HE Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), believes the FIFA World Cup has the potential to transform people’s attitudes to sustainability in Qatar.
Speaking during the Doha Smart Cities Summit, Al Thawadi outlined the different ways Qatar 2022 will help people leverage new technology and change their lives for the better.
Organised by Msheireb Properties, the virtual summit brought together experts to discuss the future of smart cities through a series of keynote speeches and panel discussions. Discussions focused on how to leverage smart technology to tackle Covid-19, responses to climate change, the importance of cybersecurity and the potential of autonomous vehicles.
During his keynote address, Al Thawadi highlighted the importance of sustainability – one of the core pillars of Qatar 2022.
‘There is a close connection between sustainability and legacy, and we have affirmed our commitment to both since the first moments of preparing Qatar's bid to host the FIFA World Cup,’ said Al Thawadi.
Qatar and FIFA have made several commitments around sustainability, all of which are outlined in the Qatar 2022 Sustainability Strategy, most notably a plan to deliver the first carbon neutral World Cup in history.
Another example of sustainability can be found at Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, which is being constructed using shipping containers and will be completely dismantled after the tournament, with its parts used to create sporting facilities across Qatar and overseas. It will be the first fully demountable stadium in FIFA World Cup history.
‘Thousands of seats will be donated for the purpose of building sports facilities in a number of countries in coordination with FIFA, and, in doing so, providing a unique mode of legacy that organisers of future major tournaments can benefit from,’ said Al Thawadi.
Al Thawadi also spoke about how the stadiums built for the tournament were designed in a manner that would eliminate the creation of so-called ‘white elephants’.
He said: ‘Our goal behind designing the stadiums and their surrounding areas is not limited to hosting matches over a 28-day period only. Rather, our focus was on building modern, versatile facilities that serve all members of society and enhance community bonds long after the tournament ends.’
Between them, all eight Qatar 2022 stadiums feature a vast range of legacy facilities, including public parks, shops, restaurants, sporting facilities and more.
Al Thawadi also spoke about how organisers are committed to creating a fan experience that is centered on smart technologies, leveraging other initiatives by Msheireb, Qatar Foundation and other Qatar 2022 stakeholders.
‘Work continues tirelessly to ensure the provision of a smart experience for visitors in 2022, from the moment they board a plane to Qatar, to connecting to a 5G network, commuting aboard the Doha Metro, staying at Msheireb or other locations, and transporting between different tournament stadiums and all tourist attractions in the country,’ said Al Thawadi.
In particular, Al Thawadi stressed the importance of working with a variety of different partners to create what he referred to as, ‘an exceptional, unparalleled experience in 2022’.
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