Al Thumama Stadium to leave lasting economic, sporting and cultural 2022 legacies
Al Thumama Stadium, the sixth proposed venue of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ and one inspired by Qatari and Islamic culture, will have a wide-ranging impact on the economic, sporting and cultural landscapes of Qatar. The showpiece element of the precinct’s legacy planning is a boutique hotel, which will be built following the conclusion of the tournament.
Taking their places alongside the hotel will be multisport leisure facilities, a Mosque, retail and commercial outlets, and a branch of the world-class sports clinic Aspetar. By including a boutique hotel in its legacy plans, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has aligned directly with the long-term growth strategy of one of its key stakeholders, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA). QTA’s 2030 strategy focuses on achieving exponential growth in Qatar’s available inventory of three- and four-star hotel rooms by 2030, from a 2012 baseline. The concept of the boutique hotel at Al Thumama Stadium fits in seamlessly with this objective. QTA plans to increase three-and four-star hotel room inventories by 6% and 4% respectively.
In May, the SC organised an accommodation concept workshop in association with QTA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™. About 40 of the world’s leading hotel brands discussed the accommodation opportunities that lay in store ahead of the tournament. SC Assistant Secretary General Tournament Affairs Nasser Al-Khater, who is also the LOC 2022 Deputy Chief Executive Officer, had called the workshop to demonstrate the scale of operational preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™. During the event, QTA Chief Tourism Development Officer Hassan Al Ibrahim had hailed his organisation’s partnership with the SC, saying it would help in the development of a sustainable tourism industry through to and beyond 2022. QTA’s 2030 strategy envisages a three-fold increase in the number of tourists and hotel rooms. It also seeks to achieve a similar increase in revenue in the tourism sector.
Over and above the long-lasting economic gains it will stimulate, Al Thumama Stadium will also leave behind strong sporting legacies, including athletics, cycling and equestrian tracks suitable for everyone from elite athletes to recreational users. The local community will further benefit from the facilities for basketball, handball, volleyball, tennis and swimming. Many local, regional and international football events will be staged in the stadium after its capacity has been reduced to 20,000 after the tournament. As with other potential venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, the upper tiers of its modular seating will be dismantled and donated to countries across Asia and Africa that require sporting infrastructure.