Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid Reveals New Stadium Plans and Cooling Technologies

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Al-Wakrah is a 45,000 capacity stadium that would be built in the south of the oil-rich state (All photos Qatar 2022)
(WFI) Qatar steps up its campaign to bring the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time after unveiling details of three new stadiums and the "world-first, carbon-neutral technology" it would use to cool venues, fan fests and training sites if the Gulf state is successful in its quest to secure the 2022 tournament.

Qatar 2022 chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani revealed the cooling technologies along with plans for new state-of-the-art stadiums and expansions of two others at the SportAccord convention in Dubai.

The heat issue – temperatures for players and spectators can average around 40 degrees in the summer months – is the biggest challenge for the Qatar bid.

Al-Thani said the stadiums would have "zero carbon cooling equipment utilising solar technology to ensure the temperature is no higher than 27 degrees Celsius, ensuring optimum playing conditions and a comfortable environment for fans".

"This same environmentally friendly, carbon-neutral technology will ensure training sites, fan fest and fan zones are also cool and comfortable," he said.

"What we have unveiled today is a world first, and as part of Qatar's commitment to delivering an historic legacy we will share this groundbreaking technology with the rest of the world."

Al-Thani emphasized that the plans showed "just how serious, innovative and focused we are about hosting a FIFA World Cup that will deliver a fantastic experience for players, fans and the media".

Qatar 2022 CEO Hassan Abdulla Al Thawadi, said the new stadia were designed "with legacy front of mind and, with their modular design, can be reduced in size after the World Cup to fit local football and community requirements and, in some cases, transported abroad for permanent use".

Al-Khor stadium in the north east of Qatar features an asymmetrical seashell design
stadia is nothing new in the world of international sport but with FIFA keen to ensure there are no white elephants at future World Cups the flat-pack stadium concept is an appealing plus point for Qatar.

"What we have unveiled today is just a foretaste of the much wider plans we will be unveiling in the coming weeks," promised Al Thawadi.

New stadiums plan

Al-Shamal – a 45,120 capacity stadium located in the north of Qatar, on the edge of the Arabian Gulf. The stadium’s bowl shape design is derived from the “traditional dhows” – the local fishing
Capacity at Al Gharafa stadium near Doha would be doubled to 44,740 with the addition of a temporary upper tier of seats
boats of the Gulf. Around 10% of spectators for Al-Shamal are expected to arrive via the Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Bridge, which will be the longest free-standing bridge in the world.

– a 45,330 capacity stadium located in the north east of Qatar, set in its own park setting and designed as a stunning asymmetrical seashell motif. Some spectators will be able to see the Gulf from their seats while players will benefit from a flexible roof providing shade over the pitch.

Al-Wakrah – a 45,000 capacity stadium located in the south of Qatar, set in a park setting that includes a themed swimming pool, spa zone, spots facilities and shopping mall. The main stadium entrance will face onto a plaza that will create a sense of one large extended park.

Two existing stadiums would be expanded if Qatar wins the right to stage the 2022 World Cup.

Al Rayyan – located 20km northwest of Doha, its current capacity will double to 44,740 via a modular upper tier stand. A special membrane will double as a giant screen on the side of the stadium projecting flash match updates and tournament information.

Al Gharafa – located close to Doha, its current capacity will also double to 44,740 via a modular upper tier stand. The stadium facade will be made up of the colours of all the countries qualifying for Qatar 2022, symbolising the friendship, mutual tolerance and respect of the FIFA World Cup and Qatar.

With reporting from Mark Bisson (
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