A mere year down the line after the first sod of earth was turned, Qatar’s Al Bayt World Cup stadium is starting to take shape.
Designed to resemble an Arabian tent and located at Al Khor, the stadium will host matches up to the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup.
Al Bayt stadium will be positioned at the center of a 1-million square meter complex that will also include a hospital, a mall and a park.
A joint venture involving Galfar Al Misnad, Salini Impregilo Group and Cimolai won a QAR3.2billion (approx. $879mn) contract last July to lead the main construction of the stadium and an adjacent energy center.
The stadium’s foundation is 95% complete and support columns up to 21m in height are also in place.
With the structure of one of the two team tunnels finished, the other one is in progress and sections of the stadium are now visible.
When completed in 2018, the 60,000 seater venue in Al Khor will have three levels of colored seating, with two tiers made from pre-cast concrete, a retractable roof and indoor cooling.
A third, top section of seating will be constructed from structural steel and will be a removable module to be detached after the event and donated to disadvantaged countries, while the remaining two tiers will remain in place.
The removal of this tier will reduce the stadium’s capacity to 32,000 fans, said Mohemed Ahmed, project manager for Khalifa International Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium.
Designed to resemble the interior of the Bedouin tent, the stadium seats will be colored red, black and white, with samples already arriving on site.
Designed and fitted by local firm Coastal Trading and Contracting Co., the seating will be installed next year, Ahmed added.
The stadium will have a retractable roof that can close completely within 20 minutes, to enable play throughout the year, even in the sweltering summer months, while affording a comfortable environment for both players and spectators.
The air temperature inside will be chilled using special cooling technology.
In addition, sections of the buttress wall are rising, which will support the next two levels of the structure.
Ongoing works in the surrounding area include excavation, de-watering and the installation of pipe connections.
Some 21 cranes are on site, including a 280-tonne mega crane, as construction prepares for the placing the top slab, the SC added.
Local contractors Bin Omran Trading & Contracting and Al Sulaiteen Agricultural & Industrial Complex are working on the precinct infrastructure and landscape, respectively.
Al Bayt Al Khor is one of eight stadiums announced so far by the SC with FIFA has yet to officially confirm the total number of venues Qatar must prepare for the tournament.
This decision is expected to be released next year.