(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Doha: A robust transport strategy implemented by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and a range of countrywide stakeholders helped deliver smooth journeys for millions of fans during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
With Qatar 2022 being the most compact edition of the FIFA World Cup in modern history, extensive planning and stakeholder engagement was required to cater for more than 1.4 million visitors – all attending matches at eight state-of-the-art stadiums within an hour's journey time of central Doha.
One of the main challenges was transporting fans, organisers and media between accommodation, stadiums and entertainment sites while the country was hosting four matches a day during the group stage.
“What made Qatar 2022 unique was its compact nature,” said Eng. Abdulaziz Al Mawlawi, the SC's Mobility Executive Director.
“Fans, players and staff were located in one place throughout the tournament and it created a tremendous atmosphere. It also presented a number of challenges from a transport point of view – we needed to deliver a wide range of options, engage closely with key stakeholders and communicate our operations clearly across multiple channels.”
More than 1.7 million people moved through Qatar's international airports during the tournament, while 17.4 million trips were taken on the Doha Metro – huge numbers which highlight the scale of Qatar's transport operations. The number of passengers was certainly boosted by the fact public transport was free for Hayya Card holders, which included fans, the media, staff and volunteers.
Al Mawlawi added:“We worked on a travel demand management system to ensure people could move freely and safely through the country's airports, seaports and land border. The system also focused on central Doha, the last mile area at all eight stadiums, fan zones, accommodation sites and transport hubs.
“We worked closely with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Transport, Qatar Rail, Ashghal, Mwani Qatar, Mowasalat and Karwa, among others, to make getting around the country as simple as possible. I would like to sincerely thank all our stakeholders for their outstanding collaboration and support – together we played a key role in helping Qatar deliver a memorable tournament and superb fan experience.”
Every transport option included a range of accessible features. The Doha Metro features 37 fully accessible stations, while there were fleets of wheelchair accessible buses and taxis in operation. All the approaches to stadiums were also accessible for disabled fans.
The SC and its stakeholders also prioritised environmental sustainability with a fleet of electric and hybrid buses deployed during the event.
Another key feature was a targeted communications campaign that provided transport news to residents and visitors. This included a dedicated social media channel and website which included maps and route planners for key tournament sites.
“I am confident we have created a blueprint for how to deliver a mega sporting event in a compact and sustainable manner,” said Al Mawlawi.
“We now have transportation plans in place, including crowd management strategies encompassing best practices and strong experienced resources in managing and leading large crowds, which all delivered a legacy for Qatar in terms of the transport infrastructure we have developed and the mobility experience of fans, players and officials.”