Doha: First four trains of Doha Metro, out of a total 75, arrived at Hamad Port yesterday.
Mwani Qatar tweeted that they received the first Doha Metro trains coming from Kobe port in Japan.
The batch includes four out of a total of 75 trains that will serve the Doha Metro project and they took 21 days by sea to reach Hamad Port.
Doha Metro will be one of the fastest driverless trains in the world and will be the fastest in the region. It is capable of reaching 100kmph, Ministry of Transport and Communication said on their social media.
Qatar Rail said that the first group of trains came two months ahead of schedule and they will be transported to Al Wakra Depot soon.
“Whatever the circumstances and challenges, we will remain committed to achieve,” Qatar Rail tweeted.
Doha: Qatar’s 2022 World Cup preparations have been inconvenienced but not delayed by the political and economic blockade by its neighbours, the country’s most senior tournament organiser insisted Sunday.
Hassan Al-Thawadi, Secretary General the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said alternative suppliers outside those countries involved in the ongoing dispute have been found for tournament-related construction projects.
“The impact has been minimal,” Thawadi told Doha-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera English in an interview to be aired later on Sunday.
“In terms of stadium progress or stadium construction and infrastructure requirements for the World Cup, progress is being made as well.”
He added that the crisis has “caused an inconvenience”.
Asked outright if projects had been delayed, Thawadi responded: “Projects are on schedule. No delays have occurred.”
Qatar has been isolated since June 5 when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut ties with the World Cup host — accusing it of backing extremism and fostering ties with Iran — triggering the biggest political crisis in the Gulf for several years.
Doha denies the claims.
Qatar initially gave priority to Gulf suppliers for the vast construction projects — the country is spending $500m a week on World Cup projects — accompanying the controversial tournament.
Since the conflict began some have questioned whether the gas-rich nation can subsequently meet deadlines to build or renovate the eight stadiums currently earmarked for 2022.
But Doha has said it swiftly replaced Saudi and UAE companies with Chinese and Malaysian contractors, among others, since June 5.
Qatar is soon expected to unveil its latest designs for further stadiums.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has today revealed the design for Al Thumama Stadium – the sixth proposed 2022 FIFA World Cup venue.
Designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim M Jaidah, Chief Architect of Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB), the stadium is inspired by the ‘gahfiya’ headdress.
Hassan Al Thawadi, SC Secretary General, said: “We’ve always been very careful to combine the past with the future in our designs. The gahfiya is a continuation of that theme. It’s a blend of our heritage and culture, and a commitment to the future.”
Al Thawadi went on to say the Al Thumama project would shine a light on Qatari talent.
“Our vision with this World Cup was always to complement and assist in developing local talent, and shed a light on local industry,” said Al Thawadi. “Ibrahim M. Jaidah is a very well-known architect in Qatar and we believe he has the talent, the passion and the commitment for this project.”
Al Thumama Stadium will be built on pitches currently used by the Qatar Football Association. The Al Thumama district is located in Doha’s southern suburbs, 12km from Hamad International Airport.
The stadium will seat 40,000 fans in 2022, with the capacity reduced to 20,000 in legacy mode and the excess seats donated to a nation in need of sporting infrastructure.
Construction work has already begun, with the stadium due to be completed in 2020. The main contractor is a joint-venture between Qatari company Al Jaber Engineering and Turkey’s Tekfen Construction.
AEB, the company responsible for the schematic design, is the oldest architectural and engineering firm in Qatar. Its extensive portfolio includes the Embassy of Oman in Qatar.
Jaidah believes the stadium will symbolise Qatar’s emergence as a global sports hub.
“The design is a nod to the past, while offering an exciting glimpse into Qatar’s tomorrow,” he said. “In Qatari culture, the gahfiya forms an important part of every young boy’s pathway to adulthood.”
He added: “This rite of passage inspired my vision for the stadium’s design. It is an arena that symbolises Qatar’s youth and its emergence as a major player on the global sporting scene, ready to welcome the world in 2022.”
The stadium, which fans will access via dedicated bus services from a nearby metro stop, will feature state-of-the-art cooling technology and world-class accessibility facilities.
Post-tournament, it will house a range of amenities, including a boutique hotel and branch of Aspetar Sports Clinic. The stadium precinct will become a community hub featuring facilities for numerous sports, including handball, tennis and swimming, among others.
Engineer Hilal Al Kuwari, Chairman of the SC’s Technical Delivery Office, believes the design highlights the historical bonds that unite the Arab world.
“This design is a welcome reminder of the historical bonds that unite the Arab world as one people”
“Given its rich cultural inspiration, this is another fantastic design that everyone in Qatar will be proud of,” said Al Kuwari.
“This design is a welcome reminder of the historical bonds that unite the Arab world as one people. The SC, along with the main contractor and numerous stakeholders, will work tirelessly to ensure this stadium captures the imagination and leaves a strong legacy for the people of Al Thumama.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Hamad International Airport (HIA), Akbar Al Baker (second left), Secretary-General of Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Hassan Al Thawadi (second right), Executive Board Member of FC Bayern Munich, Andreas Jung (right), and Chief Operating Officer of HIA, Eng Badr Al Meer holding the Jersey of FC Bayern Munich during a press conference at the HIA in Doha, yesterday. Pic: Salim Matramkot / The Peninsula
Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) Secretary-General Hassan Al Thawadi said Qatar’s 2022 World Cup related projects and infrastructure are progressing well according to the schedule and haven’t been affected by the recent events.
In a press statements, Al Thawadi said the SC is moving ahead with its previously announced plans and wasn’t affected by the siege. He pointed to enhancing the partnership between HIA and Bayern Munich as a proof that life is going on normally in Qatar and that the sponsorship agreement benefits both sides. Bayern Munich Executive Board Member Andreas Jung said that starting with the new season, the Bavarian club’s shirts will don the HIA logo.
As a sporting icon in Germany, Jung said, Bayern Munich is the best partner for the five-star airport, stressing that the two sides are on top and aim to stay there. A Bayern Munich official store was opened in the duty free zone at HIA, allowing travellers an opportunity to shop for a selection of gifts and goods that bear the logo of the club.
Doha: Light rain has been reported from some parts of Qatar in the morning. Drizzling has been reported by our reporters and photographers from Al Thumama, Old Airport and Hilal.
According to the Qatar Meteorology Department, clear to occasionally partly cloudy skies are expected to continue today and tomorrow with a chance of scattered light rain over some areas.
“Satellite images and weather charts show widespread cloud cover over Central Arabian Peninsula due to the passage of Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) over the region. ITCZ is a convergence line between northwesterly wind and easterly moist wind that cause rising currents of air leading to formations of convective rainy clouds,” weather bureau said.
In addition to the passage of ITCZ over the region, the weather balloon launched from Hamad AirPort this dawn indicate the presence of relative cold advection in the upper levels of the atmosphere which helped the formation of thundery clouds with scattered light to moderate rain.
“It’s worth mentionaing that climate records show that rains have been observed over some areas of the country during August in the past,” MET said in a statement.
Vehicles plying on the newly opened southern part of Doha Express Highway (Photo: Baher Amin)
Doha: The southern part of Doha Express Highway and Hamad Port Road is now open to traffic. The southern part of Doha Express Highway will relieve the pressure on Al Wakra Main Road by reducing traffic congestion in the area by providing a highway with five lanes in each direction, connecting the south and north of the city.
The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) announced the opening during a ceremony that was attended by H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications, H E Mohamed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi, Minister of Municipality and Environment, and Dr Saad bin Ahmad Al Muhannadi, President of Ashghal.
These projects fall under the expressway projects that were opened recently to traffic and form vital parts of the expressway network to serve all areas in the country, including projects that serve the southern areas such as Al Wakra, Al Wukair and Al Mashaf.
The southern part of Doha Express Highway includes the main carriageway in both directions with a total length of 11 km, in addition to parts of the five interchanges included in the project such as access and exit ramps to enable road users from accessing and exiting the new road and surrounding areas, which will provide direct access from the southern areas of the country to the northern areas and vice versa.
The southern part of Doha Express Highway will relieve the pressure on Al Wakra Main Road by reducing traffic congestion in the area by providing a highway with five lanes in each direction, connecting the south and north of the city.
All four lanes in both direction of Hamad Port Road is open to traffic. The road is 14 km long and it connects Hamad Port with G-Ring Road.
Southern part of Doha Express Highway:
The highway is 11 km long, and it connects G-Ring Road with Mesaieed Road. It will ease access to Al Wakra, Al Wukair and Al Mashaf areas, and it is considered an alternative route for Al Wakra Main Road through its connection with Mesaieed Road and G-Ring Road.
Doha Express Highway includes five multi-level interchanges that will be completed in the next few months. The project also comprises 42 km of pedestrian and cycle paths.
The five multi-level interchanges include:
Al Mashaf Interchange: a two-level interchange that provides direct access to G-Ring Road in the south and residential areas in Al Mashaf west.
Al Wukair Interchange: a two-level interchange that provides direct access to Al Wukair Road and residential areas to the east and west of the interchange.
Waab Buhair 2 Interchanges: both are two-level interchanges, one of them eases access to some residential areas to the east of the interchange, and the other is connected to Mesaieed Road and provides direct access to Hamad Port.
Hamad Port Road
A 14 km long road that connects Hamad Port and G-Ring Road, and includes four lanes in each direction, easing the movement of trucks between Hamad Port and Industrial Area, enhancing the movement of goods between the port and all areas of the country, especially that the road is considered a corridor that reduces journey times, instead of the main Orbital Highway. Hamad Port Road is expected to reduce travel time by more than 15% especially that the road capacity is 8000 vehicles per hour in each direction.
The new road extends from Umm Al Hawl Interchange on Mesaieed Road to G-Ring Road that connects with the East Industrial Street through the tunnel at East Street 33 Interchange. This interchange was formerly known as Al Watan Roundabout, which was opened recently to form a free flowing road between Hamad Port and Hamad International Airport until Salwa Road.
Al Sulaiti expressed his happiness with the successive achievements by Ashghal and said: “opening the southern part of Doha Express Highway and Hamad Port Road is a great addition to the land transportation in Qatar, and it will contribute in enhancing traffic movement between Al Wakra and Doha, and between Mesaieed, Hamad Port and Industrial Area, and connect south of the country with the north.”
Al Rumaihi expressed his happiness with the opening of important and vital parts of the expressway, which we witness their opening consecutively recently, which shows Ashghal’s commitment to complete projects on time.
Al Muhannadi said: The opening of the southern part of Doha Express Highway and Hamad Port Road in both directions will change traffic flow in the southern areas through providing alternative options to Al Wakra Main Road, which results in easing travel for residents of Al Wakra, Al Wukair and Al Mashaf, this is in addition to the association of these roads with traveling to and from Hamad International Airport, Industrial Area and others.”
Ashghal is currently implementing three interchanges as part of the new road works that will provide free flowing traffic, which upon completion will enhance the connectivity of the new expressway with local areas and surrounding expressways.
It is worth mentioning that Ashghal has opened recently big parts of projects that connect the southern areas with the northern ones, especially those connected to Hamad Port, to ease goods movement. The latest of these openings was in July 2017 when it opened the 125 km long first phase of the Orbital Highway and Truck Route.
The vast tented city in Mina built for pilgrims during Eid al-Adha (AFP)
By Mohammed Osman / The Peninsula
International human rights organisations are expressing their concerns over the restrictions imposed on Qatar’s nationals and expatriates willing to perform the annual Haj pilgrimage.
Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med Monitor) yesterday urged the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) to raise the issue of restrictions being faced by Qatari pilgrims intend to perform Haj in Saudi Arabia.
Euro-Med Monitor in its letter said that it would like to draw IARF attention to the recent measures taken by Saudi Arabia against Qatari pilgrims wishing to perform Haj, Islam’s fifth pillar.
The organisation notes that due to current “political crisis in the Gulf and the blockade imposed on Qatar by its three Gulf neighbours and Egypt, Qatari pilgrims are facing restrictions which might affect their ability to perform this religious duty”.
Moreover, Euro-Med Monitor for Human Rights appealed IARF “to make sure that Saudi Arabia is not using Islam to achieve political gains, at the expense of the religious freedom of the people of Qatar”.
The Haj days are nearing which is going to take place by the end of this month while many Qatari nationals and expatriates will not be able perform the rituals.
The Saudi authority has not officially banned Qataris from performing the Haj but prevented companies from making the necessary arrangements for Qatari pilgrims by not allowing companies to secure accommodation and transportation within Saudi Arabia.
Other restrictions related to the air, land and sea blockade have prevented local companies from taking care of the necessary needs of Qatari Pilgrims in the holy lands during the Haj period making it a major logistic obstacle to perform the rites.
According to Euro-Med Monitor, Saudi authorities have allowed Qatari pilgrims to only enter Saudi through two airports, and further, they must travel via Doha. “This will prove to be extremely challenging for those who do not live in Doha, like those who work or study abroad.” Further, Saudi Arabia identified individuals that they will deny access regardless of the manner in which they travel, the human rights watchdog says.
In response to such concerns raised by Qatar and other international organisations, Adel Al Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, accused Qatar recently “of politicising the issue and demanding the “internationalisation of the Haj”. His claim was strongly rejected by Qatari officials including Qatari Foreign Minister, H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in an interview with Al Jazeera that “Qatar never politicised the issue of Haj.”
He added that “it was Saudi Arabia which is trying to politicise the Haj pilgrimage amid the Gulf crisis” and there is no suggestion made by any Qatari official to internationalising the Haj issue. Normally most of the pilgrims heading to Makkah to perform Haj sign a contract with Haj operators (companies) in their country; which in turn arrange with Saudi companies to takes care of accommodation, food and transport during Haj.
It has been reported that many Haj operating companies in Qatar became victims of the restriction measures of Saudi.