"We will prove that Qatar's small size will be a strength in 2022"
The Fourth Annual Qatar Transport Forum held in Doha this week has gathered the most important stakeholders playing key roles in the development of the transport sector in Qatar. H. E. the Prime Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, and H.E. the Minister of Transportation, Jassim Bin Saif Al Sulaiti, led the list of dignitaries at the summit.
Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), delivered one of the keynote speeches at the event, stressing the close cooperation being undertaken with the relevant parties in order to guarantee the smooth movement of people during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.
"The size of the effort Qatar is making in the construction and development of facilities, infrastructure and the transport network in the country is no secret, partly because it will play a pivotal role in ensuring that Qatar offers an unforgettable experience for all fans, players and visitors in 2022," he said.
Listing the major transport projects underway in Qatar, such as the New Port, the highway network and the expansion of Hamad International Airport, the SC Secretary General emphasised the importance of these developments in allowing efficient crowd management during the tournament.
Al Thawadi said: "The ease of navigation and the short distances covered are one of the main characteristics that distinguish the 2022 World Cup. Following the successful delivery of the Handball World Cup this year, we will go on to prove once again that the small size of the country can be a point of strength."
He added: "Visitors will be able to travel between their homes, stadiums and public facilities with ease and within a reasonable time, which will allow them the opportunity to see more than one match a day, and save a lot of effort and money, while also allowing them to see the sights, enjoy the Arab heritage and the culture of the Middle East and Qatar."
Qatar's small size could also pose some challenges in 2022 in the management of hundreds of thousands of fans who will travel to Qatar for the tournament. "To address this challenge, the SC has made a point of permanent and effective communication with all relevant transportation sector institutions in the State of Qatar, in order to develop operational plans and ensure smooth operation and easy movement for all visitors during the World Cup in Qatar in 2022," added Al Thawadi.
In this context, the SC Secretary General added that, even though the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ is the catalyst for the completion of transport projects in record time and in accordance with the highest international standards, "the fundamental importance of this project lies in the legacy it will leave for Qatar, which will be much longer than 30 days. That is not limited to the completion of modern transport systems, but will also improve the quality of life for the people of Qatar, delivering a human legacy embodied in providing real opportunities for the development of human resources in the region."
Al Thawadi concluded by saying that, seven years ahead of the tournament, progress is underway on all levels. He said: "We deeply believe that the Middle East and the Arab world hosting the World Cup constitutes a real opportunity to enlighten the future of the region and will contribute to the recovery of its economy and give clear hope for the youth."