The new 2022 building in Aspire Zone, the latest architectural marvel in Qatar, is an iconic structure thanks to its unique and aesthetically appealing design.
Inaugurated yesterday by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, it is the first such building of its kind in the world as it is in the shape of a year’s numerals – 2022 – when Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup.
The mixed-use building is spread over some 60,000sq m and includes administrative offices, an integrated health club, restaurants and cafes, meeting rooms and a lecture theatre. The building, which consists of four wings of five floors each, also includes about 600 parking spaces in addition to being directly connected to Khalifa International Stadium.
The inauguration coincided with the anniversary of Qatar winning the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, on December 2, 2010.
The building is the brainchild of Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad bin Nasser al-Thani, who developed the design under the supervision of prominent Qatari architect Ibrahim Mohamed Jaidah, in partnership with Antonio Capone, founder of P&C Associates (Milan).
Al Bandary Engineering was the main contractor for the project while Laura International was the developer. The design of the building was completed in 2013 and work on it started in mid-2018.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Nasser said: “December 2 marks a great day in Qatar’s history as it was the day our beloved country won the hosting rights of the World Cup. Qatar was able to dazzle the whole world by winning the bid and proving its worth through this historic victory. During my studies abroad, I was following Sepp Blatter (the then FIFA chief) as he pulled out Qatar’s name from the envelope in 2010. I then began to think about establishing a project that will be a legacy for the State and future generations. The idea was thus born and today, thanks to God, we can see it on the ground.”
He stressed that the unique project would not have been possible without the support of the state for Qatari investors and “our confidence in the Qatari economy”. “In this regard, I would like to thank His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and our wise government for supporting the private sector, which motivates us to come up with ideas that make Qatar an oasis of creativity.” He also thanked His Highness Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, Personal Representative of His Highness the Amir, who was the first to be presented with the concept back in 2013 and was highly impressed with and supportive of the idea.
The 2022 building is part of the Aspire Zone ‘masterplan’, he noted, thanking all those who contributed to completing the distinguished project.
Mohamed Khalifa al-Suwaidi, CEO of Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), said AZF always supports investors and presents them with investment opportunities. “So, when we presented such an opportunity, we came across the idea of the 2022 building project. It is a unique project as it complements the general plan of Aspire Zone. We congratulate Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad bin Nasser al-Thani on this project and wish him all the best.”
Jaidah said the building is yet another addition to the list of prominent projects in Qatar, and also helps entrench in people’s minds the most important event in the history of sports in Qatar. He expressed pleasure at being involved in the project.
Ahmed al-Rayyan, general manager of Al Bandary Engineering, said the building is an inspiring project to work on as it represents a historic and unforgettable year. “The facilities provided have helped complete the project on time and we are very proud of this historic building, whose legacy will remain for generations.”
Luigi Laura from Laura International business development company highlighted the strength of the Qatari economy. “We were briefed on the adequacy of the Qatari economy and the provision of investment opportunities for foreign investors. This gives a strong push forward and makes Qatar a gateway for businessmen and investors.”
Engineer Antonio said he believed in the idea put forward by Sheikh Nasser due to its importance and the embodiment of an important piece of history, besides being the first such project in the world .