Qatar is the smallest nation to host a World Cup. The success of the 2010 tournament, which was held in Africa for the first time, apparently further emboldened FIFA officials to continue to take its grandest spectacle to yet another part of the world, something that places soccer’s vision far ahead of the Olympics.
Qatar realized that investment in sport, and especially football, was the most effective way of marketing the country outside the region.
The government funded state-of-the-art stadiums, including the 45,000 Khalifa Stadium.
At the same time the Qatari Football Association began tempting some of the biggest names in the football likes of French World Cup winner Marcel Desailly and former Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta to see out their final years in Qatar’s domestic professional league, then called the Q-League but now rebranded as the Qatar Stars League.
The aim was for the professionalism of these players to rub off on Qatar’s home-grown stars so that the country’s national team would eventually qualify for the World Cup finals.
Qatar hosted its first major international tournament in 2006 with the Asian Games, and was emboldened to launch a bid for Doha to host the 2016 Summer Olympics but not shortlisted over fears that the summer heat would be dangerous for the athletes.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will bring the spotlight of a global audience into the Gulf state along with a huge influx of international visitors, who will all require transport.
Qatar Railways Development Company (QRDC) will be expected to have delivered the first phase of the development which will include four metro lines and 300kms of track before June 2020, at which stage FIFA will arrive to inspect the work so far completed.
In 2009 the Qatar Railways Company (RAIL) and Deutsche Bahn formed a joint venture company called the Qatar Railways Development Company (QRDC). QRDC assign to build a sophisticated rail transport network to connect not only the state but also its surrounding neighbours.
Construct a sophisticated rail network has been high on the agenda of Qatar and is in fact a part of the National 2030 Vision, supporting the country’s transition from a carbon economy to knowledge based society.
While the World Cup is certainly a reason for the network to be delivered on time, the provision of the network will add clear value to a country which is experiencing extraordinary levels of growth.
The first phase of the project, which constitutes 129kms of track, will focus on the highly populated coastal stretch of the country, linking Al Khor in the north down to Al Wakra and Messaieed in the south.
The Red Line, as it will be known will carry the majority of the national traffic and connect the key stadiums to be used during the 2022 games.
The same network will also connect Saudi Arabia and with trains expected to reach speeds in excess of 320kms/h will rival air travel, much as the Renfe network has done for the domestic Spanish market and the Euro Star for connecting France to the United Kingdom.
This rail system encompasses 4 lines with 98 stations and a total length of approximate 300 kilometres. The lines will run through tunnels, at ground level and as an overhead railway.
This system will links to all major locations such as Doha Airport, Lusail urban development area, Education City and West Bay, business and conference centre.
It will provide long-distance network to provide mobility for passengers and freight, with links to the neighbouring countries of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Source : The New York Times, The Telegraph, Cable News Network, Construction Week Online, DB International
(this article written for 1BINA.my)