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Posted On: 18 May 2019 09:22 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:03 pm

Lusail Stadium: Qatar's passion for sharing Arab culture with the world

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
Content Writer
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The Lusail Stadium, the last eight stadiums which the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) unveiled its designs to host 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, will embody Qatar's ambition and its passion for sharing Arab culture with the world. The Stadium is located in Lusail 15km north of central Doha. Once the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar is over, Lusail Stadium will be transformed into a community space including schools, shops, cafes, sporting facilities and health clinics.

This multi-purpose community hub will allow people to find everything they need under one roof - the original roof of the football stadium. Lusail Stadium Project Manager Engineer Tamim El Abed said given the limited population of Qatar with only 3 million citizens and residents living together, there is no need to have eight stadiums with a capacity of 400,000 seats. This why the seats will be reduced after the World Cup in all stadiums, including the Lusail Stadium, which its huge space would be re-engineered and transformed into community amenities serving the Qatari community in a meaningful way, as well as donating many removable stadium seats to benefit from the development of sports projects around the world.

In an exclusive interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), El Abed said that converting the 80,000-seat Lusail stadium after the Qatar World Cup is not a waste of public money, especially after years of working on a stadium that will be an engineering masterpiece. He added economic sustainability suggests that it is better for future generations to re-engineer the huge space inside the stadium to accommodate different social amenities, in view of the availability of alternative distinct stadiums across the country.

The Lusail Stadium Project Manager said the design of the Lusail Stadium takes into account the idea of transforming it into a community facility, adding most facilities to be available in the stadium was preliminarily agreed upon, including the establishment of a school on the west side of the stadium staring from the ground floor to the third floor, health clinics in the eastern part of the stadium and residential units distributed on all floors especially after the second floor, as well as providing spaces for shops and entertainment for children.

The Lusail Stadium, which is 75 meters above the ground, is scheduled to host seven to nine matches of the FIFA World Cup Qatar. In addition to the opening and final games of the FIFA World Cup Qatar, it will host six or seven other matches of the World Cup, and it will host matches of all tournament rounds regardless of the final number of World Cup teams. Located 15km north of central Doha, Lusail is a pioneer among cities. Every aspect of its planning, from its tram system and plentiful green spaces to this sustainability-focused arena, concentrates on human needs and environmental conservation.

Lusail Stadium, in Qatar's city of the future, has a fittingly futuristic design. Its bold shape is based upon bowls and other vessels used across the Middle East for centuries. Lusail Stadium Project Manager Engineer Tamim El Abed said the design of this magnificent stadium is inspired by the interplay of light and shadow that characterizes the fanar lantern. Its shape and facade echo the intricate decorative motifs on bowls and other vessels found across the Arab world and in museums and art galleries globally.

Crowning the elaborate stadium facade will be a roof made from materials carefully chosen to provide shade, while still admitting just the right amount of sunlight to nourish the first-rate playing surface within, El Abed said. At night, an advanced lighting system will maximize the interaction of the light and openings in the faade, mimicking the welcoming glow of a fanar lantern for approaching fans, he added. Sustainability work started the moment Lusail Stadium was first envisaged and its location was chosen. Its position means fans can travel to matches via upgraded roads, the Doha Metro, shuttle buses from surrounding park and ride sites and even by foot - all suitably green methods of transport for this city of tomorrow. El Abed said as the venue that will host both the opening and final matches of the Middle East's first FIFA World Cup, this stadium will inevitably secure a special place in the hearts of people in the region.

Another legacy will be granted to the projects receiving the many modular seats that will be removed and donated after the tournament. Those seats, where fans will have witnessed FIFA World Cup history, will live on in several other stadiums, widening access to sport across the world, he added. After most of the seats have been removed from Lusail Stadium, a remarkable transformation will take place, he said, adding the remaining seating rows in the upper tier will be cleverly integrated into terraces and other public spaces. "Keeping these seats and the roof of the stadium intact will supply a constant reminder of this place's glorious sporting history."

The Lusail Stadium Project Manager Engineer said the stadium employs sustainable building practices and recycle construction waste whenever possible. "Recycled water will be used to irrigate plants around the stadium, which will all be local varieties requiring little water. Installing efficient water fixtures and leak detection systems throughout the stadium complex conserves 40% more fresh water than conventional stadiums." Even the arena's roof has been designed with the environment in mind, he said, pointing out that a state-of-the-art material will allow enough light in for pitch growth while providing shade to reduce the burden on the stadium's air-conditioning.

The construction work at the Lusail Stadium is progressing rapidly, and Qatar's vision for the 2022 FIFA World Cup final will soon become a reality. SC's Lusail Stadium Project Manager Engineer Tamim El Abed stressed that the work is in full swing in the project according to the schedule as the venue is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020, where the concrete structure was completed by nearly 100 percent. He added that the works of substrates and services buried under the ground have been completed as well as the completion of over 30 percent of the steel work of the structure of the stadium, and the completion of prefabricated standings by 50 percent.

El Abed added that the project is committed to health and safety standards in dealing with workers and the requirements of the laws of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs are adopted during the ongoing work in the project, which currently includes 4,600 workers, pointing out that the work is carried out over the full day (24 hours, eight hours shifts), and six days a week, with 20 million hours of work done so far with only minor injuries, all of which are first degree, requiring regular treatment at the event site only. El Abed considers that the workers' welfare is a joint journey between SC and the private sector, especially that the file of workers' welfare is one of the top priorities of the committee. He added that the supervision starts from the tender stage submitted by the institutions and companies that implement the construction work, where the conditions include the conditions of compliance with the standards of workers' care as a key factor in the acceptance of the company's tender file or rejection of non-eligibility.

SC's Lusail Stadium Project Manager explained that the transport plan to be adopted at the Lusail Stadium is based mainly on studying the number of spectators expected to arrive at the stadium and the places they are coming from, adding that there is a sophisticated network of roads within the city of Lusail, which is connected to Al Khor highway, the new Lusail tunnel, in addition to the subway which will be ready to transport spectators from all over Doha to the site of the stadium.

El Abed pointed out that the transportation plan will aim to keep private cars as far as possible from the stadium because 80,000 spectators, as well as 10,000 senior visitors, media workers, and volunteers will reach the number of 90,000 people per day in each game, which is not suitable for the presence of private cars with long paths for fans who want to watch the games, therefore six large sites will be allocated as car parking places in the vicinity of the stadium at a distance that doesn't exceed three kilometers, after that the fans will be transported by bus.

SC's Lusail Stadium Project Manager further added that the stadium includes 153 electronic gates spread over 33 main entrances spread across the entire perimeter of the stadium, as the journey will start at the external to the local roads, then the inspection routes, the main gates, and electronic elevators, to the spectator's chair, which will be reserved in his name through the signs and codes approved. (QNA)