Cricket

FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar stadium designed by Zaha Hadid to be built 'by end of year'

  • AFP
  • February 7th, 2018
  • 17:43:55 IST

Doha: The Qatar World Cup venue designed by celebrated Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid will be finished by the end of 2018, officials responsible for the project said on Tuesday.

The 40,000 capacity, $575 million (465 million euros) Al-Wakrah Stadium is expected to be one of two further 2022 venues completed this year.

Building work on the 60,000 Al-Bayt stadium is also expected to be completed by December.

If so, it will mean Qatar – which has said it is spending almost $500 million a week on World Cup-related projects – will have built almost half of its proposed eight venues with four years still to go to the tournament.

A picture taken on February 6, 2018, shows a general view of the extior of Al-Wakrah Stadium, a World Cup venue currently under construction, designed by celebrated Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, some 15 kilometres on the outskirts of the Qatari capital Doha. The 40,000 capacity, $575 million (465 million euros) Al-Wakrah Stadium is expected to be one of two further 2022 venues completed this year. / AFP PHOTO / KARIM JAAFAR / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION

A general view of the extior of Al-Wakrah Stadium, a World Cup venue.  AFP

The Khalifa International Stadium, also the venue for the 2019 World Athletics Championships, was completed last year.

"We will be finishing hopefully by the end of this year and then ready to use," Thani Al-Zarraa, Al-Wakrah's project manager told AFP.

One of the major tasks ahead is to fit the stadium's distinctive retractable roof – meant to resemble the sails of a traditional dhow fishing boat – comprised of some 1,400 pieces, which will be shipped to Qatar from Italy.

Once completed, 2022 World Cup officials will trial the stadium with "test matches" including potential international friendlies, said Zarraa.

He said the design would also make it "one of the loudest stadiums" in 2022.

"All the ambience and cheering will hit the roof and come back into the stadium," he said.

Al-Wakrah, some 15 kilometres south of the capital Doha, will be used during the World Cup for games up to and including quarter-finals.

After the World Cup, the capacity will be reduced to 20,000.

It was one of Hadid's last major designs before her death in March 2016, aged 65.

Major works by Hadid include the Guangzhou Opera House in China, the Bergisel ski jump and the aquatics centre at the 2012 London Olympics.

Zarraa said the stadium would "be one of her (Hadid's) legacies".

The project has not been without controversy.

Qatar has come under intense pressure for its human rights record and treatment of its huge migrant labour force, numbering some two million, since winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Hadid took successful legal action when it was claimed she had no concern for the plight of labourers in Qatar helping build Al-Wakrah.

She also had to defend claims that the stadium's design was offensive and resembled female genitalia.

Baghdad-born Hadid called such criticism "embarrassing".

Qatar is building eight stadiums for the World Cup, although FIFA has yet to decide on a final number of venues and could instruct the gas-rich Gulf state to build a ninth.

Updated Date: February 07, 2018 17:43:55 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

LaLiga: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone tests positive for coronavirus, goes into self-isolation
Sports

LaLiga: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone tests positive for coronavirus, goes into self-isolation

Diego Simeone and the rest of the team were tested on Friday. Atletico Madrid did not say if anyone else was infected.

Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic announces retirement from Croatia national team
Sports

Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic announces retirement from Croatia national team

Rakitic, who did not elaborate on the reasons for the decision, made his debut for Croatia in 2007.

Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke tells Swiss trial of struggling 'with no income'
Sports

Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke tells Swiss trial of struggling 'with no income'

Valcke said he had struggled "with no income" since losing his job at FIFA in 2015. He said he had to sell his yacht and jewellery, and had been "unable to open a bank account in Europe" since 2017 — he divorced a year later so that his wife could.