UK contractors told to seek local partners for Qatar World Cup stadia

UK contractors keen to work on Qatar 2022 World Cup stadia have been told to partner with local firms.

The first concept design for a Qatar 2022 World Cup stadium, due out to tender next year, were revealed by Aecom and Zaha Hadid Architects.

Early works for the Al Wakrah Stadium will begin in January of 2014, with the tender for the main contractor issued in Q2. Construction on the stadium will begin in Q4 of 2014.

The same work will also be tendered for a further four stadiums with designs yet to be revealed, all phased for different construction timescales.

The cost of the project was not disclosed. Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee general secretary Hassan Al Thawadi said he did not want to pre-empt the market by naming a price for contracts.

In response to questions over working conditions and health and safety on Qatari World Cup construction projects, Mr Al Thawadi said: “Any number [of deaths] above zero is unacceptable and we’re working hard to make sure it stays there.

“We are implementing a worker’s welfare charter and we are providing standards that all of our contractors have to comply with.”

Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee technical assurance and integration senior manager Dario Cadavid said that although procurement for the stadia has yet to begin, the process will be “open to anyone”, including UK firms.

He said: “The intention is for UK contractors to partner with local contractors.”

This was echoed by UK Trade and Investment head of global sports projects David Bacchus, who told Construction News that he believes UK contractors will “need a local presence” to win work in Qatar.

He said: “You may need to find yourself a partner, or in this market a sponsor. So it’s important to make introductions and have a presence.

“Again, that’s not greatly dissimilar to what’s happening in Brazil or Russia, but you need to be very clear about your strategy.

“You need to think about the long-term, not just the short-term opportunities, because what they really want to do is attract investment into the market. They want to help you help them to upskill their companies and their workforce as well.

“Companies need to be really clear about what they have to offer, identify the right partner or establish a presence.”

An area of 585,000 sq m around the new stadium is also to be developed to provide the local community with a long-lasting legacy, with a new community sports hub, international school and metro station planned. The Al Wakrah Sports Club will move into the stadium after the World Cup.

Mr Al Thawadi continued: “Qatar is one of the few states that has a commitment to environmental sustainability enshrined in its constitution and accordingly, a lot of the initiatives we’re undertaking go towards developing industry that is environmentally sustainable.”

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Modular construction methods will be used on the project, with a tournament capacity of 40,000 halved to 20,000 once the competition is over.

The extra modular seats will then be re-used “in the developing world”, according to Mr Al Thawadi.

The project is aiming for LEED Gold certification and an onsite energy centre will supply 15 per cent of the tournament’s energy through renewable sources, mainly solar power.

The design also uses sustainably sourced structural timber for the roof instead of concrete or steel due to lower levels of embodied carbon.

Cooling technologies will be employed alongside passive design to maintain a temperature of 26 deg C at pitch level and 24 to 28 deg C in the spectator stands.

A temperature-controlled “public realm” will also be created to connect the metro station to the stadium, keeping temperatures between 30 and 32 deg C over an area of approximately 72,000 sq m.

ZHA and Aecom took inspiration for the design from a traditional dhow, an Arabian pearl fishing boat.

Aecom chairman and CEO John M Dionisio said: “We believe the planning and design for the Al Wakrah Stadium and precinct clearly establishes an international benchmark for sports venues in the region.

“This is an exciting time for Qatar, and our global team of forward-thinking sports experts is well-equipped to take on the innovative challenges that a project of this calibre will demand.”

Mr Al Thawadi added: “The stadium reflects what our country stands for from a cultural perspective. It is modern, futuristic and functional.

“But importantly, it remains true to Qatari heritage with the design and materials inspired by the traditional dhow boat.”

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