The fourth blog in our Qatar 2022 series features the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha, designed to resemble the gahfiya – a traditional woven cap worn by men. Located by the Old Airport, 12km from the Al Corniche waterfront promenade, the stadium will seat 40,000 fans – and after the World Cup will donate 20,000 of those seats to developing countries.
Our role on the development of this World Cup facility was to provide the broadcast cabling infrastructure. One of the key considerations for our work has been to provide a solution that will allow broadcasters to use the stadium before and after the event, so we’ve shaped our design following input from local broadcasters Al Kass and beIN Sports, to complement FIFA’s World Cup match coverage requirement.
Our client is the joint venture between AlJaber Engineering and Tekfen Construction and Installation, who in turn are delivering the stadium for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. The system comprises multiple cable types, to ensure the stadium can cater for multiple broadcast options. This includes Triax, SMPTE hybrid fibre, video, audio and single-mode fibre cable, accessible through 80 wall boxes located around the facility. Most wall boxes are for match coverage, with the rest for interviews, arrivals, and other off-field activity. 170,644 metres (559,855 feet) of cable is being used in total, with the installation taking just over a year to complete.
Our biggest challenge has been to pull cables while the stadium is still a construction site, working around other contractors, waiting for services to be installed, and in high temperatures during the summer. On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented additional complexity, as we work to finalise the installation while trying to keep every worker safe. As you can imagine, wearing masks and other PPE in extreme heat and humidity is a big challenge, but we’re still on track for handover in the second half of 2021.
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