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ISSUE 79 WINTER 2020/21

E–G U I D E

Sports in Qatar

C O N T E N T S • Sports in Qatar • Sports Events Calendar • Sports Activities

SPORTS EGUIDE M79.indd 1

• Special Feature Qatar’s Cycling Tracks Two Years To Go: Countdown to 2022

12/3/20 3:42 PM


Founder & Managing Editor Hilary Bainbridge Marhaba endeavours to quote accurate information and updates each of its sections every issue. However, the company accepts no responsibility or liability for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented, whether in print, on the website, or on social media channels. Š 2020/21 Marhaba Information Guide. All Rights Reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in any form, without written permission of the publishers.

Editorial Sarah Palmer (Editor), Ola Diab (Deputy Editor), Terry Sutcliffe Online Lubuna Jeffin Advertising Howard Bainbridge, Charlotte Wright Digital Lalaine Turqueza, Weslee Dizon, Ramla Mohamed Abdirahm Retail Sales Ayen Molina Design and Artwork Dick Tamayo, Mar Principe, Arnel Ramos Dana Public Relations PO Box 3797, Doha, Qatar Tel (+974) 4465 5533, 4465 0083  Fax (+974) 4465 5588 General Information marhaba@qatar.net.qa Retail Sales retailsales@marhaba-qatar.com

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The information contained in this guide has been checked and verified as correct as at the time of compilation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, information is subject to change. Follow marhaba.qa for the latest updates.

Sports

Map of Qatar Sports in Qatar  n overview of the local sports scene, including Qatar’s Sports Federations A and Olympic Committee

Sports Events December 2020 – March 2021 Sports Activities A full listing of clubs, societies and activities for adults and children, from Archery to Watersports

Feature – Qatar’s Cycling Tracks Get on your bike and explore more of the country, thanks to some fabulous new cycle paths!

Feature – Two Years to Go: Countdown to 2022 Read about all the progress being made by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy in the build-up to the competition.

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M79 INTRO PAGES for e-guides SP 3.12.20 .indd 11

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h Al Doha Premier Inn Al Safa Mahmoud i Mus Capital Al Jadeda ad Chevrolet Qatar Al Liwan Police W Clinic Gulf Pearls Aeronautical ital Concorde College Westin Doha Crowne B Ring Rd Jarir Bookstore Al Muntazah Hotel & Spa Plaza The Doha Heliport ab Chevrolet Centre Holiday Umm Al Meera Radisson Inn Jarir Blu Ghuwailina aalishan Sterling Al Meera Rd Oryx Al Mansoura American wa Rotana Ford C R Hospital AAB Mashreq Rawdat ssan t CCQ ing Bank Al Mana Holiday Al Matar Al Qadeem Rd Al Khail bS Girls d Garden Villa Al Jabor ali R Chrysler T g i Vision C Rin Ab CAA Bin Gulf Times Financial Marhaba Ali Safeer Arrayah Al Arabi Square Gulf Club Rd Family g Warehousing Food Centre Al Meera Alfardan Rin Al Emadi Darwish D Hospital Le Mirage Gardens Travel

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Katara The Pearl-Qatar Lagoona Mall Al Bidda Park Souq Waqif Qatar National Museum Grand Mosque QNCC Al Shaqab Mathaf Museum

Al Mourjan

Qatar National Theatre

C4

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Al Qassar

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Al Jazi Gardens

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Doha Exhibition Centre

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Al Khafji St Institut Francais du Qatar

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Albania Algeria

Waterpark Project

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Afghanistan

Al Jasra Al Bidda Mohd Bin Jasim Mushaireb Barahat Al Jufairi Old Al Ghanim Al Souq Wadi Al Sail Arumaila, Armeilla Al Bidda Abdul Aziz Al Doha Al Jadeeda Old Al Ghanim Sharg Zone/ Al Hitmi/Al Rufaa Sharg Zone/Slata Doha Port Wadi Al Sail Al Rumeila, Armeilla Bin Mahmoud Bin Mahmoud Rawdat Al Khail Al Mansoura/ Bin Derhem Najma Umm Ghuwailina

28 Sharg Zone/ Al Khulaifat 29 Ras Bu Abboud 30 Duhail 31 Umm Lekhba 32 Madinat Khalifa (N) 33 Al Markhiya 34 Madinat Khalifa (S) 35 Kulaib 36 Al Messila 37 New Al Hitmi/ Bin Omran Hamad Medical City 38 Al Sadd 39 Al Nasr/Al Sadd Al Mirqab Al Jadeed 40 New Slata 41 Nuaija 42 Al Hilal 43 Al Maamoura, Nuaija 44 Nuaija 45 Old Airport 46 Mesaimeer/ Al Thumama 47 Al Thumama 48 Doha Int'l Airport 49 Hamad Int'l Airport/ Banana Island

51 Al Gharrafa/ Bani Hajer 52 Al Luqta/Lebday Old Al Rayyan/ Al Shaqab 53 New Al Rayyan Muaither, Al Wajba 54 Al Soudan, Mehairja, Muraikh, Luaib, Baaya 55 Al Soudan, Al Waab 56 Bu Hamour, Mesaimeer, Ain Khaled 57 Industrial Area 60 Al Dafna 61 Al Dafna, Al Gassar 62 Lekhwair 63 Onaiza 64 Lejbailat 65 Onaiza 66 Legtaifiya, Onaiza 67 Hazm Al Markhiya 68 Jelaiah, Al Tarfa 69 Al Egla 70 Wadi Al Banat, Al Ebb Rawdat Al Hamama

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Sports in Qatar

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marhaba.qa Sports Federations, Associations and Committees • Air Sports • Athletics • Basketball • Billiards and Snooker • Bowling • Boxing and Wrestling • Chess • Cricket • Cycling and Triathlon • Equestrian • Fencing and Weightlifting • Football • Golf • Gymnastics • Handball

Sports in Qatar

• Karate, Judo and Taekwondo • Motor and Motorcycle • Paralympic • Rugby, Cricket and Hockey • Sailing and Marine Sport • Shooting and Archery • Sports for All • Women's Sports • Swimming • Table Tennis • Tennis, Squash and Badminton • Volleyball

Sports Facilities

Qatar Olympic Committee Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) was established in 1979 to oversee sports events and subsequently became members of the International Olympic Committee, the Olympic Council of Asia, and the Arab Sports Games Federation. QOC merged some national federations in December 2016, and in January 2017 Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani was re-elected President of the QOC for 2017–2020. QOC marked its 40th anniversary in March 2019 with a gala dinner celebrating its achievements and successes. QOC runs several campaigns to engage residents in keeping fit and healthy, including National Sport Day on the second Tuesday of February each year – one of only a few countries to hold such a public holiday – as well as events for schoolchildren and the promotion of women in sport. olympic.qa

Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) D3 Activities, sports medicine, research and education. Facilities include Aspire Dome, Aspire Park, Hamad Aquatic Centre, Khalifa Stadium, the Ladies Sports Hall and Ladies Club, tracks and playing fields. AZF runs the community sports initiatives Aspire Active, Step Into Health and Namat. 4413 8188, aspirezone.qa Aspire Academy Applied sports science support to student‑athletes; hosts international sports stars using the facilities. 4413 6570, aspire.qa Aspetar The first specialised orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital in the Gulf region, offering treatment for injuries. 4413 2000, aspetar.com Other sports faciities include: • Asian Town Cricket Stadium • Doha Golf Club • Doha Sports Park • Education City Golf Club • Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex • Losail International Racing Circuit • Lusail Olympic Shooting Range • Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club

Annual international events • Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar (MotoGP) • Commercial Bank Qatar Masters (golf) • IAAF Diamond League (athletics) • Longines Global Champions Tour (equestrian) • Qatar Classic Squash Tournament • Qatar ExxonMobil Open (ATP tennis) • Qatar Ladies Open (WTA tennis) • Qatar Table Tennis Open Coming up: • 2022 FIFA World CupTM • 2023 FINA World Aquatics Championships

Checked & Updated October 2020

Previous international sporting events include • Tour of Qatar (men's and women's cycling) • 15th Asian Games (2006) • AFC Asian Cup (2010) • 12th Pan Arab Games (2011) • FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) (2014) • Men’s Handball World Championship (2015) • AIBA World Boxing Championships (2015) • UCI Road World Championships (2016) • FIG Artistic World Gymnastics Championships (October 2018) • 2019 IAAF World Championships (28 September)

Get Involved! Also in this section: Sports Activities has a list of clubs and associations to join, while the Sports Calendar has an overview of events. Make sure you keep up to date with all the latest news – visit marhaba.qa, subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on social media. m ©

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Sports Events Calendar This is just a selection of sports events – to have yours listed, email marhaba@qatar.net.qa Events are subject to a change of dates/cancellation due to COVID-19. See daily updates at marhaba.qa and follow the advice of the Ministry of Public Health.

Sports Events Calendar

December 2020 4–5

2020 Doha ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup Hosted by the Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation and taking place at Lusail City and Katara Cultural Village.

6 – 17

Qatar T10 League and ACC T20 Tournament– Cricket Organised by Qatar Committee for Rugby, Hockey and Cricket and approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC). At the cricket stadium in Asian Industrial City.

11

Motor Sport: Qatar Baja 2020 Round 5 At Losail International Circuit. qmmf.com

12

Qatar Foundation Golf Championship The QF community is invited to join together for this fun and social tournament. Teams must comprise one beginner golfer to encourage the growth of the game in Qatar. ecgolf.com

Ongoing

Equestrian sport: Race meetings at Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club. Every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon at Al Rayyan Park and Al Uqda Racing Complex in Al Khor, until the end of April. qrec.gov.qa

Ongoing

Qatar Football Association (QFA) Action from the 2020–21 domestic football season with the country's top teams in the QNB Stars League. qfa.qa, qsl.qa

Until 19

2020 AFC Champions League (East) The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) awarded Doha the rights to host the competition based on the successful staging of the AFC Champions League (West) matches in September. The final will be held on 19 December between Iran's Persepolis, winner of the West Asian tournament, and the East Asian winner. the-afc.com/competitions

January 2021 To be conf Qatar ExxonMobil Open Part of the ATP World Tour 250 series, featuring some of the world's top male tennis players. At the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex. qatartennis.org

February To be conf Qatar Total Open (WTA) A Premier level event on the WTA Tour at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex. qatartennis.org 1 – 11

FIFA Club World Cup 2021™ The tournament features the winners of the six continental confederations, as well as the league champions from the host nation, Qatar. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has led to the rescheduling of matches, meaning that the competition had to be postponed from December 2020. For up to date details, visit fifa.com and marhaba.qa

QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

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marhaba.qa

9

Qatar National Sport Day

A public holiday celebrated annually on the second Tuesday in February, encouraging everyone to participate in a sport or activity with colleagues, friends and family. Keep up to date with announcements at marhaba.qa

Equestrian sport: The Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club will be holding the annual HH The Amir Sword Racing Festival, a three-day event of prestigious racing. There are two USD1 mn races on the third day, one each for Pure Arabians and Thoroughbreds. qrec.gov.qa

25 – 27

Qatar Open Amateur Golf Championship 2021 Three days of 54-hole stroke play; 60 plus ties after 36 holes will advance to Round 3. Handicap limit is 12. In the event of oversubscription, priority will go to the 120 players with lowest handicap. Deadline for entry is 18 February 2021. dohagolfclub.com

25 – 27

FEI AL SHAQAB The International Federation for Equestrian Sport (FEI) returns to Doha with one of their most prestigious, worldclass competitions. For venue details and ticket information, visit fei.org

Sports Events Calendar

18 – 21

March To be conf 2021 Grand Prix of Qatar One of the most spectacular events on the MotoGPTM calendar! The first race of the new season starts in elaborate fashion under the floodlights at Losail International Circuit. motogp.com, circuitlosail.com 10 – 13

Upcoming Events 23 – 28 Marriott Marquis Qatar Pro-Am Registration is open for this CPG sanctioned event at Mar 2021 Education City Golf Club. Pro-am format: Stableford best 2 from 4; Professionals: Individual strokeplay, with a minimum prize fund of €10,000. ecgolf.com 1 – 18 FIFA Pan-Arab Tournament An invitational Dec 2021 competition for men’s national teams from Africa and Asia, with home-based players only and be played outside the International Match Calendar. It will allow organisers to use the same facilities as those proposed for the World Cup in 2022. fifa.com m ©

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FIG Apparatus World Cup 2020/21 A qualifying event for the Olympic Games that were postponed from summer 2020. Men's and Women's Artistic Gymnastics, where athletes perform short routines on different apparatuses, but with less emphasis on vaulting. This hugely popular spectator sport is organised by FIG (Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique), one of the oldest established international federations of an Olympic sport. Venue to be advised but most likely Aspire Dome. fig-gymnastics.com

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Sports Activities

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marhaba.qa Children's pool at Radisson Blu, Doha

Sports in Qatar

Marhaba updates this section every issue, but as information may change, check with the organisation concerned for up to date details. If your organisation is listed on these pages and you need to amend your entry, or if you would like to be included in future issues, let us know by emailing marhaba@qatar.net.qa. Locations can be found on the map of Doha at the front of the guide. Also see: • Leisure Activities in Discovering Qatar section for dance classes, fishing, and motor sports clubs • Hospitality in Qatar for a complete list of hotels and their fitness facilities • Health and Wellness in the Health and Beauty section for wellness, Pilates and yoga 3 An activity for children or one that children can participate in – check first for any age restrictions

Archery Evolution Sports Qatar Multiple locations For adults and children aged 3+. 4407 6772, evosportsqatar.com 3

Aviation Qatar Flying Club Al Khor. For newcomers or for those who already hold a licence, also sightseeing tours. 4457 1491, qatarflyingclub.net

Badminton Dynamic Sports Multiple locations For adults and children. 7744 3124, dynamicsportsqa.com 3 Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha D3/4 Floodlit court. 4428 1621, radissonblu.com/en/hotel-doha 3

Basketball Evolution Sports Qatar Multiple locations For children aged 3+. 4407 6772, evosportsqatar.com 3 Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha D3/4 Floodlit court. 4428 1621, radissonblu.com/en/hotel-doha 3

SFQ Sports Academy Multiple locations For children aged 3+. 6622 2962, sfqsportsacademy.com.qa 3

Bowling Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara C5 8-lane bowling alley with authentic American diner. 4040 5050, doha.anantara.com 3 Gondolania Bowling Center Villaggio D2 12‑lane bowling alley. Open Saturday to Wednesday 9 am – 11 pm, Thursday/Friday 9 am – midnight. 4403 9800, gondolania.com 3 Qatar Bowling Center D4 32-lane bowling alley. Open Sunday/Monday/Wednesday/Saturday 9 am – midnight, Tuesday 9 am – 3 pm ladies only/3 pm – midnight open to all, Thursday 9 am – 2 am, Friday 8 am – 6 pm leagues/6 pm – 1 am open to all. 4432 9178, qatarbowlingcenter.net 3 Strike Bowling Alley Winter Wonderland at City Center-Doha C4 8-lane bowling alley. Open Saturday to Wednesday 10 am – 9 pm, Thursday 10 am – 11 pm, Friday 1 pm – midnight. 4493 3355, citycenterdoha.com 3 ©

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marhaba.qa Clay Shooting Lusail (Al Ramii) Shooting Club Near Losail International Circuit Target ranges are open Saturday to Wednesday 4 pm – 8 pm. 4495 3114, qsaa.qa

Cricket

Sports in Qatar

MS Dhoni Cricket Academy Asian Town Cricket Stadium F3 Modern coaching and development programmes. 5527 1909/5501 7739, absolutesportsqatar.com 3 Qatar Cricket Association QOC Building, Al Dafna C4 Training, development, facilities and practice nets. 4494 4941, qatarcricketassociation.org 3 Stallions Cricket Academy Multiple locations Coaching programmes and events for adults and children. 3140 8994, stallionsqatar.com 3

Cycling Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara C5 Explore the island by hiring a bike or Segway. 4040 5050, doha.anantara.com 3 Qatar Chain Reaction (QCR) Multiple locations A volunteer branch of the Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation open to all road and mountain bike riders. Friday morning rides, weekday track nights at Losail International Circuit (when available), and more. qatarchainreaction.com Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation Near College of the North Atlantic‑Qatar B3 Events and development of both sports. 4447 5522, qatarcycling.org, qatartriathlon.org Qatar Cyclists The only official club in Qatar. See their Facebook page for details

Darts Doha Darts League Shamrock Tavern, Magnum Hotel B4 The league runs from October to March. Join the Facebook group for details

Fencing Clement Fencing Academy Lycee Voltaire Al Waab D3 and Al Dafna B4 Training for ages 4 to adults, also after school activities and French language sessions (French is the official language of fencing). Classes are available for those in wheelchairs using specially adapted chairs, under the Definitely Able initiative run by Sasol. 7751 2469, clementfencing.com 3 Evolution Sports Qatar Multiple locations For adults and children aged 3+. 4407 6772, evosportsqatar.com 3 QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

Fitness Classes and Gyms For dance and zumba see Leisure Activities, (Discovering Qatar); for Pilates and yoga see Health and Wellness (Health and Beauty) Altitude Elite Marina 50, Lusail City A4 Flexible personalised training for peak performance. 5085 5825‬, altitude.qa Alwadi Hotel Doha, MGallery by Hotel Collection D4 Personal training and TechnoShape body slimming sessions at M|Fit gym. 4009 9999, alwadihoteldoha.com Anytime Fitness Multiple locations Daily fitness and yoga classes. 4414 4999 (Al Muftah Plaza), 4469 7215 (Al Wakra, ladies), 4411 1999 (Al Wakra, men), 4411 4999 (Mall of Qatar), anytimefitness.qa 3 Aspire Active Aspire Zone D2 Hundreds of classes for men, women, and children aged 6 months+. Registration form and schedule are available online. aspireactiveqa.com 3 B/Attitude Spa Doha at Beverly Hills Towers C4 Fitness classes, yoga and pilates, and spinning. See the online monthly schedule. 4412 2046, battitudespadoha.com 3 Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara C5 TRX and personal trainer on request. Call first for availability. 4040 5050, doha.anantara.com Bounce Fitness Multiple locations Bootcamp, martial arts, yoga and gymnastics for adults and children. 5061 1266, bouncefitness.com.qa 3 Centara West Bay Hotel & Residences Doha B4 Fitness centre, yoga/aerobics studio, kids club and two swimming pools. 4009 5555, centarahotelsresorts.com/centara/cwq 3 Contours Express Near the Indonesian Embassy D3 Women's and kids gym, daily fitness and dance classes. 4464 1540, mygym-qatar.com 3 CrossFit Oryx Doha College D3 Classes and open gym. 5080 5705, crossfitoryx.com Curves for Women Multiple locations Fitness in 30 minutes! 4469 9955 (Al Waab), 4421 7755 (Duhail), 4455 2477 (Nuaija), curvesme.com Dana Club C4 Aquarobics, aerobics and HIIT including ladies only classes and Jump Gym for kids. 4496 0600, danaclub.com.qa 3 Dynamik QA Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar B4 Mansoura D4 Fitness, yoga/pilates and martial arts classes, male and female gyms, juice bar, spa and salon. See their Facebook page for details

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marhaba.qa Evolution Sports Qatar Multiple locations Daily EvoFit classes: boxercise, bootcamp, teenfit, Metafit/HIIT and more. Must be aged 16+. 7783 9559, evosportsqatar.com 3 Evolve Multiple locations Fitness classes and swimming at several hotels and spas, personal training and nutritional advice. See the online schedule. 5040 3234, evolvemindbodysoul.com 3 Fit20 West Bay Al Bidda Street (previously Majlis Al Taawon Street) C4 One 20-minute training session per week. 5057 0350, fit20.qa

Fitness First City‑Center Doha C4 Fitness classes and separate male/female gyms. 4411 5999, qatar.fitnessfirstme.com Four Seasons Hotel Doha C4 Calisthenics and circuit training. Schedule changes monthly, call first. 4485 8888, fourseasons.com/doha Grand Hyatt Doha B4 CrossFit, aqua gym, Tae Bo and core training. Booking essential. 4448 1060, doha.grand.hyatt.com 3 InterContinental Doha Hotel & Residences B4 Daily bodypump, bootcamp, CrossFit and Burn. See the online schedule. 4484 4828, doha.intercontinental.com InterContinental Doha – The City B4 Bodypump, Latino Cardio and EMS (Electro Muscular Stimulation). Schedule changes weekly, call first. 4015 8888, intercontinental.com/dohathecity Mandarin Oriental, Doha D4 TRX and Queenax studios, personal training. 4008 8888, mandarinoriental.com/doha Marsa Malaz Kempinski The Pearl–Qatar A4 Daily boot camp and abs classes. 4035 5152, kempinski.com/marsamalaz OxFitness Lab The Gate Mall C4 Comprehensive health checks, bespoke training and nutritional programmes for members. 4020 6430, oxfitnesslab.com

Sharq Village & Spa D4 Fitness classes, spinning, yoga and holistic health. Call ahead for schedule. 4425 6185, ritzcarlton.com/sharqvillage The Diplomatic Club B4 Unisex and ladies only gyms, fitness classes and recreation facilities. 4484 7450, thediplomaticclub.com 3

Sports in Qatar

First Fit Training Multiple locations Martial arts, tennis, gymnastics, football and more for adults and children aged 3+. 3300 0779, fftsports.com 3

The Ritz-Carlton, Doha A4 Boot camp, bodypump, abs/core, circuits, teen fit and more. See the online calendar; booking essential. 4484 8173, ritzcarlton.com/doha 3 The St. Regis Doha B4 Classes and personal training for guests and members. 4446 0304, stregisdoha.com 3 Strongbox Qatar Doha Sports Club B4 CrossFit, conditioning and personal training. 5050 2954, strongboxqatar.com The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa D4 WestinWORKOUT classes include circuit training, stretching, abs, HIIT and personal training. 4492 1682, westindoha.com W Doha Hotel & Residences B4 Fully equipped gym with punchbags and boxing gloves. 4453 5555, blissdoha.com

Football Aspire Zone Foundation D2 Five-a-side pitch with FIFA quality artificial turf and foam shock pad underlay. Open daily 4 pm – 11 pm. Book online at booking.aspirelogistics.qa, lifeinaspire.qa 3

Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha D3/4 Personal training and aquacise. Free daily stretching classes for club members and hotel guests. 4428 1621, radissonblu.com/en/hotel-doha 3

Ability Friendly/Inclusive Sports Qatar Foundation Multaqa C2 Sunday – Thursday, small group sessions available for anybody with a disability or special need, ages 5+. 4454 0772, abilityfriendly@qf.org.qa 3

SFQ Sports Academy Multiple locations Mixed, ladies only and children's classes. See the online calendar for up to date schedule. 6622 2962, sfqsportsacademy.com.qa 3

Doha Pearl Academy Doha Sports Park B4 Qatar’s first QFA-approved private football academy for children aged 3+, with league games for adults. dohapearlacademy.com 3 ©

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marhaba.qa Evolution Sports Qatar Multiple locations Coaching programmes for children aged 3+. 4407 6772, evosportsqatar.com 3 Garvey's European Family Club Off Salwa Road E3 Grass 5‑a‑side football pitch, Monday 5‑a‑side leagues. 5583 0475 SFQ Sports Academy Multiple locations For children aged 3+. 6622 2962, sfqsportsacademy.com.qa 3

Sports in Qatar

Frisbee Qatar Ultimate Frisbee Games Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Check first for confirmation of meet-ups. sites.google.com/site/qatarulti, see their Facebook page for details 3

Gaelic Football Qatar GAA Multiple locations Male, female and children's teams, playing 9-a-side games with 12 players. Games are seven minutes long, with 10 minute finals, as per the Middle East GAA County Board Rules. There are also hurling teams. qatargaa.qa 3

Golf Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara C5 Nine‑hole putting course. SNAG (Starting New At Golf) is suitable for all ages. 4040 5050, doha.anantara.com 3 Doha Golf Club B3 18-hole championship course, a nine-hole floodlit academy course, putting and chipping greens and world-class practice facilities. Individual and group coaching available by PGA professionals from the Qatar Golf Academy. The New Golfer Membership offers everything needed to get started, including equipment. Open daily 6 am – 9 pm. 4496 0715, dohagolfclub.com 3 Education City Golf Club C2 33 holes of golf: The 18 hole Championship course, the 6 hole Championship course and the 9 hole par 3 course. Designed by Jose Maria Olazabal, the course is open to members and guests. It features a clubhouse and a Centre of Excellence golf development facility along with a driving range installed with Power Tee automated teeing system and TrackMan technology. Learn golf with PGA professionals; bespoke golf packages for children, women and groups. The 9 hole par 3 course is floodlit for night golf. Open daily 6 am – 8 pm. info@ecgolf.com, membership@ecgolf.com, ecgolf.com 3

QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

Gymnastics and Trampolining Bounce Inc Tawar Mall C3 Indoor trampoline park, plus training classes, free jumping, dodgeball and more, for adults and children aged 3+. 4408 6500, bounce.qa 3 SFQ Sports Academy Multiple locations Gymnastics classes for children aged 2+. 6622 2962, sfqsportsacademy.com.qa 3 The Gymnastics Academy Multiple locations For gymnasts of different abilities, aged 3+. Follows the British Gymnastics floor and vault syllabus but also trains on bars, beams and trampolines. gymacademydoha.com 3

Hockey Doha Hockey Club Multiple locations Welcomes players of all levels keen to play social hockey. Join the Facebook group for details Wanderers Hockey Qatar Field hockey in Qatar since the 1970s. bosco_menezes@hotmail.com

Horse Riding Lessons and Camel Rides Al Samriya Riding School Al Samriya Estate, next to Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani's farm near Al Sheehaniya. Lessons for adults and children, pony club, trails and events. Visit the café and shop with equestrian items. 5070 9521, alsamriyariding.com 3 Sealine Beach, A Murwab Resort Enjoy a leisurely horse or camel ride along the beach. 4476 5299, sealinebeachqatar.com 3

Ice Hockey and Ice-Skating Gondolania Ice Arena Villaggio D2 Olympic size rink. Figure skating and ice hockey classes, also tots skating and bumper tubes. See the online schedule for public sessions. 4450 7873, gondolaniaicearena.com 3 Qatar International Ice Hockey League Villaggio D2 A fun, recreational league with organised games. qhockey.com Winter Wonderland City Center-Doha C4 Full-size ice rink. Open Saturday to Thursday 10 am – 10 pm, Friday 1 pm – 10 pm. 4493 3355, citycenterdoha.com 3

Kids Clubs Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara C5 Kids and Teens' Clubs offering a safe environment with fun and games, movies and books. 4040 5050, doha.anantara.com 3

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marhaba.qa Evolution Sports Qatar Multiple locations Training camps offering football, swimming, rugby and basketball. For ages 2+. 4407 6772, evosportsqatar.com 3

daily 8 am – 9 pm. Football fields and basketball and volleyball courts are free to use on a first come, first serve basis. Also paddle boats, cycling tent and mini pitches. lifeinaspire.qa 3

InterContinental Doha Hotel & Residences B4 Tennis competitions, sports days and much more – an extensive range of activities and seasonal events. 4484 4828, doha.intercontinental.com 3

Dana Club C4 Basketball, mini‑football, table tennis and volleyball facilities for members and their guests. 4496 0600, danaclub.com.qa 3

Martial Arts and Boxing B/Attitude Spa Doha at Beverly Hills Towers C4 Daily Muay Thai for all levels and ages. 4412 2046, battitudespadoha.com 3 City Centre Rotana Doha C4 Kickboxing classes, booking required. 4445 8686, rotana.com Evolve Multiple locations Boxing and Muay Thai workouts. 4407 6772, evolvemindbodysoul.com 3 InterContinental Doha The City C4 Kickboxing, boxing, taekwondo, karate for kids. Schedule changes weekly, call first. 4015 8888, intercontinental.com/dohathecity 3 Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha D3/4 Karate classes Thursday/Saturday at 3:30 pm for adults and children aged 6+. 4428 1621, radissonblu.com/en/hotel-doha 3 SFQ Sports Academy Multiple locations Kickboxing, karate and taekwondo for adults and children. 6622 2962, sfqsportsacademy.com.qa 3 Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel C4 Shotokan karate and aikido for adults and children. See the online monthly schedule. 4485 4600, fitness.sheratongranddoha.com 3

Doha College Al Waab D3 and West Bay C3 Facilities for hire include multipurpose sports halls, 3G pitches, external basketball court and swimming pools. 4407 6777, dohacollege.com 3 Garvey's European Family Club Off Salwa Road E3 Gym/fitness rooms, squash court, swimming pool, and more. 4450 5176 3

Netball Evolution Sports Qatar Multiple locations For ladies and girls aged 8+. 4407 6772, evosportsqatar.com 3

Sports in Qatar

SFQ Sports Academy Multiple locations Gymnastics, robotics, football, basketball, Zumba, and martial arts classes. For ages 3+. 6622 2962, sfqsportsacademy.com.qa 3

Rock Climbing EsQalar Sports Aspire Zone D2 Climbing wall with programmes for adults and children aged 4+. 3388 2179, esqalar.qa 3

Rugby Doha Rugby Football Centre Near American School of Doha D3 Teams for men, women and children. Training takes place Saturday to Wednesday, for first and second teams, veterans, ladies and kids. doharfc.com 3

Running, Athletics and Triathlon Al Messila, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Doha C3 Jogging/fitness trail and nature trail. 4445 0000, marriott.com

Sharq Village & Spa C4 Tai chi. Call ahead for schedule. 4425 6185, ritzcarlton.com/sharqvillage The Korea Taekwondo Centre Al Muthana Complex, Salwa Rd D3 Daily from 3 pm (except Friday). For adults and children aged 5+. 4465 9066, see the Facebook group for details 3 The Ritz-Carlton, Doha A4 Thai kickboxing and body boxing. Booking essential. 4484 8173, ritzcarlton.com/doha Yama Yoga Studios Asas Twin Towers, Al Dafna C4 Tai chi classes and workshops. 5572 1728, yamayogastudios.com

Multipurpose and Family Clubs Aspire Zone Foundation D2 Public fields open

Al Messila, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Doha ©

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Doha Athletic Club Multiple Locations Founded by Liz McColgan Nuttall, former middle- and longdistance track champion. The Adult Run Club holds indoor circuits and outdoor running sessions. The Junior Group is for ages 9 – 18, the Mini Group for ages 6 – 9. 6605 1263, dohaathleticclub.com 3

Sports in Qatar

Doha Bay Running Club Multiple locations Informal group, meeting weekend mornings and weekday evenings. Open to beginners and experienced runners alike. Join the Facebook group for details TriClub Doha Multiple Locations Training, events and socialising for local triathletes of all levels and ages. The season begins each September. triclubdoha.com 3

Sailing Regatta Sailing Academy Katara Beach B4 Royal Yachting Association and International Award training centre. Sailing and powerboating certification courses for adults and juniors. School programmes, corporate activities and yacht charters upon request. 5550 3484, regattasailingacademy.com 3

Scuba Diving and Snorkelling Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara C5 Scuba diving and diving courses for everyone from beginners to experts; also RAID certification and snorkelling. 4040 5050, doha.anantara.com 3 Doha Sub Aqua Club (DSAC) Between Doha Marriott and Sharq Village & Spa hotels D4 Qatar's British Sub Aqua Club. Diving trips, training and social events. Meets every Tuesday at 7 pm. See their Facebook page for details Pearl Divers–Qatar Al Mirqab Al Jadeed Street D3 PADI training, tuition, equipment rental and tank filling. 4444 9553, pearl-divers.com Poseidon Dive Center Hilton Doha C4 A full range of recreational PADI courses, professional and technical dive training, and Rebreather courses and programmes. 6608 4040, pdcqatar.com 3 Qatar Marine Go Sport, City Center‑Doha B3 Courses, diving excursions and specialist services. 5531 9507, qatarmarine.net

Spinning Fitness First City Center‑Doha C4 Separate daily classes for men and women. 4411 5106, qatar.fitnessfirstme.com

QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

InterContinental Doha Hotel & Residences B4 Classes Sunday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday. 4484 4828, doha.intercontinental.com Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel C4 Daily classes (except Monday/ Thursday). See the online monthly calendar. 4485 4600, fitness.sheratongranddoha.com The Ritz-Carlton, Doha A4 Daily classes (except Thursday). See the online calendar; booking essential. 4484 8173, ritzcarlton.com/doha

Swimming Aspire Active Aspire Zone D2 Classes for men, women and children. Registration form and schedule are available online. 4413 6219, aspireactiveqa.com 3 Ability Friendly/Inclusive Sports Qatar Foundation Recreation Center C2 and Al Khor Recreation Center. Sunday – Thursday, 1:1 classes for all levels, from beginner to advanced. Available for anybody with a disability or special need ages 4+. 4454 0772, abilityfriendly@qf.org.qa 3 Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara C5 100m long pool, water slides, and a surf pool with lessons available from professional instructors. 4040 5050, doha.anantara.com 3 Dana Club C4 SwimSafe academy for adults and children. 4496 0600, danaclub.com.qa 3 Doha Dolphins Multiple locations Learn‑To‑Swim for adults and children; technical development for ages 6 – 12. 6617 0911, qmotion.com.qa 3 Evolution Sports Qatar Multiple locations Extensive coaching programmes for children. 4407 6772, evosportsqatar.com 3 Four Seasons Hotel Doha C4 Three grotto pools and two family-friendly pools with water slides. 4485 8888, fourseasons.com/doha 3 Freestyle Aquatics at Aspire Aspire Dome Swimming Pool D2 Swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving for people with special needs and disabilities. For more information and to register, contact programme founder Kathleen Bates at tryfreestyle@gmail.com, tryfreestyle@aspirelogistics.qa, facebook.com/freestyleaquatics2012 3 Grand Hyatt Doha B4 Three outdoor pools, two children's pools, one indoor pool for adults. 4448 1060, doha.grand.hyatt.com 3

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marhaba.qa Dana Club C4 Two indoor tennis courts, individual coaching. Members only. 4496 0656, danaclub.com.qa 3 First Fit Training Multiple locations For adults and children age 4+ of all abilities. 3300 0779, fftsports.com 3

Sports in Qatar

InterContinental Doha Hotel & Residences B4 Tennis and squash lessons for adults and children, also tennis socials every Sunday and Friday 6 pm. 4484 4828, doha.intercontinental.com 3

H2O Swim Club Multiple locations Competitive and leisure programmes, for adults and children aged 8 months+. 5564 1475, h2oswimclub.com 3 InterContinental Doha Hotel & Residences B4 Adults’ and children’s individual and group swimming lessons. 4484 4828, doha.intercontinental.com 3 Mövenpick Hotel West Bay Doha C4 Classes in a chlorine free indoor pool; booking required. 4496 6410, movenpick.com/west-bay-doha 3 Oryx Rotana Hotel D4 Courses and lessons for children of all levels and abilities. 4402 3485, rotana.com/oryxrotana 3 Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha D3/4 Aquacise Sunday and Thursday at 8:30 am. Private swimming lessons available. 4428 1621, radissonblu.com/en/hotel-doha 3 Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel C4 Lessons for children. 4485 4600, fitness.sheratongranddoha.com 3 The Diplomatic Club B4 Classes for adults and children. 4484 7450, thediplomaticclub.com 3 The Ritz-Carlton, Doha A4 Indoor Junior Olympic pool, outdoor freeform pool. Classes for all ages. Call first for availability of instructors. 4484 8173, ritzcarlton.com/middleeast 3 The St. Regis Doha B4 Olympic-sized pool and children's pool for use by guests and members only. 4446 0304, stregisdoha.com 3 The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa D4 Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, outdoor wave pool and outdoor children’s pool. Lessons for adults and children. 4492 1682, westindoha.com 3

Tennis and Squash Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara C5 Synthetic grass court, lessons available. 4040 5050, doha.anantara.com 3 QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

Khalifa Tennis & Squash Complex C4 Tennis courts available for hire by the hour; advance booking required. The tennis school offers training for children aged 5 – 15 years, while players aged 15+ can join private groups. 4440 9666, qatartennis.org 3 Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha D3/4 Tennis classes daily except Sunday from 2 pm. Tennis and squash courts available for general use. 4428 1621, radissonblu.com/en/hotel-doha 3 Sealine Beach, A Murwab Resort Floodlit tennis court. 4476 5299, sealinebeachqatar.com 3 SFQ Sports Academy Multiple locations Tennis classes for adults and children aged 2+. 6622 2962, sfqsportsacademy.com.qa 3 Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel C4 Tennis and squash courts, lessons, mixed and ladies tennis socials. 4485 4600, fitness.sheratongranddoha.com 3 The Ritz-Carlton, Doha A4 Tennis and squash courts, lessons available. 4484 8173, ritzcarlton.com/middleeast 3 The St. Regis Doha B4 Lessons and court hire for adults and children aged 12+. 4446 0304, stregisdoha.com 3 The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa D4 Two squash courts for hire. 4492 1682, westindoha.com 3

Volleyball Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara C5 Beach volleyball. 4040 5050, doha.anantara.com 3 Radisson Blu Hotel, Doha D3/4 Floodlit court. 4428 1621, radissonblu.com/en/hotel-doha 3

Water Sports For fishing see Leisure Activities in the Discovering Qatar section Angry Dragons Qatar Katara Beach B4 and The Pearl‑Qatar B4 New and seasoned paddlers always welcome. See their Facebook page for details

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• PREMIER TRAINING FACILITIES • HIGHLY QUALIFIED TRAINERS • GROUP AND PERSONAL TRAINING

• CROSSFIT AND HIIT CLASSES • STRENGTH & CONDITIONING • HEALTH & WEIGHTLOSS

OUR LOCATION

OUR GYMS

CROSSFIT TXXIII

CROSSFIT

UNLOADED

T23, 22 La Croisette Parcel 12, Porto Arabia The Pearl, Doha, Qatar

CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program using constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity, in order to produce dramatic gains in health and fitness. Intensity is essential for results, the more work you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the better the results will be. At CrossFit TXXIII we strive to see people demand more of themselves to achieve things they never knew was possible, both in the gym and in life.

Our Unloaded class is programmed using the same principles of constantly varied, functional movements, but without the heavy barbells or technical lifting. The program utilizes the high intensity, fat burning metabolic effects of traditional CrossFit workouts. Don’t be fooled though, these workouts are not easy! We have just “unloaded” the barbells.

tel (+974) 7701 6555 info@cft23.com T23 UNLOADED Unit 53, Building No 05 Medina Centrale, The Pearl Doha, Qatar tel (+974) 5027 2285 unloaded@cft23.com

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marhaba.qa AquaSports Qatar Multiple locations Kayaking in Al Thakira mangroves and other locations, stand up paddle boarding and kiteboarding. Events and private parties. See their Facebook page for details 3

Sports in Qatar

Banana Island Resort Doha By Anantara C5 Stand up paddle boarding, banana boat rides, surf pool, donut rides, water bicycles, kayaking, and the HamacLand Floating Lounge. 4040 5050, doha.anantara.com 3 Discover Arabia Adventure tours at Al Thakira nature reserve, educational programmes for schools, mangrove planting and environmental clean-ups. Also kayaking, snorkelling and overnight camps. 3023 3207, discoverarabia.today 3 Discover Qatar The destination management division of Qatar Airways and partner of Qatar National Tourism Council offers tours and excursions with sun, sea and sand. 4423 7999, discoverqatar.qa 3 Doha Dragons Qatar Katara Beach B4 Doha's first dragon boat team. Paddling session dates and times change with the time of year and weather. Equipment is provided and new members are always welcome. See their Facebook page for details

InterContinental Doha Hotel & Residences B4 Jetskis, tubes, wakeboarding, kitesurfing and stand up paddle boarding. 4484 4828, doha.intercontinental.com 3 Katara Beach B4 Waterskiing, kneeboarding, parasailing, jetskis, boat and gondola rides, sailing and kayaking. Entrance is free, however to use the inflatable games all visitors over the age of 6 need to purchase a Day Pass from the cashier points at Beach Number 3, Gates 1 and 5. Beach opens at 9:30 am, last entry at the weekend is 9:30 pm; swimming is not permitted after sunset. Please observe the dress code when visiting. 4408 1985, katara.net 3 Marsa Malaz Kempinski The Pearl–Qatar A4 Knee boarding, kayaking, pedal boat and paddle boarding. 4035 5152, kempinski.com/doha 3 Q-Explorer Multiple locations Mangrove kayaking, jet ski tours of Doha's Corniche, scuba diving and more. Events for schools and corporates, also private parties. 4472 5146, q-explorer.com 3 Regatta Sailing Academy Katara Beach B4 A Royal Yachting Association training centre offering numerous activities, available for corporate events and parties. 5550 3484, regattasailingacademy.com 3

Flokiteschool Multiple locations Kitesurfing lessons for adults and schoolchildren. 3315 5628, flokiteschool.com 3

Sealine Beach, A Murwab Resort Day visitors can use the pool areas and beach; activities include jet skis and banana boat rides. 4476 5299, sealinebeachqatar.com 3

Grand Hyatt Doha B4 Banana boat rides, jet skis, kayaking, pedal boats and stand up paddle boarding. 4448 1060, doha.grand.hyatt.com

The St. Regis Doha B4 Jet skis, speed boats, sunset boat rides, banana boat and donuts, and waterskiing. 4446 0304, stregisdoha.com 3 m

Checked & Updated October 2020

Doha Golf Club QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE Š

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FEATURE

Qatar's Cycling Tracks By Sarah Palmer It has never been easier to get on your bike and cycle around Qatar!

O

ne of the objectives of the Ministry of Culture and Sports is to create an active sport movement in the country.

To obtain this objective, the ministry's strategy focusses on creating an environment whereby all members of society are able to practise sports and physical activity, making available to the public the necessary facilities and working towards making exercising more attractive. The ministry oversees the hosting of numerous regional and international sports events, and wants the public to enjoy both competitive and recreational sports all year round. The authorities in Qatar have been busy beautifying public spaces for everyone's enjoyment, including the ongoing construction of walking and cycle paths, in conjunction with the Public Works Authority (Ashghal). There are several paths dotted around the country, for example along Lusail Street and between Doha Corniche and Hamad International Airport. Further afield, and for longer rides, try the route close to Al Sheehaniya camel race track and the Al Dossari Zoo and Game Reserve, approximately 30 km of cycling. Not all of the paths are fully connected as yet, however they are landscaped and have streetlamps for use after dark. New cycle paths continue to appear all over Qatar! There is now a 'superpath' available for cyclists to enjoy even longer rides in safety. In fact, Qatar is now the proud owner of more Guinness World Records, being home to the world’s longest continuous cycle path, and the longest piece of asphalt concrete laid continuously. Both of these records were achieved within the Al Khor Road project and the Olympic Cycling Track. Danny Hickson, the Official Adjudicator at the

QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

Guinness World Records, confirmed the final figure for the longest piece of asphalt concrete laid continuously to be 25.275 km and the longest continuous cycle path to be 32.869 km, setting new world records for Qatar. The Olympic Cycling Track connects Doha to Al Bayt stadium and is 7 m wide, with 29 underpasses and 5 bridges to enable non-stop riding, and is situated well away from the main road. It has been designed to allow speeds of up to 50 km an hour, making it a perfect destination for upcoming international competitions, and opened on 11 February this year, National Sport Day. There are also 80 bicycle stands, 100 benches and 20 rest areas along the route for use by the cyclists. On the opposite side of the road are shared paths for pedestrians and bicycles, 34 km long and 6 m wide, with 18 underpasses. There are five car parking areas along the path – near Qatar University, Lusail metro station, Losail International Circuit, Semaisma Interchange, and Al Bayt Stadium – and 1,450 streetlamps to encourage cycling at night. HE Jassim Rashid Al Buenain, Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee, said, 'The Olympic Track is suitable for all segments of all ages, whether professionals, amateurs or people with special needs, which contributes to encouraging the practice of sport and increasing awareness of its importance in the life of the individual and society.' Abdulrahman Musallam Al Dossari, adviser to HE the Minister of Culture and Sports and President of Qatar Sports Federation for All, has highlighted the importance of implementing an infrastructure that serves sports activities, praising the safety and security of the Olympic Cycling Track in being away from traffic. Qatar Sports Federation for All will be using the track to encourage walking and cycling by holding activities and competitions in the future.

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Eng Abdulla Ahin, Designs Department Manager at Ashghal, holds the Guiness World Record for the Olympic Cycling Track. The Supervisory Committee for Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar (part of Ashghal) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Qatar Cyclists Centre at the Ministry of Culture and Sports to provide services for the Olympic Cycling Track. These services include electric bike parking spaces, first aid, and the use of motorcycles to provide emergency assistance, among others. The MoU's scope also includes organising events in cooperation with Ashghal, safety campaigns, first aid training for emergencies, and awareness sessions to educate riders on safe riding methods along cycle tracks. At the signing ceremony, Yousef Al Emadi, director of Projects Affairs at Ashghal, said the MoU signed with the Qatar Cyclists Centre is aimed at educating the community and spreading the culture of cycling, in addition to using cycling as a safe and healthy means of transportation. He stated that Ashghal is creating infrastructure that contributes to enhancing a culture of sports among all segments of society through the provision of facilities, and that the authority will construct a network of cycling and pedestrian paths across 2,650 km by 2022.

At the signing of the MoU, Abdel Fattah Al Saadi, member of the board of directors at Qatar Cyclists Centre said 'We hope this agreement will contribute to encouraging all segments of the society to practise sport on a regular basis.' The Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar works in coordination with ministries and other entities, such as the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Qatar Museums, Qatar Rail and the Private Engineering Office. It is responsible for five major tasks: construction of central public parks; provision of dedicated tracks for pedestrians and bicycles; development of Doha Corniche; development of Central Doha; and increasing afforestation and green areas. m Want to join up with likeminded cyclists? See Sports Activities in this section for listings of groups and clubs. Qatar Cycling Federation is the national governing body and has a lot of useful information about taking up the sport, as well as events and support for elite athletes. qatarcycling.org

Even The Amir, HH Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani enjoys a bike ride! Š

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FEATURE

Two Years To Go: Countdown To 2022 By Sarah Palmer

T

he two-year countdown to one of the world's biggest sporting events and being held in Qatar, the FIFA World Cup, was marked on 21 November. The event, being hosted by a Middle Eastern country for the first time, guarantees a unique experience for audiences from around the world in 2022. One of the most distinctive aspects of this edition of the event is that travelling fans will have the opportunity to attend more than one match a day during the group stage, due to the compact nature of the country and the ease of commuting between stadiums, thanks to the impressive Doha Metro. In fact, Qatar will host the most compact version of the FIFA World Cup ever seen in modern times. The stadiums are all in close proximity to one another, as well as amenities such as hotels and malls. The country's link by an ultra-modern transport system allows for short travel times for fans, players and media. Visitors will be able to stay in one location throughout the tournament with no need for any internal flights, as seen in previous tournaments. The longest distance between stadiums is 75 km (Al Bayt to Al Janoub), while the shortest is just 5 km (Education City to Al Rayyan). Infrastructure is continuing at a fast pace, having reached 90% completion. Three completed stadiums – Khalifa International, Al Janoub and Education City – have safely hosted more than 100 matches in 2020 despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Three more tournament venues are in the final stages of construction: Al Rayyan, Al Bayt and Al Thumama. The main works at the final two stadiums – Ras Abu Aboud and Lusail – are both set to be completed in 2021.

of-the-art Doha Metro was successfully utilised by fans during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019, while fans were also able to travel using the super new roads and highways. Meanwhile, the expansion of Hamad International Airport will be able to cater to more than 50 mn visitors a year by 2022. According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, '2020 has surely been a challenging year for the entire world, and football was no exception. Despite the difficulties, steady progress was made in the last few months, showing yet again Qatar’s strong and continued commitment – under the leadership of the Amir, whom I personally thank – to hosting an unforgettable FIFA World Cup in two years’ time, which will no doubt build a legacy long beyond 2022. Al Janoub Stadium

Getting around the country is now proving to be the easiest it has ever been, and will continue to develop even further ahead of the event. The stateQATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

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HE Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, stated that 'We are immensely proud of the progress we have made over the last 10 years. Both tournament and national infrastructure projects are well advanced, with everything on track to be completed well ahead of the big kick-off. Our legacy projects, meanwhile, are already having an impact on people’s lives in areas such as workers’ rights, education and entrepreneurship.' According to HE Al Thawadi, this is an incredibly important FIFA World Cup – for Qatar, the region, and the world. Qatar 2022 will introduce billions of people to the Middle East and to the Arab world, help foster greater understanding and break down stereotypes that people may have of the country and the region. 'We’re very excited to welcome the world in 2022.'

'Besides the very important labour reforms recently announced by the government, progress has also been made on stadium construction, along with the implementation of strict measures to protect workers’ health.'

The schedule was announced earlier this year and features four daily fixtures for fans to enjoy. It was confirmed that the opening match will take place at the stunning Al Bayt Stadium, a 60,000-capacity venue designed to resemble a traditional tent used in the Arab world. The final game will be staged at the 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium on 18 December 2022 – Qatar National Day, a public holiday and a fitting close to what promises to be a most spectacular event. m

First Bespoke FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 AircraftTM In November, Qatar Airways, an official partner and the official airline of FIFA, unveiled a speciallybranded Boeing 777-300ER painted in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM livery to mark the two years until the start of the tournament. The bespoke aircraft features distinctive hand-painted FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM branding to commemorate the airline’s partnership with FIFA. The inaugural route of the bespoke aircraft on 21 November was a further example of the airline’s commitment to the partnership by flying to the home of FIFA in Switzerland. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, HE Akbar Al Baker, said 'We are tremendously excited to celebrate our partnership with FIFA and Qatar’s status as host of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM by introducing this unique aircraft to our fleet. As Official Partner and Official Airline of FIFA, we can feel the excitement building with two years to go until we will welcome the world to our beautiful country.' More aircraft in the Qatar Airways fleet will feature the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM livery, visiting more destinations in the airline's network. In partnership with Qatar Airways Holidays, bespoke travel packages to visit Qatar for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM will soon be launched. For updates and more information about FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, visit fifa.com and marhaba.qa ©

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marhaba

Stadium Update A Spotlight on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM

QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

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STADIUM UPDATE

With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM tournament taking place in November 2022, work is fast continuing on bringing fans the ultimate experience at Qatar’s football facilities. Some of the stadiums have already been renovated or completed, allowing sports fans a sneak look at what they can expect from matches. Much of the work on the amenities available at the complexes is also ongoing. Inside this guide you can find details about how Qatar is building state-of-the-art stadiums using the very latest construction materials and employing green building practices. All these measures will ensure Qatar will bring the first and best sustainable World Cup competition yet!

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marhaba FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ 21 November – 18 December

Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

A

l Rayyan is the location for Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, and is the home of local football team, Al Rayyan Sports Club.

The stadium officially opened on 18 December 2020, hosting the final of the Amir Cup, becoming the fourth operational FIFA World Cup 2022™ venue. The new arena will host 40,000 fans at matches. The residents of Al Rayyan are a close-knit community, offering a warm welcome to all that visit – fans coming to the stadium for matches will also receive the famous Qatari hospitality when they arrive. Its location in Al Rayyan is at the very edge of the desert, and the stadium incorporates features of Qatari culture in its magnificent façade. One of the most striking aspects of the stadium, the glowing façade consists of patterns that characterise different aspects of the country: the importance of family, the beauty of the desert, the native flora and fauna, and local and international trade.

QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

These patterns are a characteristic of Islamic architecture and highlight Qatar’s long and successful history of producing stunning handmade goods and keepsakes. Another shape, a shield, unites all the others, a show of the strength and unity relevant to the desert city of Al Rayyan. The façade surrounds a compact seating structure, offering a sense of feeling much closer to all of the action on the pitch. A lightweight canopy and advanced cooling systems protect fans from the elements, providing maximum comfort. These desert and traditional design elements continue through on to the surrounding buildings, with dune-shaped hospitality areas and retail outlets selling merchandise. Thanks to its lighting system, the entire area promises to be a spectacular site in the evening and nighttime as the buildings softly glow. In keeping with Al Rayyan’s history of not wasting resources and preserving the environment, the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium complex has incorporated more than 80% of the construction materials from the former venue on the site (with the same name) – in fact, any trees that needed to be moved have been replanted! The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy has been mindful of using environmentally friendly building

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STADIUM UPDATE materials and practices where possible, and any new materials have been chosed for these environmental qualities. The stadium received a four-star the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) certification in October 2018, proving SC’s commitment to sustainability and green building.

20,000 with the other 20,000 donated to football development projects overseas. The complex promises to be a lasting legacy for everyone, offering six football training pitches, a cricket pitch, aquatics centre, tennis courts, skate park, horse riding track, cycling track, gym equipment and an athletics track.

The stadium’s carbon footprint has been reduced thanks to energy and water efficiency measures, and its close connection to the metro. Fans can enjoy a stressfree journey to Al Rayyan; once at the stadium they can enjoy the 125,000 sq m of new green space with native plants, and dedicated walking and cycling paths.

The first match at the stadium will be for the group stage on 21 November at 4 pm (Doha time, +3 GMT). For more information about the tournament, the match schedule and further stadium updates, visit the SC website at qatar2022.qa and follow our posts at marhaba.qa and on social media.

Post-tournament, the seating capacity reduced to

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marhaba FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ 21 November – 18 December

Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor City

A

l Bayt Stadium is located in Al Khor, 35 km north of Doha. It is instantly recognisable, thanks to its design based on a Bedouin tent – bayt al sha’ar or ‘house of hair’. The tent structure covers the entire stadium, and honours Qatar’s past and present while also looking to the future. Al Khor was famous for its pearl diving and fishing, attracting traders and nomadic peoples from far and wide. Likewise, Al Bayt Stadium will extend the famous Qatari hospitality to fans from all over the world. The tents used by the nomadic families could typically be identified from the black stripes, replicated on the stadium’s exterior, with sadu weaving greeting fans once inside. This taste of tradition is also practical, as the tent structure provides shading. The structure’s lightweight canopies are able to stretch out towards the pitch from every side and will be joined by a retractable

QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

roof system and cooling technologies. These features will allow for comfortable temperatures inside without using extra power – one important aspect of the stadium’s design is sustainability and low energy usage. The 60,000 seats have been produced by local company Coastal Qatar and are almost all installed. The stadium’s inner architecture is at the final stages and the tunnels that players will emerge from are ready. The stadium’s steel roof structure and its façade are also now finished. Al Bayt Stadium has already received a Class A* rating from the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS). Outside the stadium, parks and greenery will form an integral part of the surrounding precinct’s design plan, with grass and trees having been planted, alongside lakes and water features. Residents and visitors to Al Khor can enjoy plenty of outdoor space, equal to the size of 30 football pitches, to walk, run and cycle. An upgraded road system means shorter journey times and a smaller environmental impact, although there will be extensive taxi and bus facilities to minimise the number of vehicles on local roads. Fans will approach the stadium on tree-lined walkways before entering the traditional-meets-modern piece of architecture.

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STADIUM UPDATE In legacy mode, the venue will reach even more people – like a nomad’s tent, it will be portable. The upper tier of modular design seating, almost half of the 60,000 capacity, will be removed and donated to developing nations in need of sporting infrastructure. The upper area of the stadium will be converted into a five-star hotel, and a shopping centre, food court, gym and multipurpose hall will be incorporated into the venue. A branch of Aspetar, Qatar’s premier sports medicine facility, will also open. The stadium will host the opening match of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and fixtures through to the semifinals. The first match will be for the group stage on 21 November at 1 pm (Doha time, +3 GMT). For more information about the tournament, the match schedule and further stadium updates, visit the SC website at qatar2022.qa and follow our posts at marhaba.qa and on social media.

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marhaba FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ 21 November – 18 December

Al Janoub Stadium

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l Janoub Stadium in Al Wakra was designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid, with a bold, futuristic shape.

The 40,000-capacity stadium was opened in 2019 hosting the final of the Amir Cup, with the inauguration featuring a stunning pre-match show paying tribute to Zaha Hadid and the heritage of Al Wakra. The town was formerly a centre for pearl diving and fishing. The design of the stadium reflects this long heritage of seafaring, and is influenced by the traditional boats known as dhows that were used. It is visually stunning and instantly recognisable as you approach the stadium. Inside, bowed beams hold up the roof, reminiscent of a ship’s hull, and which allows light to flood in. A detailed micro-climate analysis was undertaken to check the heat levels inside; from this study, aerodynamics were used to determine the best shape for the arena, with the roof having additional shading using a minimal amount of glass. Alongside

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an innovative cooling system, these features make significant contributions to temperature control. These concepts were designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and AECOM, in conjunction with KEO International Consultants and a consortium of local and international contractors. In November 2018, the stadium received a Class A* sustainability rating from the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), in recognition of the project’s extensive efforts to protect the environment. The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and its stakeholders have also thought about the environmental impact of fans travelling to Al Janoub Stadium for FIFA World Cup 2022™ matches. There have been major upgrades to the road networks, reducing journey times and emissions. The Doha Metro station serving the stadium will mean that many fans will be able to commute to and from the stadium with ease. Part of the stadium’s legacy includes green spaces being developed around the complex, which fans will see as they approach the stadium. The impressive parkland has more than 800 new trees and low-waterconsumption vegetation, with areas for horse riding, running tracks and cycle lanes.

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STADIUM UPDATE After the World Cup, Al Janoub Stadium will serve as a new home for sport and entertainment in southern Qatar. The seating capacity will be reduced to 20,000 thanks to its modular design; the other 20,000 seats will be donated to football development projects overseas. Also serving the local community, a multipurpose indoor arena, school, mosque, wedding hall and market are being constructed, to join the improvements made to the roads, port and beach areas. The first match at the stadium will be for the group stage on 22 November at 1 pm (Doha time, +3 GMT). For more information about the tournament, the match schedule and further stadium updates, visit the SC website at qatar2022.qa and follow our posts at marhaba.qa and on social media. m

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marhaba FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ 21 November – 18 December

Al Thumama Stadium

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ocated in the southern suburbs of Doha, Al Thumama Stadium is named after a native tree that grows in the region and has an intricate design depicting the gahfiya, the traditional woven cap worn by men and boys in the Middle East. The gahfiya is an integral part of the traditional clothing worn in the region – a symbol of dignity and independence, and worn by boys through to adulthood. While it may differ between countries, it is an item that unites the Arab nations. While the stadium’s design is reflective of Qatar’s history and culture, it is also a representation of the country’s youth and its move into the future without forgetting the past – becoming a major force in the world’s sports scene and the heritage that has shaped its path to success. Qatari architectural and engineering firm Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB) created the concept and

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schematic design of Al Thumama Stadium, led by chief architect, Ibrahim M Jaidah. He is one of the region’s most renowned architects, and his previous work includes the mighty Ministry of Interior headquarters in Doha. The venue’s distinctive design has been lauded internationally, and won the prestigious MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Award in May 2018. Al Thumama Stadium was also the location for a revolutionary prototype stadium called the Showcase, used to demonstrate to FIFA how Qatar is committed to innovation and sustainability, both in the tournament and in legacy mode. The Showcase will remain in place until 2022, showing the revolutionary and sustainable technologies that are being employed, for example using solar energy to power the cooling systems. The ultimate aim is to achieve Global Sustainability Assessment System Trust (GSAS) 4-star certification for both design and construction. As such, the design saves up to 40% more water than a conventional stadium. Recycled water will be used for the 50,000 sq m of park area, with native vegetation and 400 trees across 84% of the green areas.

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STADIUM UPDATE In legacy mode, the stadium’s seating capacity will be reduced from 40,000 to 20,000 to meet local needs, with the remaining infrastructure donated to those countries in need. FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence Aspetar will have a clinic at the stadium, for residents and professional athletes. The surrounding precinct will provide facilities for handball, volleyball, basketball and swimming, alongside running and cycling tracks. A boutique hotel inside the stadium, a mosque, and retail and commercial units will complete the services offered to the community.

The first time fans will see the stadium is from the adjacent Hamad International Airport, as they will be able to admire the circular design and outstanding roof from the skies. At the moment, the stadium is still under construction. The roof is in place and finishing works are continuing, with most of the seats having been fitted. The first match at the stadium will be for the group stage on 21 November at 10 pm (Doha time, +3 GMT). For more information about the tournament, the match schedule and further stadium updates, visit the SC website at qatar2022.qa and follow our posts at marhaba.qa and on social media.

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marhaba FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ 21 November – 18 December

Education City Stadium

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he official completion of Education City Stadium on 15 June 2020 was commemorated with a TV programme showcasing the third of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ venues to be match ready. The stadium sits in the heart of the country’s dedicated area for some of the world’s leading universities, the home of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, and is adjacent to Education City Golf Club. The 40,000-capacity stadium will host matches through to the quarter-finals stage of the tournament. The design draws its inspiration from Islamic architecture, with a façade that features triangles forming complex, diamond-esque geometrical patterns which seemingly change colour as the sun moves across the sky. At night, the façade puts on a colourful light show, an eye-catching spectacle. The sides of the stadium envelop the pitch, helping the advanced cooling system to operate. An QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

integrated water and energy control and monitoring system manages real-time consumption, and the environmentally-cpnscious design and construction help reduce the stadium’s carbon footprint. In January 2019, the stadium received a 5-star design and build rating from the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS). The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy employed a number of green construction practices. More than 55% of the materials used for the stadium came from sustainable sources and 28% of construction materials have recycled contents. The surrounding precinct incorporates drought-tolerant and native species of plants in 75% of the landscaping. Fans travelling to Education City Stadium for FIFA World Cup 2022™ matches will be able to use the Doha Metro station and connecting trams, or take advantage of the cycle paths and bike racks throughout Education City. After the World Cup, Education City Stadium will donate 20,000 seats to create sporting venues in developing countries. In legacy mode, the venue will suit the needs of students, faculty and other members of the Education City community by becoming a sports, leisure and social hub.

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STADIUM UPDATE

The first match at the stadium will be for the group stage on 22 November at 4 pm (Doha time, +3 GMT). For more information about the tournament, the match schedule and further stadium updates, visit the SC website at qatar2022.qa and follow our posts at marhaba.qa and on social media. m

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marhaba FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ 21 November – 18 December

Khalifa International Stadium

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uilt in 1976, Khalifa International Stadium was renovated before reopening in May 2017 for the final of the Amir Cup.

Named after the former Amir, HH Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani (grandfather of the current Amir, HH Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani), the stadium has a good pedigree when it comes to hosting sports events – to date, it has hosted matches in the Gulf Cup, the AFC Asian Cup and five matches of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, including the Final between Liverpool and Flamengo, and a number of football friendlies. It has also hosted the Asian Games in 2006 and the IAAF World Athletics Championships in 2019. Khalifa International Stadium has been a fixture of the country’s sports events for many years, and now stands proudly within Aspire Zone near Al Rayyan, a global centre of sporting excellence, having benefitted from a number of redevelopments over the years, the last of which was in 2017.

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To better fit in with the modern architecture of Aspire Zone, and to complement its vision of hosting sports teams in state-of-the-art facilities, the 45,416-seat Khalifa International Stadium underwent a number of changes in 2017. The arena now has an ultramodern shape, albeit keeping its instantly recognisable dual arches. Inside the stadium, seats are protected from the elements by a canopy, thanks to the installation of a larger roof over the entire spectator area – an intricate net of German and Italian-made steel tension cables weighing 4,000 tonnes hold 92 panels in place. Meanwhile LED pitch lighting and digital floodlights add a new dimension to the fan experience, Khalifa International Stadium being the first FIFA World Cup™ venue and the first stadium in the region to use these more sustainable forms of lighting. There is also climate control provided by advanced cooling technologies, promised as part of Qatar’s successful bid, which keeps the pitch at 20°C and the stands at 23°C, using 40% less energy than traditional cooling methods. Even the pitch is new! It has been designed with Qatar’s climate in mind, and was developed at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) Turf Nursery, the only one of its kind in Asia. It was laid in a new world record time of just 13 ½ hours.

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STADIUM UPDATE The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum is attached to the stadium via a walkway, giving an insight into the country’s sporting legacy which has featured this iconic stadium for many years. Located at the centre of all the 2022 venues, the stadium will play a pivotal role in this tournament. The first match at the stadium, the third match of the tournament, will be for the group stage on 21 November at 7 pm (Doha time, +3 GMT). For more information about the tournament, the match schedule and further stadium updates, visit the SC website at qatar2022.qa and follow our posts at marhaba.qa and on social media. More than 40,000 football fans attended the launch of the first proposed host venue of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar, with The Amir, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, officially cutting the ribbon at the new Khalifa International Stadium. The official inauguration ceremony featured a light show using the new LED lights, a performance from the Amiri Guard, and an impressive firework display that saw ‘2022’ displayed in the sky above the stadium. The final of the Amir Cup, Qatar’s biggest domestic trophy, kicked off afterwards, making it the stadium’s first sporting event since being renovated ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.

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marhaba FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ 21 November – 18 December

Lusail Stadium

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he stadium in Lusail City will be the venue for the final match of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, closing the tournament in opulent

style.

Qatar’s city of the future, Lusail City, is just a few kilometres north of Doha’s business district in Al Dafna, as well as West Bay and The Pearl-Qatar. However, there is easy access for fans travelling to the stadium from anywhere in the country offered by the Doha Metro and the upcoming Lusail Tram. Lusail City has been designed to reduce the impact of residents and visitors on the environment. Each neighbourhood has its own amenities within walking distance, and schools and shopping centres will be sited near green transport links, encouraging people to use public transport. Smart energy meters will be used throughout the city to conserve energy, organic waste will be collected for biomass fuel, and the numerous green spaces will improve the air quality. QATAR SPORTS E-GUIDE ©

The location of the stadium also offers excellent commuter links via the upgraded road network, shuttle buses from the nearby park and ride system, or even on foot or bike using the new walking and cycle paths! The stadium’s design has been inspired by light and shadow, characteristics of the fanar, meaning lantern. The shape and façade replicate the intricate decorative motifs on bowls and other art pieces that have been used across the Middle East for centuries. Architects Foster + Partners have created a sleek, modern and bold shape for the arena, with an impressive sloping roof. The 80,000-seat stadium will present a meaningful impact when first seen by fans, due to the scale of the venue and its adornments. The chic, muted gold exterior will over time offer an evocative image of aged metal handicrafts, while the intricate detailing on the stadium bowl will feature a graceful, undulating trim. This will be literally topped off with a roof that showcases the best engineering and construction techniques, using materials to provide shade yet still admitting the right amount of sunlight to nourish the playing surface. When the daylight fades, an advanced lighting system will switch on with light pouring through the

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STADIUM UPDATE openings in the façade, similar to a lantern, offering a welcoming glow for fans. Once inside the stadium, a wall of colour will be joined by a wall of sound – the roof and curved sides will form a cauldron effect, with noise reverberating around the arena. During construction, sustainable building practices will be employed and and construction waste recycled whenever possible. Recycled water will irrigate the abundance of local plants surrounding the stadium. Efficient water fixtures and leak detection systems throughout the stadium complex will conserve 40% more fresh water than in conventional stadiums. These measures will steer Lusail Stadium towards achieving 4-star Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) certification.

Current plans for Lusail Stadium after the tournament suggest it will transform into a community space with schools, shops, sporting facilities and health clinics within the original exterior of the stadium and under the original roof. Most of the stadium’s 80,000 seats will be removed and donated to projects elsewhere. The first match at the stadium will be for the group stage on 22 November at 10 pm (Doha time, +3 GMT). The venue will host the final on 18 December, Qatar National Day, at 6 pm (Doha time, +3 GMT). For more information about the tournament, the match schedule and further stadium updates, visit the SC website at qatar2022.qa and follow our posts at marhaba.qa and on social media.

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marhaba FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ 21 November – 18 December

Ras Abu Aboud Stadium

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he Ras Abu Aboud Stadium may be one of the most innovative and radical to be built for a FIFA World Cup™ tournaments – or any sporting event! Situated looking across Doha’s Al Dafna/West Bay skyline and the Arabian Gulf, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium promises to be a spectacular venue for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ matches. The 40,000-seat venue is being built in such a way that it can be completely dismantled and reused for other sporting projects after the competition. It is truly setting a new standard in sustainability, as well as rethinking how to reuse stadiums in legacy mode. In fact, it could well set a new trend on how to quickly construct and dismantle stadiums in the future! Due to the temporary nature of the stadium and the clever modular design in place, fewer building materials will be required than in traditional stadium

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building, which has the added advantage of reducing construction costs. The design is the brainchild of Fenwick Iribarren Architects. It will be constructed using shipping containers, removable seats and other modular building blocks, a unique and colourful design in keeping with the nearby port. The majority of the stadium’s major requirements – for example, seating, bathroom facilities and food stalls – will operate within the shipping containers. These will be arranged in an elegant curved square which will give the venue its iconic aesthetic. The project has a lower carbon footprint due to its dockside location as natural sea breezes lessen the requirements on the stadium’s cooling system. To date, more than half of the containers are in place, some of the seats have been installed and work on the roof is continuing. The dismantling of the stadium is a first for a FIFA World Cup™ venue. Just about everything will be repurposed – the 40,000 seats, the containers and the roof – and donated to projects elsewhere. This could mean the entire stadium may be built in another location, or the elements split up and used on a number of sporting and non-sporting venues.

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STADIUM UPDATE Once the stadium has been removed, a waterfront development will stand on the site instead to include a large public park with retail space. Fans travelling to Ras Abu Aboud Stadium can get there quickly and easily using the Doha Metro Gold Line. The first match at the stadium will be for the group stage on 22 November at 7 pm (Doha time, +3 GMT).

For more information about the tournament, the match schedule and further stadium updates, visit the SC website at qatar2022. qa and follow our posts at marhaba.qa and on social media.

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A Sustainable World Cup

By Sarah Palmer

The 2022 FIFA World Cup QatarTM is already unique in three ways: it will be the first to be staged in the Middle East, in the smallest geographical area, and in the winter months. Now, hosts Qatar and FIFA have released the event's first joint Sustainability Strategy.

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atar was awarded the rights to host the FIFA World CupTM on a momentous day in December 2010. Thereafter, the reality set in – Qatar was going to have to carefully think about how it was going to organise one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Sustainability has been one of the main aspects of this World Cup, which started at the bid stage and will continue right through to the end of the tournament. The aim is to use the power of football to open up a world of amazing experiences and build a lasting legacy that fits in with both FIFA's vision and Qatar's national development goals. In 2015, FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) began to develop and implement the event’s Sustainability Strategy. This was the first to be planned and delivered jointly by FIFA, SC on behalf of the host country, and the local organisers, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC (Q22). 'Developing human capital, safeguarding workers rights, and delivering innovative environmental solutions' are some of the points mentioned in the Sustainability Strategy, which was unveiled in January 2020.

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To deliver the shared vision, five sustainability commitments have been defined: • Human Pillar: To develop human capital and safeguard workers’ rights. • Social Pillar: To provide an inclusive tournament experience. • Economic Pillar: To catalyse economic development. • Environment Pillar: To deliver innovative environmental solutions. • Governance Pillar: To set an example of good governance and ethical business practices. Further to this, 22 objectives have been described in detail, along with more than 70 initiatives and programmes to deliver the strategy and achieve the objectives set. These were identified with the help of more than 100 national and international governmental, non-governmental and privatesector organisations, via surveys, workshops meetings and the circulation of drafts, according to SC. Furthermore, the development process for the strategy also included a full human rights salience assessment, a first for a mega-sporting event. According to HE Hassan Al Thawadi, SC Secretary General and Q22 Chairman, 'When Qatar bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, it did so with a vision to use the tournament as a catalyst for sustainable, long-term change in Qatar and across the Arab world. From the start, we believed in the power of football and the FIFA World Cup to inspire innovation, to build bridges between cultures and peoples and to accelerate positive social transformation. Our measure of success for the tournament in Qatar will ultimately be the legacy it leaves behind. This strategy will help Qatar to realise that vision and ensure its success.' FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said: 'The FIFA World Cup offers us a unique opportunity to bring about positive change – one that FIFA and Qatar cannot, and will not, let slip away. All critical topics related to the event have been identified and duly addressed in this strategy, such as workers’ welfare, human rights, nondiscrimination and environmental protection. The document is also in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and we are committed to contributing to those through the power of football and of the biggest single-sport event on the planet.'

The Human Pillar The report covers workers rights, particularly construction workers, as well as human rights issues related to the actual event, such as freedom of expression for journalists and the avoidance of discrimination. The report details FIFA human rights commitments and incorporates some of the concerns of the FIFA independent Human Rights Advisory Board. FIFA and SC are committed to safeguarding the rights and welfare of workers, for those engaged in direct projects as well as those along the supply chain, both locally and internationally. One of these board members is Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI). The group's constributions have been recognised by SC, in two main areas: protection of the human rights of migrant workers; and building on the Memorandum of Understanding between SC and BWI in 2016 for joint inspections and worker grievance mechanisms. This mutual cooperation has already led to the success of the Worker Welfare Forums. Ambet Yuson, BWI General Secretary, commented: 'The joint sustainability strategy is an important step. The progress made by FIFA and the SC can be witnessed on the ground in the lives of workers. This strategy, in the crucial last stages of construction, represents a determination to complete this process that will leave behind the full respect of the human rights of construction workers and all other workers in Qatar.'

The Social Pillar Providing an inclusive tournament for all is this pillar's focus, to ensure it is safe, welcoming and accessible to all participants and attendees. Objectives include: ©

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• Delivering an accessible World Cup for disabled people and those with limited mobility, across infrastructure, public transport and other services in Qatar. In 2016, SC established the Accessibility Forum inviting the advice of NGOs, government representatives and disabled people on specific requirements.

• Providing a tobacco-free 2022 FIFA World Cup QatarTM across all sites and associated events. FIFA first introduced a smoking ban in 2002, and in 2017 published its tobacco-free policy for FIFA events. Qatar already prohibits smoking in public spaces.

• Promoting cultural exchange among parties engaged with the tournament, to enhance understanding of the culture of Qatar and the region. This can be found in the use of cultural heritage in the design of the stadiums under construction, hosting cultural festivals in the lead-up to 2022, and showcasing Qatar around the world.

Objectives here highlight economic development and growth in Qatar. This will be achieved by enabling local and international businesses to become FIFA suppliers, with a priority for local entities.

• Enabling a welcoming and respectful environment for all participants and attendees, and promoting the attendance of low-income groups. Qatar wants to welcome all to the tournament, and will take all necessary steps, such as an appropriate ticketing policy and if required, increase the availability of low-cost accommodation. • Respecting and protecting the rights of media representatives and human rights advocates. FIFA has a complaints mechanism in place for human rights defenders and media representatives who consider their rights to have been violated while performing work related to FIFA’s activities. • Aligning safety and security practices with international standards of human rights protection. In 2012, Qatar entered into a 10-year project with INTERPOL called 'Project Stadia' – INTERPOL member countries are assisted in planning and executing policing and security preparations for major sporting events, using best practices and lessons learnt from member countries that have successfully hosted such events.

The Economic Pillar

The SC has to date entered into agreements with Silatch and the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) with the launch of Challenge 22, a regional innovation award, and with a number of national stakeholders in the public and private sector under the Qatar Innovation Community (QIC). All of the stadiums are being constructed by joint ventures with a minimum of one local company as a member. A contract for 140,000 seats at three of the stadiums has been awarded to Coastal Qatar, a local manufacturing and construction company that will make the seats at their factory in Doha. One of the key points from Qatar's successful bid was for the use of modular stadiums. To that end, all of the stadiums under construction are being built using reusable components, which will be removed after the tournament is finished and donated. Some of the stadiums, in their reduced format, will be used by local sports clubs, or the building and surrounding areas will be repurposed as required for community needs – hotels, offices, parks, and even a renewable energy centre and production facility. One further objective under this pillar is identifying and delivering suitable temporary solutions for the transportation and accommodation of fans. It was recently announced that Qatar has chartered the use of two cruise ships in an agreement signed with Swiss-based company MSC Cruises, offering 4,000 cabins on these 'floating hotels' – just one of many solutions to come.

The Environmental Pillar According to the report 'We are committed to delivering a fully carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup 2022™ and aim to set a benchmark for environmental stewardship by implementing leading sustainable building standards, waste and water management practices and low-emission solutions. Through our work, we will leave a legacy of world-class environmental management expertise, technologies, businesses and standards in Qatar and the region.'

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The SC is committed to achieving a minimum fourstar GSAS certification for design and build, and construction management; Khalifa International Stadium achieved certification in 2017 and Al Janoub Stadium in 2019. Design specifications for these two stadiums alongside Lusail Stadium were compared to a baseline design and shown to exhibit energy savings of up to 47% and water savings of up to 44% during operation. Qatar is looking to increasing its energy efficiency by 10% by 2022 and during the bid stage, committed to hosting a fully carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup™. The SC supported the establishment of the Gulf Carbon Trust (GCT), the first voluntary carbon market in Qatar, while the SC Tree Nursery will facilitate absorption of greenhouse gases. Best-practice air-quality monitoring and control is at all construction sites to suppress dust, reduce movement of construction vehicles, and use modern equipment. Construction and office waste is being segregated and recycled on all SC construction sites and offices, and waste segregation will be provided at all stadiums. Responsible water management practices are in place and will be extended to the hospitality sector.

The Governance Pillar FIFA, SC and Q22 will be 'setting an example of good governance and ethical business practices at the forthcoming World Cup'. Objectives include periodic updates of the Sustainability Strategy, stakeholder engagement and communication, and sustainable procurement procedures. A culture of compliance will focus on risk assessment and management. This will include codes of ethics and conduct policies for all organisations, including anti-bribery and anti-corruption.

Alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals Implementation of the Sustainability Strategy is in line with the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This was adopted by world leaders in September 2015 and has 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or Global Goals, and 169 targets, which set out a vision for ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The Sustainability Strategy for the 2022 FIFA World Cup QatarTM has been aligned with the most relevant SDGs based upon sustainability topics and human rights issues. Overall, 11 SDGs will be achieved. For more information about the Sustainability Strategy or any other aspect of the 2022 FIFA World Cup QatarTM, visit FIFA.com/sustainability, qatar2022.qa and marhaba.qa m

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Profile for Marhaba Information Guide, Qatar

Sports in Qatar e-Guide: Winter 2020/21  

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, many facilities in Qatar are temporarily closed to the public. But don't let that put you off re...

Sports in Qatar e-Guide: Winter 2020/21  

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, many facilities in Qatar are temporarily closed to the public. But don't let that put you off re...