Qatar is the cynosure of all eyes for the next 28 days with the greatest sporting event on the planet, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, being played out across eight state-of-the-art stadiums. What began as a dream on the evening of December 2, 2010, when it was announced that Qatar won the bid, came to fruition yesterday when the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world kicked off. The world has literally descended on Qatar to enjoy not only the thrilling matches featuring the best players but also an unprecedented array of mesmerising cultural and entertainment activities, another first in the history of the World Cup.
Over the past 12 years, Qatar has grown by leaps and bounds in every sector. Residents who have witnessed the amazing development will vouch for the positive impact brought forth by the changes. World-class facilities including infrastructure, transportation, communication and healthcare have elevated the Qatar experience to enviable heights, all the while staying sustainable to the maximum and facilitating the first carbon-neutral World Cup in line with international efforts to confront climate change. Qatar has succeeded in building sustainable stadiums, including design, construction, energy and water use, as well as installing stations to measure air quality, gas emissions and dust, in addition to organising a mechanism for sorting waste during the stadium construction phase, to reduce the carbon footprint, and to recycle about 80% of the waste generated from the construction.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has announced that carbon savings from Qatar’s new Al Kharsaah 800MW solar power plant will be used to offset approximately half the emissions generated from the country’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup. The project will commit 1.8mn tonnes of carbon savings to Qatar 2022. During its first year of operation, the solar power plant is expected to generate almost 2,000,000MWh, the equivalent energy consumption of approximately 55,000 Qatari households. A report published in 2021 estimated that Qatar 2022 would generate about 3.6mn tonnes of carbon emissions. Data will be collected during the tournament to update the carbon inventory report and adjust the offsetting strategy accordingly. While about 50% of the emissions will be compensated by savings from the solar power plant, the SC will source an additional 1.5mn tonnes through carbon-offsetting projects approved by the Global Carbon Council.
According to official Qatar News Agency, Qatar has spent about $220bn on infrastructure projects, an amount that does not include building stadiums and sports facilities for the World Cup only, but covers all projects, including roads, hotels, sports facilities, health facilities and other expenses that cover all sectors in the country. Officials of the SC as well from the government, have reiterated that the World Cup in Qatar is more than just a sporting event, as hosting the tournament for the first time in the Middle East was a base for launching and accelerating giant projects, a large percentage of which are infrastructure projects, which will also benefit future generations. The spending on infrastructure projects was carefully studied and described by many analysts and economists as a philosophy in the right direction, as the aim is to bring about a qualitative leap in economic and tourism development, and attract more foreign investment.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is the first edition of the event to rely entirely on 5G technologies, while the speed of Internet data downloads in stadiums will be among the fastest in the history of the tournament. The Qatar edition of the World Cup will also be one of the first tournaments to use the best and latest digital technologies. What unfolds over the next 28 days is one of the most historic and monumental events of the 21st century, by any yardstick.
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