Members of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy's (SC) Accessibility Forum recently visited Al Wakrah Stadium to review its facilities for people with disabilities.
Organised by the Community Engagement Division, the visit forms part of the SC's drive to ensure that the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is the most accessible tournament in history, according to a report on sc.qa.
During the visit, members were given a tour of the stadium and provided with specific information related to accessibility, such as the proximity of disabled parking spots and wheelchair access. Members also tested one of the washrooms to ensure it is suitable for people with disabilities, the report said.
Moza al-Harami, senior architect, accompanied members on the visit and explained the stadium's commitment to accessibility.
SC Accessibility Forum visits Al Wakrah Stadium to review its facilities for people with disabilities
"The visit is important because it allows us to receive feedback from the very people who will visit and benefit from the stadium when it is completed," said al-Harami. "We are committed to ensuring that our stadiums are as accessible as possible – and we couldn't do that without input from groups such as the Accessibility Forum.
"We are still at a stage where we can change certain aspects of the stadium to support accessibility and will take all the recommendations we have received into consideration."
In addition to learning about the stadium's accessibility features, members were given a full overview of the construction project, which will soon be completed. They also learned about the legacy plans for the venue, which include the development of a school, wedding hall, cycling and running tracks, restaurants and other amenities. Members were also briefed on the SC's Workers' Welfare Standards.
Saeed al-Marri, from the Qatar Social and Cultural Centre for the Deaf, described the accessibility plans as 'extraordinary'.
"I'm very proud of Qatar's efforts to make the country more accessible for people with disabilities," said al-Marri, who was speaking in sign language. "The work being done at Al Wakrah Stadium is extraordinary and I'm looking forward to returning when the construction has been completed to test all the different accessibility features."
Al-Marri travelled to Russia with the Accessibility Forum during last summer's World Cup and is confident Qatar will be better equipped for hosting people with disabilities.
"In Russia, some of the facilities were not quite ready for people with disabilities and the amount of assistance was limited," said al-Marri. "But what I see in Qatar is incredible – they have thought of everything and there has been a complete focus on members of the disabled community being accounted for."
Talib al-Marri, from Qatar Rehabilitation Centre, added: "The SC has offered members of the disabled community a golden opportunity to leave a positive mark on the country's World Cup journey. I would like to thank the SC and Qatar for considering their needs and ensuring the 2022 World Cup will be a smooth experience for them."
The SC's Accessibility Forum includes members from various groups across Qatar, including the Qatar Social and Cultural Centre for the Deaf, Qatar Social and Cultural Centre for the Blind, Qatar Rehabilitation Centre, Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, Hamad Medical Corporation, Sensory Souk, Accessible Qatar, Mada and Qatar University.