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Middle East Stadium Frenzy

The need for construction professionals with particular types of sector experience goes through different stages as different types of construction work is focused on in a particular country or region. For the last few years now there has been a heavy bias towards needing construction professionals with civils and infrastructure project experience in the Middle East. 

From speaking with numerous clients in the Middle East region and reading the local trade press, there seems to be a strong demand on the horizon for Quantity Surveyors, Engineers and Project Managers with sports stadium experience or comparable related experience.

Qatar's Need
Qatar originally announced its plans to use 12 football stadiums for the 2022 World Cup. 9 of the 12 planned stadiums were to be built from scratch and 3 would be existing stadiums that will undertake major renovation work before now and 2022. Back in April this year the organising committee decided that they would likely drop one of the new build stadiums and manage with 8 new build and 3 renovated stadiums.

Within the FIFA rules it is stated that the host nation must use between 8 and 12 stadiums to host the tournament so even by shelving one of the planned stadiums they are well within the regulations.

The total combined cost of the construction of the 8 stadiums and renovations of the further 3 is expected to be in the region of $3bn.

In total the 11 stadiums will be spread between 7 cities. After the tournament it has vowed to dismantle parts of the stadiums and send them to developing countries to make 22 new stadiums. The 7 host cities for the FIFA World Cup are Al-Daayen, Al-Khor, Al-Rayyan, Al-Shamal, Al-Wakrah, Doha and Umm Slala.

Qatar’s weather has been a worry for many, with the average daytime temperature being in excess of 40°C. However the organizers have plans to make the entire stadiums climate controlled and zero carbon emitting, the stadiums will take measures to reduce solar radiation and warm winds and provide air conditioning, these measures have never been used on a stadium of this size before.  There is also of course talk of reducing this need by rescheduling the tournament to a cooler time of year.

Qatar’s First World Cup Stadium - Al Wakrah
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) announced earlier this year that they had awarded the enabling package of work to the first contractor on the World Cup 2022 Stadiums. The successful contractor is responsible for the enabling of earth works – clearing the site, foundations and installing underground services. The first stage of this stadium is set to be completed by March 2015.

SCDL have also said they will be announcing the main contractor for this stadium by the end of the year. This is expected to be a joint venture between a local and an international firm. Original plans from the SCDL were to have 5 stadiums started by the end of 2014 however this is becoming a very tight deadline for another 4 to be started.

The Al Wakrah stadium is a 40,000 seater and has been designed to have detachable top tiers in order to reduce the stadiums capacity by half (20,000) after the World Cup. It has been said that the removable tiers will be donated to countries in need of sporting infrastructure.

Al Wakrah stadium was originally planned to be completed by 2015 however this have been delayed 3 years and now have a completion date of 2018. The award of the enabling package was a significant one as it was the first of the planned World Cup stadia to be awarded.

Slight Delays
Some believe the SCDL's plans to have 5 stadiums awarded and under construction by the end of 2014 are now unrealistic. Rumours are that the uncertainty behind the Qatar World Cup date and whether the tournament will even proceed in Qatar at all has left the organising committee taking a cautious approach to starting construction on the planned stadiums.

Already Demand for Stadium Experienced Construction Professionals
Despite the apparent delays, the construction of the planned stadiums do not appear to be too far away barring a drastic developments relating to the Qatar World Cup hosting arrangements.

Maxim Recruitment has already experienced a number of its clients expressing a desire for Quantity Surveying staff with previous stadium experience to work in Qatar to do cost planning and tender related work.

Saudi Arabia's Ambitious Plans for 11 Stadiums
As well as the vast amount of stadiums planned to be built in the Qatar, Saudi Arabia have also announced their plans to build 11 stadiums each with a capacity of 45,000+ seats.

Saudi Arabia is looking to fast track the construction of these stadiums and the hope is that they are due to start construction in January 2015. These stadiums have been announced with a tight completion within 2 years and a deadline of 201 for all 11 stadiums to be completed with their locations spread over 11 of Saudi Arabia's 13 regions.

High Demand for Stadia Experienced Candidates
Despite inevitable delays to a number of the planned stadiums there is likely to be close to 20 brand new state of the art stadiums under construction in the Middle East over the next 2 years. If you are a construction professional with experience on major stadium projects and interested in working in the Middle East region for a tax free salary then please upload or update your CV and contact details with Maxim Recruitment via our website.

Daniel Newham
Maxim Recruitment
Middle East Region

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