The Doha Corniche Street closure, which continues until December 4, began yesterday in conjunction with Qatar's hosting of the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 and the launch of the 11th Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) at Al Bidda Park.
While the mega football event is taking place from November 30 to December 18 with the participation of 16 teams, the QIFF is running until December 17.
First-Lieutenant Khaled Nasser al-Mulla, head of the Technical Committee of the Corniche Closure Committee at the Ministry of Interior (MoI), stressed on Thursday that a complete plan has been developed in preparation for the Arab Cup.
Road users have been encouraged to use alternative modes of transport and routes in view of the closure.
Only public transit services will operate in the area, including Mowasalat (Karwa) buses and Doha Metro, during this period.
In a statement released by Qatar News Agency, First-Lieutenant al-Mulla said that the plan has been developed for the closure with the full, concerted efforts of the Security Committee and the Corniche Closure Committee, which is subordinate to the committee for transportation plans and operations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The plan includes engineering works linking traffic lights to each other and providing roads with more than 110 signboards and some 49 electronic signs, in addition to carrying out seven construction works at separate intersections to improve traffic flow during the closure of the Corniche.
Eleven pedestrian crossings have been allocated for pedestrians' entrances and exits to the Corniche, and the seaside will be for pedestrians only.
The traffic plan includes security deployment at a number of places – such as intersections – to avoid any disruption of movement on roads, especially in the yellow box, and ensure the safety and security of the public and road users.
The Corniche can be accessed through the Doha Metro with its 37 stations, 14 of which have the “Park and Ride” facility.
People can use this facility to park their car next to the station and use the Metro to reach stations along the Corniche.
Shuttle buses will be provided for transportation from B-Ring and C-Ring roads starting from Souq Waqif towards Sheraton Doha.
The B-Ring Road service starts from Souq Waqif and has 15 pick-up and drop-off points, and its last station will be Al Bidda Park.
The C-Ring Road service also begins at Souq Waqif, and includes 19 pick-up and drop-off points.
Regarding the expected congestion on roads during the closure period, First-Lieutenant al-Mulla said: "We have our plans and measures necessary to reduce congestion through the use of the 'Park and Ride' service, as well as linking signals to each other to facilitate movement."
There are 52 destinations whose entry is from the Corniche, and now these can be accessed from the streets on the rear side of the Corniche.
The MoI official urged fans during the FIFA Arab Cup and closure period to use the Metro, which has stations available in different places to reach the Corniche and Al Bidda Park, and also advised drivers not to speed on roads.
Regarding the arrival of teams, he said: "We have determined for a while all the roads that each team will use during the tournament, with names and dates, so that the road lanes are not affected by the closure of the Corniche and the teams travel from the airport to hotels or from hotels to training stadiums or matches with ease."
The official clarified that the closure of the Corniche Street will be from Al Sharq intersection to Sheraton Doha in the north and from Sheraton Doha to Port Intersection in the south.
Traffic will be open for those coming from the centre of Doha towards Port Intersection and heading to Sharq Intersection.
All roads leading to Corniche Street will be closed, starting from Al Fanar Intersection, Al Jasra Intersection, Al Marmar Intersection, Al Diwan Intersection, Al Maha Intersection, Civil Defence Intersection, and from Barzan Intersection.
Special transportation services and pedestrian crossings have been arranged to serve the Corniche during the closure period.
Shuttle buses will be provided on different routes for transportation from today until December 4.
The public can avail of the Corniche, B-Ring Road and C-Ring Road loop services to reach places such as Souq Waqif, Hotel Park (Sheraton), Al Bidda Park and several others.
The buses will be operating every 15 minutes.
The Corniche loop service will have 11 pick-up and drop-off points, while the B-Ring Road service will have 15, and the C-Ring Road service 19, according to information available on Sila, the platform that brings together Qatar’s transport modes into one network.
Detailed maps are available on Sila’s Twitter page.
On its part, Mowasalat (Karwa) has modified its bus routes, timings and dates in view of the FIFA Arab Cup.
The details can be viewed on the company’s Twitter page.
There has been co-ordination with all parties directly or indirectly affected by the Corniche closure, with detailed maps being sent to them by the authorities concerned showing alternative routes to reach their destinations.
Affected entities can also apply for an exceptional permit during the closure period, which will be granted subject to conditions.
Meanwhile, heavy vehicles and buses are banned from entering certain roads from November 26 until December 4 during peak hours – from 6am to 8.30am, from 12noon to 3pm, and from 5pm to 10pm.
The roads included on this list, according to the MoI, are A-Ring Road, B-Ring Road, C-Ring Road, February 22 Street, Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor, Mohammed Bin Thani Street, Al Markhiya Street, and Al Istiqlal Street.
Public transport and school buses are exempted from this ban.
Heavy vehicles are also banned around stadiums at all times except from 1am to 5am.