On 15 May 2019, the Qatar-America Institute hosted a representative of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), a Qatari entity mandated to deliver the infrastructure and legacy programs for the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar, who shared relevant information about the mega-event set to take place in November and December 2022.
The SC is tasked with delivering the proposed tournament venues and projects for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – the first to be held in the Arab world – while ensuring its preparations align with the Qatar National Vision 2030.
For the FIFA World Cup™ in 2022, there will be a total of eight stadiums, all being built within a 55km radius, making it the first compact FIFA World Cup™ in the modern era. Each stadium will fulfill multiple purposes, not just sporting; community-based workshops were held to address and express the needs of local constituencies in the surrounding areas. The aim was to maximize benefits by realizing and integrating local demands as the stadiums are being completed to ensure they are used long after the last ball has been kicked in 2022.
This strategy will foster local development, promote and increase social cohesion, avoid bureaucratic mismanagement of resources duplication, and decrease the likelihood of disenchantment or skepticism from the local population towards the perceived benefits of hosting a sporting mega-event such as the FIFA World Cup™.
A concrete example of this strategy can be seen with the construction and completion of the new state-of-the-art Doha Metro Red Line South. The Red Line runs from Lusail to Al Wakra and connects Hamad International Airport with Doha.
The Doha Metro project will serve a dual purpose. Firstly, it will offer sustainable and accessible transportation to tournament venues and Qatari attractions for the 1.5 million fans Qatar expects in 2022, and secondly it will enhance accessibility and connectivity among the eight municipalities that make up Qatar. Therefore, the FIFA World Cup™ will act as an opportunity for Qatar to showcase its position as a primary international destination for sports, while also acting as a catalyst for the modernization of the country’s infrastructure.
Another noteworthy characteristic of the eight stadiums for the FIFA World Cup™ is that they are being built according to a criterion that incorporates sustainability and efficiency. For instance, the under-construction Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will be a clear example of such commitment and, furthermore, demonstrate the country’s degree of technological sophistication. Like a Lego set, the stadium will be fully demountable, and is being built via the assembly of repurposed shipping containers that were used to transport materials to Qatar. Thus, once the tournament ends on 18 December 2022, state-of-the-art software will be employed to assist the disassembly of the structure. The various parts and components will be re-allocated to create both sporting and non-sporting facilities in Qatar. Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will be the first fully demountable tournament venue in FIFA World Cup™ history.
The completed Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah City, which was launched on 16 May, and will be one of the eight venues for the FIFA World Cup 2022™. Al Janoub Stadium was designed by Zaha Hadid and AECOM Architects. The arena has a capacity of 40,000 and boasts a fully retractable roof. It also features innovative internal cooling technology for the benefit of both supporters and athletes. This sophisticated technology will allow local residents to enjoy the stadium all year round. Once the FIFA World Cup 2022™ is over, half of the stadium’s capacity will be removed and allocated for foreign and/or external development or sports projects. All of which further illustrating Qatar’s commitment to sustainability and development.
During the briefing, the SC representative noted Qatar’s recently implemented reforms for workers’ welfare, all of which reflect the commitment to respecting the standards of hosting the tournament and to improve the welfare of the country’s expatriate workforce.
This was emphasized by the following policy decisions: Qatar’s unilateral decision to sign a three-year technical cooperation agreement with the United Nations’ International Labor Organization to promote labor laws, increase government officials’ capacity to implement them and ensure recruitment practices are in-line with best international practices. Additionally, the Amiri’s promulgation of Law No. 13 of 2017, which established a judge-led Labor Dispute Resolution Committee, and Law No. 15 of 2017, which limited working hours and secured paid leave, and the creation of a Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund to ensure workers are paid overdue wages are just a few of the other significant reforms made.
Most notably, the SC pledged to allocate between $40-50 million (USD) to write off the debts that supply-chain migrant workers may have incurred as a consequence of unscrupulous non-affiliated recruiters in key labor markets. The recruitment and placement industry, which is a global phenomenon, is a $464.3 billion industry that affects more than 150 million migrant workers. The SC’s pledge will transform the lives of those affected by these illegal practices.
The SC representative also discussed safety and security preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022™ and INTERPOL’s Project Stadia, which was established by INTERPOL in 2012 and funded by Qatar. The aim of Project Stadia is to create a Centre of Excellence to help INTERPOL member countries in the planning and executing policing and security preparations for major sporting events. The ten-year project will contribute to policing and security arrangements for the FIFA World Cup 2022™ in Qatar and will leave a lasting legacy for the world’s law enforcement community.
Lastly, the representative emphasized the existing degree of U.S.-Qatar economic ties in relation to the mega-event. Qatar has worked with over 30 U.S. organizations across a range of industries to date, all of which have been involved in some of the country’s most important tournament projects.
Turner International, CH2M, Jacobs and AECOM have been integral to a number of construction projects. CISCO, Oracle and Amazon have been working with Qatar on everything from IT to networking to cybersecurity solutions, all to ensure 2022 will be the most connected tournament ever, for fans and businesses. Leading U.S. universities including Georgetown and Northwestern and tech giant Facebook have been helping support Qatar’s innovation legacy programs. Overall, $10 billion will be invested in American services and expertise for the upcoming tournament in 2022.