Qatar to deliver first underground metro in the GCC by 2019?

With the many multimillion dollar projects Qatar is handling, the underground metro line is said to be top priority. Metro lines exist in the GCC, specifically in Dubai, however an underground metro line is something completely new to the region. The Metro Line is said to reduce carbon emissions by 258,000 tonnes per year. It is also said to provide jobs for many and create sustainability and stability for Qatar’s growing economy. This project is also a great way of resolving traffic jams and road blocks. With the FIFA World Cup in 2022, the rail way system will resolve Qatar’s concerns of road congestion for the substantial event. Nevertheless any delay in this project will cause greater concerns for the 2022 World Cup, as the railways will be a primary source of transportation for the event and will heavily reduce traffic.


This multi-billion-project has so many aspects to consider in order for it to be completed successfully, the major concern would be time in this case.

As we know the railway industry has come a long way from the days of using manual labor for creating underground tunnels, and accordingly Qatar has managed to sign a deal with German Tunnel Boring Machine Herrenknecht, for the supply of 21 drilling machines that will manage to drill the underground passages of the metro line in two years time. The metro will consist of four main lines most of which will cover the greater Doha area and estimated daily excavation quantity is said to be 600 m³ with a total estimated excavation quantity of 5,000,000 m³, that’s a lot of drilling that needs to be done in two years! A great deal of monitoring and coordination is required to meet that two year deadline. Funding for the project may not be the greatest issue, however other issues need greater attention, such as machine maintenance, meeting daily targets, safety hazards, weather conditions, road blocks and so much more. Also, with the recent oil crisis in the middle east region, we may see a delay in current projects, however these things will be put into better perspective as we go further into 2015.


Railway projects are very costly and time consuming, some of the most famous underground projects, like the London Underground, took almost 40 years to complete, but with the major technological innovations in the industry, and the use of drilling machines, underground railway construction has become faster and more efficient. Qatar’s delivery date for the project is four years from now, which begs the question is this enough time to deliver a major project such as this one?

Also, with the FIFA World Cup 2022 around the corner from 2019, if any delays were to occur how badly would they effect the upcoming event? Could this risk be averted in time for it?




Will the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway Ever See the Light of Day?


The Qatar-Bahrain Causeway is a continuously delayed project in the Arabian Gulf region. The project consists of constructing a 40km (25mi) bridge (claimed to be the longest in the world) between the Qatar and Bahrain.

Plans for the construction of the bridge were first made in 2001. The project was approved for construction in 2005, and a formal agreement between the two GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) members was signed in 2006 to form a company, the Qatar and Bahrain Causeway Foundation, that would manage the project. Everything seemed to be on track for the project when it was revealed that construction would begin in 2008 and construction would last four years.

However, a series of events have dramatically delayed the project. The 2008 financial crisis certainly had a toll on the mega project, causing the estimated cost of the project to rise unexpectedly. In 2009, the initial plan to have the bridge accommodate motor vehicles was changed to include a railway as well. The railway itself is part of a GCC-wide railway project. Delaying one critical project can and will have significant effects on the other. Numerous re-designs to the bridge and escalating costs further delayed construction initiation from 2008 to 2011 and then to 2015, with a plan to complete the causeway shortly before the FIFA World Cup 2022 held in Qatar. Of the two countries, Qatar especially needs to manage all the projects they have at hand before hosting the world’s biggest event. This can be achieved by assigning more resources to all their projects, something not too difficult for the rich gulf state.


Politics always play a role when a project involves multiple countries. Bahrain and Qatar have had territorial disputes since the nineteenth century. One case is that of Hawar Islands, a series of islands located between the two countries. In 1939, when both countries were under British rule, London ruled that the islands belonged to Bahrain. Qatar tried to appeal the decision multiple times, only for the other GCC countries to intervene. In 2010, a Bahraini fisherman was found roaming Qatari waters, leading the Qatari coast guard to fire at his vessel. This incident reignited the dispute over the islands of Hawar. The bridge, dubbed the “Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Bridge”, ironically, may never see the light of day if these differences are never settled.

All obstacles and issues aside, the bridge will boost the economies of both countries considerably. Currently, a trip between Bahrain and Qatar can take up to five hours, and involves crossing through Saudi Arabia, which can be problematic for non-GCC nationals trying to obtain a Saudi visa. The new journey will be cut down to less than an hour.

If this project is ever completed, it will be one step closer to unifying the Gulf states as one country–a project of its own that’s been frequently discussed.

Do you think the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway will get completed before the 2022 World Cup, if ever? Is bad project management and estimation to be blamed for the delay of the bridge, or are there other factors?



FIFA World cup 2022 Qatar Stadiums’ Project

2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is one of the largest and most interesting projects that people around the world are talking about and looking forward to. Approximately, this project will cost around $220 billion (138 Billion Euros). This is actually much more than the previous world cup which took place in South Africa in 2010. The project is divided into many sections mainly are the following; around 100 billion Euros will be spent on building Stadiums and facilities, 31 billion Euros will be spent on transportation infrastructure, 48 billion Euros will be spent on training facilities and hotel accommodations for the teams participating in this event; and another 28 billion Euros will be spent on a new city which is called Lusail and this city will host the opening & ending ceremony of this event plus the top matches in the tournament.

The projected plan is two have a total of 12 stadiums around the country. Most of them which will be built are under construction at the moment, while other are current stadiums which will be redeveloped or revamped to have a larger fan capacity and more advanced technological efficiencies. The following is the list of the major new stadiums which will be built especially for the event:

1)      Doha Port Stadium – is a new stadium planned to be built on Doha port with an estimated capacity of 44,950 individuals. The stadium will be added with Air-conditioning facility along with a full security system in the stadium.



2)      Education City – this is located in Al Rayyan city, which will be estimated capacity of around 45,350 individuals. Following the World Cup, the stadium will be downsized to 25,000 seats for use by the University hockey team.



3)      Khalifa International Stadium – is a current stadium which is currently located in Al Rayyan City. It will be renovated completely in order to have an estimated capacity of 68,030 individuals. The stadium will be added with a full security system.


4)      Lusail City Stadium – The showpiece stadium and venue for the World Cup final, the Lusail Iconic Stadium will be a masterpiece of engineering. The stadium will have a near circular footprint and will be surrounded by a vast moat. The estimated capacity of around 86,250 individuals. The stadium will be added with Air-conditioning facility along with a full security system in the stadium.


Each of the above stadiums will have the ability to harness the power of sun rays in order to provide a cold and cool environment for the players, fans, referees inside the stadium, this will be done by converting the solar energy of the sun into electricity. Furthermore, once there are no games on the pitch, the solar energy installation will have the ability to export the energy into a power grid. After that, during the matches, the stadiums will be able to draw the energy from that grid.

All of the above is just one part of the project which is the stadiums. Imagining the amount of time, money, effort, studies, plans, and analysis that the project management team in charge of this project will have to put in. Will they be able to achieve 11 new/revamped stadiums, a whole new city “Lusail”, new training & accommodation facilities, a railway to the neighbouring countries to make an easier transportation, and finally having a successful event in terms of security & safety? It will all depend on a very effective implementation plan, a strong risk assessment and the efficiency & productivity of the people in order to execute this project. On the other hand, given the time period that this project must be completed in, (FIFA) Federal International Football Association’s rules & regulations on maintaining the quality must be met, so project managers will have an unpredictable pressure of maintain this quality throughout the project execution and be ready for unexpected FIFA delegates visits to assess the situation. It is interesting to witness the progress of this project in the coming years!