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Site visit: Lusail Multipurpose Hall

by James Henderson on May 9, 2014

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If you mention the words ‘World’ and ‘Cup’ in Qatar, the chances are people will think you’re talking about the football tournament that will kick-off in 2022.

However, the final preparations are currently being made for an event that will begin in January 2015 – the Men’s Handball World Championship.

The event will take place over the two weeks from 15 January - 1 February and will bring together 24 of the best handball teams from around the globe, with Spain keen to regain the title they won two years ago.

The games will be played across four stadiums in Qatar, with the jewel in the crown, the Lusail Multipurpose Hall, which will be able to accommodate more than 15,000 fans.

The area that surrounds that stadium is very large indeed, at over 106,000m2, and includes playing fields, warm-up areas, changing rooms, a VIP area and VVIP lounge, a dedicated medical centre, restaurants, and office and media facilities.

Lusail Multipurpose Hall also has two additional buildings: Building No.2 or ‘Cooling Tower Building’ and Building No.3 or ‘Microwave Tower’ – which will be the main media hub of the site – and there is hope that it will be used as part of a successful Qatar bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.

But firstly, there is a concerted effort to get the stadium completed for the handball showpiece. As part of the push, a clock has been installed at the entrance to the site which is counting down the days, hours and minutes until the construction deadline, a move that Ali-Al Khalifa, CEO of ASTAD Project Management, says was a first in Qatar.

“We initiated the countdown clocks on some sites last year, including the arena here in Lusail. They show exactly how long we have until deadline and our commitment to meeting it.

We were the first to do this in Qatar and I’m pleased to say that we’ve seen some private projects in Qatar follow our approach. It is satisfying that others are adopting something from us which encourages transparency in the construction industry.”

ASTAD has supported the project from the beginning and, as well as overseeing the project management, has overseen the associated infrastructure that includes roads and bridges that access Lusail, and additionally in the irrigation, landscape and utility functions.

The site is abuzz with activity, with senior project engineer at ASTAD, Samer Daqaq, putting the number of workers at around 6,500.

“The site is operating 24 hours a day, and we have warehouses on site for storage and to allow fabrication to take place. We also have around 35 cranes working on the build, including a 500 tonne piece of equipment which is the biggest in Qatar currently,” he comments.

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