Local Organizing Committee of 2022 FIFA Arab Cup Reveals Plan for Temporary Closure of Corniche Area

Local Organizing Committee of 2022 FIFA Arab Cup Reveals Plan for Temporary Closure of Corniche Area By A Robin - November 15, 2021
Local Organizing Committee of 2022 FIFA Arab Cup

Local Organizing Committee of 2022 FIFA Arab Cup

The Local Organizing Committee for the Arab Cup FIFA Qatar 2021 announced, during a press conference held today, the plan to close the Corniche area during the organization of the Arab Cup FIFA Qatar 2021 from Nov. 26 to Dec. 4.

The Host Country Mobility Operations Director at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Abdulaziz Ali Al Mawlawi, stated at the conference, which was attended by representatives from several concerned parties including the Ministry of Interior, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the Public Works Authority, Qatar Rail, Mowasalat (Karwa) and Qatar Tourism, that in conjunction with Qatar's hosting of the Arab Cup FIFA Qatar 2021, Qatar will witness some changes in terms of transport in order to provide a distinctive experience for all football fans and the teams participating in the tournament alike, according to the highest international standards.

He explained that in terms of the public transport strategy, work will be coordinated with various authorities and partners to provide various options for public transport solutions to ensure the smooth movement of all guests and visitors to Qatar, in addition to developing plans for the movement of teams, official delegations and securing them, noting that the local organizing committee for the tournament will provide a variety of solutions and alternatives to facilitate means of dealing with these changes in the preparation period for the Arab Cup FIFA Qatar 2021, in a manner that does not conflict with the daily activities of community members, businesses and institutions.

Al Mawlawi noted that the fans and guests of the State of Qatar will benefit during the tournament from the state's investment in the developed transportation network over the past years, which contributed to shorten the distances between the tournament's stadiums, facilities and the various destinations in the country in a manner that ensures the smooth movement, pointing out that the State of Qatar will implement its strategic plans for transportation operations during the Arab Cup FIFA Qatar 2021 as part of its efforts to improve operational readiness for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and to provide the best possible experience for fans. 

Design Engineer at the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) Eng. Mohamed Ali Al Marri said systems are developed to detect vehicle queues and reduce waiting times at signals enhancing traffic control on roads, at traffic lights, and at the yellow box at intersections. He pointed out that an alert will be sent to the control room if the waiting time is long to reduce traffic congestion.

He explained that through these cameras, the road condition update will be activated so that any event, traffic obstacle, congestion, or accident is automatically identified and an alert is sent to the control room to take the necessary action.

As for the development and beautification work of the Corniche, Al Marri revealed that Ashghal continues to implement the most important works to develop Corniche street and the surrounding streets to achieve a better experience for the fans through paths, tunnels, and bridges designated for pedestrians. He added that Ashghal works on preparing the infrastructure for bus stops, pointing out that the Corniche Beautification and Development Project, includes the construction of four pedestrian tunnels for boosting pedestrian movement and facilitating pedestrian crossing on Corniche. Ashghal team is constructing three open plazas along Corniche with magnificent designs attracting visitors, he said. The plazas will have many artworks that highlight Qatar's historical and cultural identity and heritage, he explained.

He stated that connected paths for bicycles and pedestrians will be added on the Corniche to enhance traffic safety for road users and ensure the safety of crossing and movement of pedestrians and cyclists between the Corniche and the side connected to the tunnels, such as Al Bidda Park, Theater Park, and the Towers area. He pointed out that as part of plans to provide an enjoyable experience for the public, roads and public places will be beautified in coordination with Qatar Tourism, including interesting shows and eight interactive lighting and laser lights, extending from the Theater Park to the Shell Monument on the Corniche street, starting from Nov. 26 to Dec. 19 to coincide with the launch of the Food Festival organized by Qatar Tourism.

First Lieutenant Khaled Nasser Al Mulla, head of the technical team at the Ministry of Interior, confirmed that the Corniche closure committee has been established, which is subordinate to the committee concerned with transportation plans and operations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, where the work of the technical team is focused on following up and preparing all planning and operational matters related to closing the Corniche and the roads affected by the closure. He added that the Ministry of Interior and the participating security agencies have fully supported the committee in the planning stages and operating the plans, knowing that the closure period will extend from the dawn of Nov. 26 to Dec. 04, so that the Corniche Road is open to the public in the morning of Dec. 5.

Al Mulla also indicated that the traffic closure includes a closure from the Sharq intersection towards the Sheraton intersection in the north, and from the Sheraton intersection to the Port intersection in the south, while traffic will be open for those coming from the center of Doha towards the Port intersection and heading to the Sharq intersection. All roads leading to the Corniche street will be closed including from Al Fanar intersection towards the Corniche, from Al Jasra intersection towards the Corniche, from Al Marmar intersection towards the Corniche, from Al Diwan intersection towards the Corniche, from Al Maha intersection towards the Corniche, from the Civil Defense intersection towards the Corniche, and from Al Maha intersection towards the Corniche, and from Barzan intersection towards the Corniche, he explained.

He further explained that alternative means were provided instead of using vehicles, as follows: 37 stations, including seven serving the Corniche and more than 40 buses stations, in addition to the presence of open areas for pedestrians on the Corniche street, indicating that coordination has been made with all directly and indirectly affected parties from closing the Corniche by sending detailed maps to them showing alternative paths to reach their destinations.

First Lieutenant Khaled Nasser Al Mulla called on road users to use the Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor to cross from the south to the north and vice versa, saying that there is no objection to using the C-Ring Road and February 22 Road to go to the center of Doha. He added that they can use Majlis Al Taawon street, A Ring Road, and Istiklal street as an alternative to the Corniche to reach their destinations.

He indicated that the goal of sorting the movement of vehicles on the roads is to reduce congestion. He pointed out that heavy vehicles and buses have been banned from using the following roads: A Ring, B Ring, C Ring, February 22 road, Sabah Al-Ahmad Corridor, Mohamed Bin Thani street, Al Markhiya street and Istiklal street during the following periods from 6 am to 8:30 am, from 12 pm to 3 pm, and from 5 pm to 10 pm. The Ministry of Interior advises adhering to the instructions to avoid being subjected to a traffic violation in accordance with Article 49 of the Traffic Law, just as it is not permissible to use bus stops or obstruct them.

He said that Ashghal has created an e-portal for exceptional permits for the parties affected by the closure, and accordingly, the application must be submitted on the website to benefit from this service according to the conditions that have been determined.

In the press conference, the Head of the Technical Support Department for Tourism Events and Festivals at Qatar Tourism . Hamad Al Khaja reviewed the main features that Qatar will present to its residents during the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup Qatar, explaining that the 11th Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) will be organized as the main event during the tournament.

Al Khaja stated that the activities of the international festival will be held in Al Bidaa Park from Nov. 26 to Dec. 17 and in the Corniche area, the activities will be held on Nov. 26 until Dec. 04, which allows a large spread of offers and events through the participation of restaurants and hotels, as well as private projects in the country. He pointed out that this edition is the largest ever in the history of the festival in terms of time, which will extend to about three weeks in Al Bidda Park, in terms of space and participation as well as the quality of the accompanying events.

He indicated that the festival will adhere to the precautionary measures set by the Ministry of Public Health to preserve the public, as those wishing to attend the festival's activities must present the EHTERAZ application, adding that the festival area will be completely fenced to ensure the safety of individuals. He pointed out that 4,000 people will be allowed to attend at the same time during weekdays, and 6,000 people during the weekend. He explained that the festival will receive visitors daily from 3 pm until 11 pm on weekdays and from 3 pm until 1 am on the weekend, which allows the presence of the largest number of the festival audience.

Moreover, Media and Government Relations Manager at Mowasalat Company (Karwa) Khalid Kafood stated that the company will cover, during the closure plan, three main lines, including the Corniche, B Ring Road, and the C Ring Road, with many buses, and the waiting time will be approximately 15 minutes. He pointed out that this service will be launched from Nov. 26 to Dec. 04 at the same rate of flow, as the service will cover stopping points from both sides, the north, and the south, as indicated on the maps.

As for the transport buses on the B Ring Road, they will start operating from Nov. 26 until Dec. 18 at the same rate of flow, as the northern area of the street will be distributed through specific stopping points.

Furthermore, Chief of Corporate Strategies and Business Development at Qatar Rail Ajlan Eid Al Enazi stated that the Doha Metro will play a vital role through these temporary closures of the Corniche Street, announcing the rail's full readiness through 37 stations to deliver all its users to their destinations.

Al Enazi advised individuals to use the metro during this period to reach business premises or any other purposes, explaining that alternative solutions have been developed to reach the Corniche with ease, through seven stations in the Corniche area, including the National Museum station, Souq Waqif, the Corniche, Al Bidaa, West Bay, Exhibition Center, and Ras Abu Aboud, stressing the readiness of Al Bidaa station to receive and transport all individuals comfortably, especially during the period in which the Qatar International Food Festival will be held.

Chief of Corporate Strategies and Business Development at Qatar Rail pointed out that the Metrolink service will continue to operate through 21 stations during the closure period, and some of its routes will be temporarily diverted to alternative routes during the closure period. The MetroExpress service will operate through six stations, as usual, provided that the change of lanes will be announced to the public on social media sites and at stations, he added.

As for the metro stations where the "Park and Move" service is available, Al Enazi explained that there are nine stations, namely Lusail, Al Qassar, Al Wakra, Ras Bufontas, Al Waab, Al Sudan, Qatar University, Al Messila, and Umm Ghuwailina stations, pointing out to the need to follow the official accounts of the Doha Metro on social media and the Qatar Rail application, or by calling the customer service center on the number 105. There is also a customer service staff at the stations who can answer all inquiries related to the service.


By A Robin - November 15, 2021

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