04 Jan 2018 – 0:00
By Rizwan Rehmat / The Peninsula
Kuwait City: The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has attracted thousands of visitors to their booth at ‘Qatar Zone’ in Kuwait City, showcasing its stunning stadium plans for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a top official said.
Inside a tastefully-designed booth set-up to celebrate the Gulf Cup football extravaganza, Qatar’s World Cup stadiums have grabbed the attention of every visitor to ‘Qatar Zone’, Khalid Al Kubaisi,(pictured) the Chief of Advisory Unit & Special Projects at SC, said in an interview.
Q: What kind of response you have received so far?
A: Actually you know in the Supreme Committee for Deliver and Legacy, we take every opportunity we get to promote our work or to showcase our projects to the world. This tournament (the Gulf Cup) is not just an event in which Qatar took part but we had teams from the entire region.
We have lots of people come in ask questions about our World Cup-related projects this week. We had the feeling that they seemed proud that such a huge event is going to be held in Qatar. The visitors like our stadium plans. We informed them about our development works. The fan zone is very good. We feel happy to be here where football is being talked about and the game is celebrated at large.
Q: Kuwait has great football culture. Do you think it was a wise move to set up Qatar Zone during the Gulf Cup?
A: For sure this was a good idea. This was a fantastic opportunity to make use of the Gulf Cup to promote our plans and projects. We always look for such opportunities where football is passionately discussed and shared.
We also set up similar booths when Qatar went to Riyadh for the Gulf Cup in November 2014.
At that time we had discussed the renovation plans for the Khalifa International Stadium which has been since unveiled and used for top football action. Over here we are showcasing our on-going projects. We are thrilled to be in this position to share our vision and plans for the World Cup.
Q: We can see a great number of people have turned up at Qatar Zone. Are you happy with the response so far?
A: Oh yes, we are happy with the kind of response we have got so far. This a perfect place for families and general football fans to turn up and enjoy what they do – follow the game and know more about it. They keep talking highly about our set up at Qatar Zone. We will do much better than this when the actual World Cup time comes around.
Q: The miniature model stadiums you exhibit here, are those the ones completed so far?
A: We completed the Khalifa International Stadium in May and played the Emir Cup final. In 2018 we will complete construction of two more stadiums.
The ones in various stages of completion are Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor Stadium and Al Wakra Stadium. Also we will reveal the design concept of Losail Stadium in the first quarter of 2018. So currently the Khalifa International Stadium is ready for use and like I said, we staged the Emir Cup final there last year in May.
The next stadium will be ready in 2018. And if you remember the Khalifa International Stadium was launched five years before the World Cup.
It has never been done like this before and yes, two more stadiums will be ready this year.
Q: When did you set up Qatar Zone?
A: It was done during the Gulf Cup that started on December 22. It was done at a very short notice since you know that the event was moved from Qatar to Kuwait. It was a challenge for us at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and for our friends in Kuwait to get this place up and running. This will be there till the end of this championship on Friday.
This was done at a very short notice but we got going the moment it was decided that Kuwait will host the 23rd Gulf Cup. Our friends in Kuwait helped us with our idea of setting up this fan zone in Kuwait. They also allowed us to name it Qatar Zone. It is a big event for us and that’s why we are here.
Q: So we could see more ‘Qatar Zone’ set-ups in the future also?
A: As I said, we will not hesitate even for a second to set up something like this. If we get any new opportunity to showcase our plans and vision, we will do it again. I am sure we at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy will do our best to be active in this manner.
The entire country is in full swing to realize our dream of hosting the World Cup in 2022.
Q: Will the Supreme Committee set up something similar at AFC Asian U-23 Asian Cup in China this month?
A: Currently there are so many plans with our communications department and under study. Those plans would be revealed in due course of time. You will get to know where and when we would have such set-ups.
Q: What’s so special about this Qatar Zone?
A: Well, there are many activities going on at the same time. We have cultural activities that include musical programmes.
We have different artistes performing here.
The artistes are from Kuwait and Qatar as well. In parallel we have two dedicated booths – one for Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and the other showcasing tourism at the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) camp. At the SC booth we go into detail about our stadium projects and level of completion.
We are using advanced technology to show what stage of completion we are in and where the new stadiums will be located. As you can see there is a virtual reality component in the SC booth.
That’s for kids and seniors to enjoy. We have put kids into our consideration as we discuss our World Cup plans.
As you can see kids also get to play virtual games as they learn about Qatar’s World Cup plans. They are spending quality time with us.
Our friends from QTA also are also participating with us in the Qatar Zone activities