Zaha Hadid-designed Al Wakrah Stadium to be ready by end of the year, says official
The 2022 FIFA World Cup may still be four years away, but that has not stopped Qatar from getting ready for it well in advance.
Officials are racing ahead to finish the Al Wakrah Stadium — one of the eight 2022 FIFA World Cup venues — by the end of this year, reported Gulf Times.
The venue, designed by celebrated Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid (who passed away in March, 2016), has a 40,000 seat capacity and will cost $575m to build.
Works on the 60,000-seater Al Bayt Stadium is also expected to be completed by December this year.
In such a scenario, Qatar — which is spending almost $500m a week on World Cup projects — will have built almost half of its proposed eight venues with four years still to go to the tournament, reported The Peninsula.
The Khalifa International Stadium, which is also set to host the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships, was completed last year.
“We’ll be finishing hopefully by the end of this year and then ready to use,” Thani Al Zarraa, Al Wakrah Stadium’s project manager, was quoted as saying by 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. It comprises of around 1,400 pieces, which will be shipped to Qatar from Italy, reported Qatar Tribune.
Once completed, World Cup officials will trial the stadium with ‘test matches,’ including potential international friendlies, said Zarraa.
The stadium’s design is expected to make it ‘one of the loudest stadiums’ in 2022.
“All the ambience and cheering will hit the roof and come back into the stadium,” the official said.
The Al Wakrah Stadium, situated around 15km south of Doha, will be used during the 2022 World Cup for games up to and including the quarterfinals.
After the World Cup, the capacity will be reduced to 20,000.