The Magnificent Infrastructure of Qatar and the 2022 FIFA World Cup Sites
By: Ala Abed-Rabbo/Arab America Contributing Writer
With a fast-increasing population, the Gulf State of Qatar is growing as never before. The country is located on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
“The Qatari peninsula protrudes 160 kilometers (100 mi) into the Persian Gulf, north of Saudi Arabia.” Doha is the capital of Qatar, and it is the country’s largest city.
Qatar, a desert country that grew its infrastructures to some of the world’s best architectural buildings and futuristic skyscrapers, has a high-income economy and the most advanced state for human development.
Before oil was discovered in 1940 in Dukhan Field, the economy of the Qatari region centered on fishing and pearl hunting. The oil discovery changed the state’s economy.
Presently, the nation has a high standard of living for its legal citizens. According to the International Monetary Fund, as of 2016 Qatar has the fourth-highest GDP per capita in the world. “Qatar is the leading exporter of liquefied natural gas.”
Also, an essential goal for the country over the next two decades is Qatar’s National Vision 2030, which addresses significant challenges such as innovation and preservation of traditions, the needs of the present and future generations, manage progress and uncontrolled expansion, as well as economic growth, social development, and environmental organization.
Formation of Qatar
Qatar’s history spans from its first duration of human occupation (dating back to 50,000 years ago) to its construction as a modern state. Between the 1960s and 1970s, an increase in oil revenues brought wealth, rapid immigration, substantial social growth, and the early development of the country’s modern history.
This growth from the oil discoveries led to massive infrastructural progress and immense urban growth like the radical expansion of the built environment in Doha.
There are numerous remarkable buildings in Qatar with distinctive architectural designs, such as the Aspire Tower that stands 300 feet tall and consists of a 360-degree revolving restaurant that is lit up all at night and displays a spectacular view.
Also, plans are getting set to install 16 floating hotels on an island in Qatar, which will be constructed by a Finnish company to help accommodate football fans at the 2022 World Cup.
Besides, The Silver Pearl Hotel, with over 1,000 luxury rooms, is to be located one and a half kilometers offshore near Doha. The name of the hotel denotes to construction that will factually surface out of the sea in memory of the country’s seafaring and pearl diving history. The hotel will consist of two semicircular 30 story towers detached by a curved, climate-controlled hall over lavish gardens with an open view to the ocean.
In addition, the airport is expanding its capacity to keep up with increasing visitors. Hamad International Airport, located in Doha, was named the 50th busiest airport in the world in 2016 by passenger numbers as it serves 37.2 million people, which is a 20.2% increase from 2015.
Advancements in Transportation
Due to Qatar’s fast-expanding population and extensive economic growth for more than a decade, a consistent and vast transportation network is becoming gradually necessary within the country. Thus, the government developed primary transports, which has done well in terms of keeping up with the demand for new transportation options.
In Qatar, most people drive as their primary mode of transport. However, there are public buses to use that run throughout the country.
The government is developing a project that includes the multi billion-dollar Doha Expressway and the Qatar Bahrain Causeway, which will connect Qatar to both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and is considered a milestone in regional inter-connectivity.
Moreover, mass-transit selections, such as a Doha metro, a light-rail system, and wider bus networks are also under expansion to ease road traffic.
The railway system is being significantly prolonged and could ultimately form an essential part of a GCC-wide network connecting all the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
Also, Volkswagen and Qatar have agreed to partner in order to bring self-driving electric vehicles before the end of 2022 to the public transportation network in Doha. The aim of Project Qatar Mobility is to progress a supportable and commercial placement of autonomous driving bus services and shuttles.
The project seeks to generate a rounded ecosystem for self-driving, including the formation of a proper legal framework, smart city infrastructure, and transmission of knowledge, which can be used as a blueprint to alter urban mobility both in Qatar and beyond.
Preparations for the 2022 World Cup
The Lusial Iconic Stadium will open in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Its design is circular based and will be surrounded by a moat and connected to the car park by six bridges.
Placed in the Centre of a new change to the north of Doha, with straight connections by road and a new metro line, the arena is expected to be a catalyst for development growth of Lusail city.
Moreover, the 80,000-capacity site will be the largest stadium in the Arab World. After the end of the World Cup, Lusail Stadium will be transformed into a public space, including shops, schools, cafes, sports facilities and health clinics.
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