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Qatar unveils new design of Khalifa International Stadium

#Stadiums #KhalifaInternationalStadium

Riyadh, 24 November 2014: 

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the body responsible for building the stadiums and infrastructure required for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, and the Aspire Zone Foundation have unveiled the renovated design for Khalifa International Stadium, the third proposed host venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.  

The redevelopment includes revamping the venue to include a seating capacity of 40,000 during the tournament in order to be compliant with FIFA’s stadium requirements for hosting group, round of 16 and quarter-final matches. Additionally, innovative cooling technology will be incorporated to ensure an optimal playing temperature of 26 degrees Celsius and provide a comfortable viewing environment for fans and players. 

The announcement was made at a ceremonial dinner held in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, on the sidelines of the 22nd edition of the Gulf Cup. H.E. Abdullatif Al Zayani, GCC Secretary General, H.R.H. Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ad bin Abdul Aziz, General President of Youth Welfare, Presidents of Gulf football associations, and other dignitaries from the region attended the event.

Expressing GCC support for Qatar in hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, H.E. Abdullatif Al Zayani said: “Having such a global tournament organised by a Gulf state will be a source of pride not only for the Gulf, but for all Arab countries as well. Hosting the FIFA World Cup is a legitimate right for this region, and the GCC will always stand by Qatar to safeguard this right and make the World Cup happen.”

Commenting on the event, H.R.H. Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ad bin Abdul Aziz, General President of Youth Welfare, said: “We are proud to announce from our country the new design for the third proposed World Cup host venue. As host of the tournament, Qatar will be able to bring the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time. We in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stand by Qatar and firmly support its right to host this event, as it is a remarkable success for all of us. I am confident that Qatar will deliver an exceptional tournament, introducing our culture and traditions to the world and promoting football and sports across the Gulf and the whole region.”

Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Thani, President of Qatar Football Association, said: “We are pleased to be here with our brothers in Riyadh, which is currently hosting the Gulf Cup. This tournament reflects the importance of sport, especially football, in strengthening the brotherly relationship between Gulf countries. Likewise, we hope that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will offer another good opportunity for the people of our region to come together and make it an impressive track record of success.” 

In his speech, Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “Unveiling the design of our third proposed World Cup host venue from Riyadh shows how much the World Cup is welcomed by all the countries and peoples of the region, especially Saudi Arabia, which has been supporting us since the early days of our bid. It also demonstrates our determination and firm commitment to deliver on an amazing tournament, creating a lasting legacy for Qatar, the Gulf States and the whole region.” 

Built in 1976, and renovated for the Asian Games in 2006, Khalifa International Stadium will undergo a comprehensive renovation to meet the FIFA standards for World Cup stadiums, which will include adding a new building to the east wing, and building a single roof to cover the whole seating area.

Hilal Jeham Al Kuwari, President of Aspire Zone Foundation, which is supervising the renovation project, said: “Khalifa International Stadium has been always pivotal to the sporting scene in Qatar, having hosted several international tournaments and friendly matches. The aim of the renovation is not only to refurbish the stadium to fulfill the FIFA requirements, but to enhance it with new features as well. In this way, we will be able to keep the stadium sustainable for a longer time and ensure that it will remain a global sports hub as well as a focal point for the local community.”

Among the new additions, the stadium will include the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum. This museum will include historic sport collections and interactive exhibits, demonstrating the strong relationship that connects Qatar with world sports. Food courts, shops, multi-purpose rooms, VIP lounges and a health centre will also be available on the upper and lower concourses to be built in the east wing.

In addition, cooling technology will be employed in the stadium and training sites to ensure that players and fans are provided with a comfortable atmosphere.  This new technology was tested by the SC at an open-air fan zone set up in Doha during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. The Aspire Zone Foundation also hosted a fan zone the size of a full-scale football pitch to test the cooling technology capabilities for training sites and facilities in Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.  The fan zones were a great success, bringing the temperature down by 12 degrees Celsius and providing a comfortable environment for more than 15,000 fans.

To ensure that the fans will have a unique experience, the tournament will be the first compact edition of the FIFA World Cup™. This means that players and fans will not have to fly from one city to another for matches. Instead, a modern transport network will be in operation to take fans from their accommodation to the stadiums in less than 45 minutes.

A new road network along with two new metro stations in the surrounding area will connect the stadium to public transport, allowing it to be easily accessible. Meanwhile, the close distance between the stadium and its surrounding hotels and shopping centre will make walking an enjoyable experience.

A joint venture between Midmac Contracting and a subsidiary of the Belgian Besix Group, Six Construct, is overseeing the main contractor works on the stadium. Dar Al Handasah and Projacs are the Design Consultant and Project Manager respectively.

Commenting on the project, Yasir Al Jamal, Acting Assistant Secretary General for Delivery Affairs at the SC, said: “Khalifa International Stadium is the third proposed FIFA World Cup venue to be revealed by the SC so far. This comes after we revealed the designs for Al Wakrah Stadium in November 2013, and Al Bayt-Al Khor City Stadium in June 2014.”

He added: “The SC has previously announced that work will start on five proposed FIFA World Cup venues before the end of this year. In the coming weeks, we will be unveiling the design for Qatar Foundation Stadium, which is currently in the enabling works phase, and Al Rayyan Stadium, which will be announced during Qatar’s National Day Celebrations in Darb Al-Saa’i.”