How the country set themselves up to astonish the whole world?
Although Qatar is very small with an area of 11,571 km², making it 9.5% the size of New York, it built new roads and a new metro system connecting all of the 8 stadiums. Qatar ensured all public transportation was totally free for fans with Hayya ID.
They also planned ahead for accessibility travel for people with disabilities with different facilities and for drive and park commuting as well.
Accommodation had been a trigger concern because everybody was not sure how a small country such as Qatar could host this event.
Aside from the fans, there were 32 teams with accompanying employees as well as families and friends. Also, there was the media sector with thousands of staff. That’s why 80% of Doha hotel rooms were block-booked by the Supreme Council and FIFA for these people.
The accommodation was for some sufficient, and there was evidence that the buildings in certain locations opened in time by the skin of their teeth and others where it never did make the grade. It wasn’t a disaster, but it was absolutely a stroke of genius to create a system of one-day-stay fans (with daily shuttle flights) to ease the burden on the country.
The massive investment plan to revamp Qatar’s infrastructure system was seemingly achieved in the main parts of Doha. Starting from the new sewage system and the road enhancement, with more than 240 intersections and ramps, in addition to lights, layovers, signage network, multilingual infrastructure, and much more, Qatar worked night and day to achieve relative completion.
The success of this tournament will go down to planning and the atmosphere created by a well-managed arrangement. It wasn’t perfect, however, for those who were able to experience it all, it exceeded expectations all round.
Alaa El Mongy is Senior Account Executive at Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me