Venue Focus: Doha, Qatar

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Having hosted the Asian Games successfully in 2006, Doha boasts a wide range of modern world–class facilities. MEI takes a closer look.....

The focal point is the Doha Sports City Complex, which includes the multi–purpose 50, 000–capacity Khalifa International Stadium, Hamad Aquatic Centre and the Aspire Academy. The latter was Doha's jewel in the 2006 Asian Games and was built over 22 months with a minimum of 2, 100 workers on site at any one time, and is said to be the largest indoor sports dome in the world. The complex hosted gymnastics, badminton, weightlifting, wrestling, boxing, wushu and kadaddi, all under one roof. In all, Qatar invested $2. 8bn into building new infrastructure including state–of–the–art sports facilities for the 2006 Asian Games and an athletes' village that became a hospital once the Asian Games ended. Elsewhere in the suburbs there are five multi–purpose stadiums – Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium (20, 000 capacity), Thani bin Jassim Stadium (25, 000), Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium (15, 000), Ahmed bin Ali Stadium (27, 000) and Grand Hamad Stadium (13, 000). The city also has the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex as well as the Doha Golf Club, whilst there are several stadiums and sport facilities currently under construction, including The Wall Stadium, Paralympic Stadium and Doha Sports Museum. Other sports venues in Doha and its suburbs include:•Al–Ahli Stadium •Al–Gharafa Stadium •Al–Rayyan Stadium•Al–Itihad Sports Club •Markhiya Sports Club •Qatar Sports Club Stadium At SportAccord in Dubai at the end of April 2010, the Qatar 2022 bid team unveiled five eco–friendly, carbon–neutral stadia to media that would be used to host FIFA World Cup football games if the bid is successful: 1. Al–Gharafa Stadium – The existing 21, 175 capacity Al–Gharafa stadium will be expanded to 44, 740 seats using modular elements forming an upper tier. The facade will be made up of ribbons representing the nations that qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and will symbolise football and the mutual friendship, tolerance and respect that the tournament represents. The stadium will be downscaled to its existing capacity after the tournament ends. 2. Al–Khor Stadium– Al–Khor will be a brand new 45, 330 capacity stadium with a stunning seashell motif and a flexible roof. The permanent lower tier seats 25, 500 and the modular upper tier will seat 19, 830. The stadium will offer spectators a stunning view of the Arabian Gulf from their seats and will be located in a sports and recreation zone. 3. Al–Rayyan Stadium– The existing Al–Rayyan Stadium with a seating capacity of 21, 282 will be expanded to 44, 740 seats using modular elements to form an upper tier. The stadium is designed with a special 'media façade' membrane that acts as a screen for projecting news, updates and current matches. The stadium will be downsized to its current capacity after the tournament. 4. Al–Shamal Stadium– The brand new Al–Shamal stadium will have a capacity of 45, 120 with a permanent lower tier of 25, 500 seats and a modular upper tier of 19, 620 seats. The stadium's shape will be derived from the 'dhow' fishing boat of the Arabian Gulf. Spectators are expected to arrive from the Doha Expressway, water taxis, the Bahrain–Qatar Friendship Bridge and the new metrorail. 5. Al–Wakrah Stadium– The brand new 45, 120 capacity Al–Wakrah stadium will be located in a sports complex that will consist of an aquatic centre, spa, sports facilities and a mall. The centre will be a bustling centre 365 days a year and is adjacent to the future routing of the Doha Expressway. Qatar 2022 chief executive, Hassan Abdulla Al–Thawadi, said: "All our state–of–the–art stadia will be linked to a brand new metro system and totally integrated with a comprehensive shuttle bus network, allowing fans to travel to games by public transport. Fans will be able to watch more than one game in a day while staying in the same accommodation throughout the tournament. We have also designed our new stadia with legacy front of mind and, with their modular design, can be reduced in size after the World Cup to fit local football and community requirements and, in some cases, transported abroad for permanent use. What we have unveiled is just a foretaste of the much wider plans we will be unveiling. "Nigel Rushman, strategic advisor to the bid, said: "The unveiling of three state of the art stadiums and the improvements to the existing stadiums, shows Qatar's continued commitment to deliver a World Cup with the most innovative technology, allowing an amazing experience for all involved. "

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