Cooling technology at Khalifa International Stadium impresses as first 2022 stadium opens
Utilising an innovative cooling technology, which is 40% more sustainable than existing techniques, temperatures for the 2017 Emir Cup final were brought down to 20 and 23 degrees respectively on the field of play and in the spectator areas, while the outside temperature was 37 degrees.
H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), was understandably proud of the achievement. "It is proof of what we've always said. People thought the cooling technology was only a dream. The reality is it was in Al Sadd Club, and today it is in Khalifa International Stadium," he told www.sc.qa minutes after the full-time whistle.
"It is continuing, becoming something normal and deliverable, and the delivery is on the ground. It showcased the capabilities and the quality that we have."
He continued: "Everybody worked very hard, and delivered a stadium that is according to the standards that we promised for the World Cup. Operationally the team has done a fantastic job, and it's just the start.
"There's more to come, expect amazing, we're delivering amazing. Today is the first milestone, but there's more to come."
For the man leading Qatar's preparations for the first ever FIFA World Cup™ in the Middle East, the delivery of the first venue for 2022 was also one of the most memorable moments on the journey thus far.
"For me, it is probably one of the proudest moments of my life," he added. "Seeing the stadium delivered as it is, showcasing our commitment to delivering stadiums to the standards that we promised, and more importantly also operationally being able to deliver the Emir Cup to such high standards, it is a moment of pride for us.
"I congratulate the team, both the technical team and the operational team, for achieving this milestone. There are many milestones ahead, there is the Al Wakrah Stadium next, then other stadiums which will come on board.
On the pitch, the players were equally impressed with the new venue – and the cooling technology which allowed them to put on a memorable game for the sellout crowd.
"We felt very well on the pitch because of the air-conditioning, I'm very proud of this project, and the first stadium for the World Cup – it is perfect," Al Sadd captain Xavi Hernández told www.sc.qa after the game.
"The construction of the stadium is brilliant and everything worked very well at the venue. The cooling technology helped the players, we felt very well and it is a very good job, perfect to play football."
The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ winner from Spain continued: "I think we were the better team, and in the last minute we were able to score. I'm very happy to be part of the team, congratulations to all the supporters.
"I'm really happy and we deserved it. I'm very proud to be here in this new Khalifa International Stadium."
For the man responsible for developing the technology within the stadium, match-day conditions were optimal for the players to provide a spectacle on the pitch.
"We are very pleased with the way the cooling technology delivered during the match," said Dr. Saud Abdul-Aziz Abdul-Ghani, Professor at the College of Engineering at Qatar University. "It was the ideal temperature to play and watch football, and the district cooling concept allowed us to make energy consumption 40% more sustainable."
While fans left the venue impressed by the newly opened venue, young Al Sadd supporter Mohamed Khames was particularly excited. Just 12 and wearing his team's full kit, he represented the next generation of youngsters to benefit from the cooling technology.
"It is very good and we felt nice and cool in the stands," he said. "It was fantastic to see my team win the trophy here in the first World Cup stadium. In five years, I want to be back here and see Qatar play against the best teams in the world."