programme with an opportunity to engage with the public, answer their questions and provide them with regular updates about all the local engagement projects being delivered in the lead-up to the tournament.

Launching the design for Al-Rayyan Stadium was also a chance for the organisers to speak about FIFA’s decision to move the 2022 World Cup to November and December from the usual summer months.

“We welcome the decision of FIFA’s Executive Committee in relation to the timing of the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” a statement said. “We are satisfied the consultation process with all of the stakeholders involved has reached its conclusion. Regardless of the change in dates, we will continue to develop the innovative, environmentally-friendly cooling technology for our stadiums.

“Even though cooling may not be required to the same extent in November and December, the installation of this cooling technology will allow football to be played year-round in Qatar following the tournament. The promise made towards developing this cooling technology for the 2022 World Cup was made to benefit Qatar and the region as a tangible legacy,” the statement added.

The first board meeting of the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee (LOC) was held in March but created confusion over the difference in roles between the SC and the LOC.

According to the statement, the work of the SC will not change, as it is tasked with delivering the infrastructure and legacy for the World Cup in Qatar while ensuring that hosting preparations align with the country’s other development imperatives, as described in the Qatar National Vision 2030.

The Qatar LOC is responsible for delivering the World Cup competition, including event planning, promotion and marketing. The LOC is also responsible for managing the relationship with FIFA, the governing body of football.

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