Monday 22nd May 2017
The 8th edition of the World Stadium Congress officially kicked off today in Doha where representatives from over 25 countries gathered to discuss the future of sport infrastructure development, tournament delivery and legacy. The event saw an impressive delegation of some of the famous international clubs and organising committees including FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Titans Cricket South Africa, La Liga, Rugby World Cup, Asian Football Confederation, alongside Qatar Stars League, Qatar Football Association, Qatar Olympic Committee, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and many more.
The congress kicked off with a welcome speech from the host sponsor, Vodafone, followed by back-to-back keynote presentations from local and international leaders. Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah Al-Thani, Director of Enterprise Sales at Vodafone, welcomed the international audience and highlighted Vodafone’s role towards building a memorable tournament in 2022 before Datuk Dell, Former Head of Police of Kuala Lumpur, and the Asian Football Confederation Match Commissioner and FIFA Security Officer, took the stage to share his experiences from AFC and FIFA on how to successfully deliver a world-class international tournament.
Eng. Thani Al Zarraa, Project Manager (Al-Wakrah Stadium), Competition Venues, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, then guided the audience through the current progress in Qatar and illuminated the path to 2022, inspiring confidence and belief that the road to the 2022 tournament will set the tone for future tournaments. This was followed by Commissaire Antoine Boutonnet, Chief, French Police – National Division against Hooliganism, Euro 2016, who shared insights and experiences from the highly successful Euro 2016 tournament in France that was modelled on creating a secure and safe tournament for citizens, visitors and athletes. Mr. Ali Al Khalifa, CEO, ASTAD Project Management, rounded off the morning keynote plenary affirming the role of ASTAD Project Management towards sustainability, legacy and delivery for the 2022 tournament.
The congress continued after the morning break with Ross Aitken, Venues and Cities Manager at Rugby World Cup, and Philipp Herpel, Managing Director at HFP, who shared updates and plans for future bids for the 2023 Rugby World Cup and 2026 FIFA World Cup ™ respectively. The day’s proceedings included presentations from leading solutions providers including GREE, Al-Taadhod, EATON and Space Hellas MicroTech before concluding with a session on fan experience featuring Alfredo Lorenzo, Security Director for La Liga, David Storr, Head of Safety and Security at Bristol Sport, and Chris Dite, Associate Director – Sport Venue Design and Major Events at Arup.
The congress is organised by IQPC Middle East who remains committed to hosting event that supports Qatar’s national vision.
Marco Cipolat, Head of Production at IQPC Middle East and Conference Director, stated, “We are at the half-way mark for the two-day congress. Today’s action was a testament to Qatar’s leadership in sport infrastructure development and we are thankful to our sponsors and event partners who consistently help us to grow this event. We are pleased to see the congress continue to grow in international prominence and we are honoured to host this event in Doha as it serves as the ideal location to connect with sport infrastructure professionals from the East and the West.’
Participating as the title sponsor of the event, Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah Al-Thani, Director of Enterprise Sales at Vodafone Qatar added, ” The timing of World Stadium Congress could not be better. We crossed a historic milestone in Qatar’s ambition to deliver a truly amazing 2022 FIFA World Cup™ with the opening of Khalifa International Stadium. As one of the world’s largest telecommunications groups, we see firsthand every day the stadium experience customers expect in terms of fast connection speeds, great mobile coverage and unparalleled access to video and social media. That makes us the ideal partner for those developing and operating stadiums – to bring that expertise to bear.”
The second day of the conference is scheduled to kick off tomorrow with a ‘round-the-world tour’ and showcase of some of the major stadium projects from around the world including Russia, The Netherlands, the U.S., Singapore and more.