SC, HIA and Qatar Airways launch fan zone to celebrate 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), Hamad International Airport(HIA) and Qatar Airways have announced the launch of an airport football Fan Zone in celebration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
The public inauguration of the fan zone was officiated in the presence of Qatar Airways Senior Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Salam Al Shawa, HIA Vice President, Commercial and Marketing, Abdulaziz Al Mass, and Communications Director at the SC, Fatma Al Nuaimi.
To celebrate the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, Qatar's airport has been transformed, ensuring that the thousands of passengers travelling through it never miss a moment of the excitement. The matches will be broadcast live at the airport in three beautifully themed viewing areas in concourses A, B and C, as well as in Qatar Duty Free's (QDF) Marché restaurant, where fans will be able to watch the matches while they enjoy a range of hot dishes. The viewing areas are strategically spread across the terminal so that viewers are close to their boarding gates. The three viewing areas have been designed to resemble a living room, a stadium and a majlis – a traditional Arabic seating area where guests are received. The themes have been carefully selected to ensure that passengers feel fully immersed in the viewing experience and get a taste of what to expect when Qatar hosts the world's biggest sporting event in 2022.
Official 2018 FIFA World Cup™ memorabilia will also be on sale at QDF's stores throughout the airport and shoppers will have the opportunity to take selfies alongside the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ mascot.
The iconic Lamp Bear area of HIA has been transformed to resemble a football pitch, which will feature games and activities for passengers. The entire terminal will come alive throughout the FIFA World Cup™ with roaming entertainment such as football freestylers, football jugglers and impromptu football matches around the airport. Over the next few weeks, it will also have pop-up activations including foosball games and virtual football. Die-hard fans can have their faces painted with the flag of the country they are supporting.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said: "We are just two days away from the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, a world-class event which we are extremely excited to be a part of. I am truly delighted to be offering our passengers from across the globe a unique opportunity to experience the joyous atmosphere of the FIFA World Cup™ as they depart or transit through our award-winning home and hub, Hamad International Airport. Passengers from all corners of the globe will be able to watch and support their football teams as they travel through HIA; home to our exclusive football fan zone.
The SC's Assistant Secretary General for Tournament Affairs, Nasser Al Khater, said: "Launching the airport fan zone reflects our objective to transfer the atmosphere of the tournament in Russia to people in Qatar who are passionate about football and keen to watch the matches. We also intend to familiarise Qatar's visitors and passengers in HIA with the Qatari culture and the exceptional experience we will provide for them in 2022. I'd like to thank our partners in HIA and I look forward to working with them to deliver the first World Cup in the region."
Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at Hamad International Airport, commented: "We are thrilled to be hosting Qatar's airport fan zone for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. We've worked hard to ensure that our passengers never have to miss a moment of the World Cup while they are at HIA, by bringing some of that excitement to them. As the airport of the State of Qatar, we have a unique opportunity to give the passengers transferring through our airport a peak into the country's passion for the sport. The fan zone also showcases the airport as the gateway to the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ destination and we look forward to welcoming all the fans through our gates in four years' time."
Head of Qatar Duty Free, Thabet Musleh, added: "This is an extremely exciting time for QDF, Qatar Airways, HIA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy as we collaborate together to allow all passengers departing or transferring through HIA to be a part of the FIFA World Cup Russia™ and soak up the thrilling atmosphere of the world's biggest sporting event here in Qatar. It is our commitment at QDF to continue to surprise and delight our customers through experiences like this unique fan zone, giving them an experience worth travelling for."
This initiative marks HIA's latest steps on the country's journey towards the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. It promotes Qatar's passion for football around the world as well as Qatar as a global destination.
To help prepare Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, HIA is set to increase its passenger capacity from 30 million passengers per year to a target of more than 50 million per year. The airport is also working together with the SC to process the arrival of approximately 96,000 passengers per day during the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.
In May 2017, Qatar Airways announced a groundbreaking sponsorship deal with FIFA, which saw the award-winning airline become the official partner and official airline of FIFA until 2022. The partnership, one of the biggest sporting sponsorships in the world, gives Qatar Airways extensive marketing and branding rights at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and the 2022 World Cup Qatar™, with an expected audience reach of more than two billion people per tournament.