Zaha Hadid World Cup stadium project underway

An enabling work contract for a Qatar FIFA World Cup football stadium designed by Zaha Hadid  is set to released early next year.

Secretary general of the event organising committee  Hassan Al Thawadi said the contract for the first new-build stadium at Al Wakrah were due to be released in the first quarter of 2014, with the main contract for the 40,000-seat venue set to be tendered during the fourth quarter of next year.

Five more stadiums are expected to be in different stages of construction by the end of next year.

“Al Wakrah is the first of six stadiums already in the latter stages of the design process,” said Al Thawadi.

“Our committee has issued ten major tenders to the market encompassing project and design managers and stadium-operation consultants,” he added.

The Al Wakrah stadium, which has been designed by London-based Hadid alongside Aecom Middle East, is set to complete by 2018, with subsequent stadiums openings being carried out in a phased manner before the final project completes in 2021 – a year ahead of the 2022 tournament.

AECOM CEO John Dionisio said: the project was a “benchmark for sports venues in the region”.

He said: “This an exciting time for Qatar, and our global team of forward-thinking sports experts is well equipped to take on the innovative challenges that a project of this calibre will demand.”

Hadid added: “We are excited to be working on Al Wakrah Stadium. The design expresses its context, establishing a relationship with the city and its surrounding landscape.”

The organising committee said the World Cup stadiums were well on track for delivery.

“The planning phase is the most important and crucial phase. We’ve taken three years to provide the planning phase, and now we’re moving towards the delivery mode,” said Al Thawadi.

The first two stadium deals signed are for the new Al Wakrah stadium and for a retrofit of the existing Al Rayyan stadium, but the procurement process is also understood to be underway for the Lusail stadium – the 86,250-capacity stadium that is set to host both the opening and closing games of the 2022 tournament.

Al Thawadi added that Qatar was still planning to build stadiums and public realm capable of holding a world cup during the summer, regardless of whether FIFA subsequently decides to switch the tournament to winter or not.

For instance, the Al Wakrah stadium will feature stands cooled by shading, aerodynamic and mechanical cooling to beween 24-28 degrees celsius and a natural grass pitch cooled to 26 degrees.

A public realm area around the stadium covering 72,000m2 will be cooled to 30-32 degrees. The Al Wakrah site will also contain community facilities including a new indoor sports hall, a school, training pitches, a mosque and other community facilities.

At a press conference in Doha Al Thawadi – head of Qatar’s 2022 Supreme Committee – also responded to questions about the recent spate of deaths of expat workers in the country by reiterating its commitment to a workers’ safety charter.

He said: “For us, any number (of deaths) above zero is unacceptable. We’re working towards ensuring that stays that way,” adding the Supreme Committee had provided “very clear standards that all of our contractors have to comply with.

“There’s mechanisms provided within these to ensure that they maintain the highest degree of safety and security, providing health and dignity of every person working on any of the projects within 2022.”

Qatar has come under fire from international labour organisations following a revelation by a Nepalese diplomatic official that 32 Nepalese workers died in the country in the month of July alone – 21 of these where construction workers suffering cardivascular incidents, falls or other on-site incidents, while the other 11 died in traffic accidents.