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Qatar World Cup client: 'We're open to working with all firms'

Abdulaziz_Al_Mawlawi_2
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Abdulaziz Ali Al-Mawlawi, technical manager at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, discusses 2022 World Cup opportunities, Zaha Hadid and migrant workers’ welfare

FIFA has yet to decide whether Qatar 2022 must have eight stadiums or twelve. Could there be new design competitions if the latter is chosen?

We are currently working on eight stadiums, six have already been awarded [Al Wakrah by Zaha Hadid Architects, Lusail by Foster + Partners, Al Rayyan by Pattern, Qatar Foundation by Fenwick Iribarren Architects, and Al Bayt and Khalifa both by Dar Al Handasah] and a further two are under design tender, but if the decision is made for extra stadiums, yes, we will have competitions.

Will there be opportunities for UK firms to bid for smaller commissions such as temporary structures for stadiums and other supporting facilities?

It’s not our call to offer these opportunities. There will always be opportunities, but interested firms should look to the main consultant or contractor on each stadium. If firms would like to interact with us, there is a form on our website where you can apply to register and join our database should further opportunities arise. The website also identifies these opportunities when they come along.

‘There have been no deaths on World Cup construction projects’

What further opportunities may be on horizon for UK architects? For instance, have design contracts been awarded for the FIFA headquarters and international broadcast centre?

We haven’t concluded how we are going ahead with these, and they are still in the planning phase. The Supreme Committee has two main departments, one for stadiums and another for infrastructure such as accommodation and transportation. We also have a legacy department focusing on all development after the tournament, which we will plan and design but which will be delivered by different stakeholders. We’re open to working with all firms, UK and regional. We are a very multinational organisation.

Has Zaha Hadid’s reputation been damaged by Japan scrapping her Tokyo Olympic stadium amid cost concerns?

It’s something between her and Japan actually. One of our designs [Al Wakrah] is by Zaha Hadid but it’s a totally different situation and different context.  At the same time she has delivered a lot of other projects around the world so we cannot judge her on just one stadium.  We are proceeding with our design and building our stadium – it’s not an issue for us.

Was Hadid right to walk out of her interview with the BBC when challenged with an incorrect claim workers had died on her Al Wakrah construction site?

This is something for Zaha Hadid and not within the context of our session here. She’s a great designer, it’s a good stadium and a very brilliant stadium in terms of design. The important thing is to correct the factual inaccuracies and we will leave that with Zaha Hadid.

It’s claimed 1,200 migrant workers have died on construction projects within Qatar since the country was awarded thpe World Cup in 2010. What measures are in place to safeguard safety on World Cup schemes?

There have been no deaths on World Cup construction projects. Our workers’ welfare standard was released in February 2014 and implementation and enforcement is ongoing. All our contractors have the standards in their contracts and they have to follow and comply with them. These are set to ensure the ultimate best standards – better than some of the world standards – in terms of welfare. Not only do they address safety and on-site welfare, but also accommodation.

Will reform of Qatar’s Kafala sponsorship system for migrant workers guarantee a reduction in construction project deaths across the country?

We cannot speak on the state’s behalf, and there are representatives you can contact for responses, but obviously as you can see the state is going under that insight and they are moving forward with certain announcements. It is well progressed and in coordination with everyone in the country. We are there in terms of supporting all of this.

Qatar World Cup schemes

Qatar World Cup schemes

Qatar World Cup schemes

Al Wakrah Stadium by Zaha Hadid

Qatar World Cup schemes

Qatar World Cup schemes

Qatar Foundation Stadium by Fenwick Irabarren Architects

Qatar World Cup schemes

Qatar World Cup schemes

Khalifa International Stadium Dar Al Handasah

Qatar World Cup schemes

Qatar World Cup schemes

Al Rayyan Stadium by Pattern

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