Sunday,22 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1203, (26 June - 2 July 2014)
Sunday,22 July, 2018
Issue 1203, (26 June - 2 July 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Qatar unveils new stadium

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and the Aspire Zone Foundation revealed this week the name and design for a new 60,000-seat stadium and precinct in Al Khor, Qatar. Inas Mazhar reports

Al-Ahram Weekly

The new stadium and surrounding precinct, announced at a press conference held at Al-Khor Sports Club in Qatar, will now officially be known as Al Bayt, Al Khor City.

The launch of the new name and design was marked by an event for the local community, which focused on the future vision of Al-Khor for the local residents and the neighbouring communities.  Early works have now started on the new stadium, which is a proposed semi-final venue for the 2022 FIFA World CupTM, and which has an expected completion date of 2018.  

The stadium design is an entirely Qatari concept, reflecting Qatar’s proud history and culture.  According to a statement by the SC, the new stadium has a modular design, which includes an upper tier of removable seats.  After the 2022 FIFA World CupTM, the tier will be removed and the capacity of the stadium will be reduced to 32,000 seats. In consultation with FIFA and the global football community, the removed seats will be reconfigured and donated to other countries to leave a legacy for international football development.

Surrounding the stadium, a new precinct will serve the wider Al-Khor community.  In addition to retail space and restaurants, the precinct will include landscaped paths for residents to use as horse riding, cycling and jogging tracks.  There will also be dedicated women-only facilities.

Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the SC, said: “The launch of Al Bayt Stadium & Precinct will honour Qatar’s past while fully embracing the country’s global future.  The launch of the design for our second proposed stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is another milestone of progress, demonstrating our deep commitment to delivering an amazing experience in 2022 and beyond”.

Al Bayt Stadium & Precinct will be located close to the coast, but it will also introduce fans and visitors to the culture of the desert.  The name and design of the stadium is modelled after Bayt Al Sha’ar, a black-and-white tent used traditionally by nomadic people in Qatar and the region.  For those travelling through the desert, the sight of such a tent on the horizon meant an invitation to receive hospitality.  Inside the tent, the red-patterned sadu fabric will represent the traditional Qatari textile design to the international visitors and remind the local community of the heritage and tradition of producing sadu fabric, which is also reflected inside the stadium.

Hilal Al-Kuwari, President of the Aspire Zone Foundation, added “Just as Bayt Al Sha’ar continue to remain central to family life in Qatar today, the precinct surrounding Al Bayt Stadium — which will include space for local businesses and restaurants as well as landscaped paths for the community for exercise — will become a focal point of community life long after the 2022 FIFA World Cuphas concluded”.

In order to support the SC’s goal to host a sustainable 2022 FIFA World Cup™, and in order to comply with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) ratings, Al-Bayt Stadium & Precinct will incorporate best practice in energy-efficiency measures and use green building materials. Renewable energy will also be generated within the stadium and surrounding precinct.

Construction of Al Bayt Stadium & Precinct will be carried out in alignment with the Workers’ Welfare Standards, which were recently released by the SC. The Aspire Zone Foundation and the SC will also make sure that the residents of the Al-Khor community are kept fully up-to-date on the progress of the construction work through its local engagement programme, which will include regular majlis discussions —  which are traditional local gatherings in Al-Khor — and town hall events.

Two majlises were held at the Al-ThakhiraYouth Club where local residents will discuss and debate the future vision for Al-Khor with representatives from the SC and other local organisations. Each majlis will feature members of the Al Khor community discussing their ideas and sharing their knowledge with those in attendance.

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