Aug 13 2014

Does Qatar have what it takes to construct the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Construction site downtown in Doha, QatarWith the dust now settled on the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and building works well under way in Russia for the tournament in 2018, the worlds construction industry is looking at Qatar as it firms up its plans to host the tournament in 2022.

Construction in Qatar
Qatar is no stranger to large-scale construction works. The country reinvests much of its oil & gas revenues into improving its infrastructure, and since independence in 1971 has experienced rapid growth through construction.

The oil & gas rich state was largely unaffected by the recent global recession, and its stability together with ambitious designs, attracts many of the world’s construction experts to help deliver large-scale projects in commercial, residential and tourism sectors.

Lessons learned from mega-projects in Dubai
Many of these project teams are familiar with mega-projects as a result of their experiences in Dubai.  Project collaboration and modernising the workflows involved with communication is essential to the success of large-scale construction projects.  Using a central collaboration platform means project members no longer have to print emails, manually mark-up drawings and either scan and send them back or post them back. In the past, when a contractual change on a project occurred, a project administrator would often have to drive across Dubai to find someone to sign-off an instruction.

Using a cloud-based application like conjectPC to integrate project members with the very latest designs, documents, drawings and changes helps to drastically improve efficiency and reduce the risk of errors.

Use of such systems is already underway in Qatar and they are proving their worth. For instance, Doha Festival City, a 6bn QAR retail and entertainment complex opened in March 2013 having been constructed with the support of the conjectPC platform. The application is also currently being used on the construction of the North Gate Mall in Doha.

What can Qatar learn from Brazil 2014?

1: Realistic budgeting and planning
The organisers of FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 initially expected the total cost of the event to be approximately £660m. They planned to deliver 94 major stadium and infrastructure projects during a seven-year programme of works across the country.

In reality, of the 94 major projects only 36 were completed in time for the World Cup. And the bill for the works was somewhere in the region of £4.2bn.

As a newly industrialised nation Brazil’s economy is subject to sharp inflation which led to massive cost increases during construction exacerbating those caused by delays and inefficiencies in the project. During planning this potential uncertainty on future costs should have been factored into the programme, so that a contingency plan was in place.

2: Don’t try to modernise an entire country’s infrastructure at once
The political decision to build new stadiums in remote parts of Brazil meant that the associated air, road and rail services would require substantial upgrades. Ultimately these transport infrastructure projects bore the brunt of the cut backs. With better, more realistic planning, cities which required less extensive transport improvements could have been used to host the games with more measured improvements being applied to a gradual improvement of infrastructure in other areas.

3: Set-up one central delivery authority
Responsibility to deliver the 94 major projects was shared between governmental departments throughout Brazil. For instance, the airports authority was tasked with upgrading the 13 airports, whilst each host city was responsible for the construction or upgrade of its stadium. With different working practices and different ways of reporting on progress, it made it difficult to ascertain the true status of the programme of works and to effectively coordinate and manage it.

Compare this to the approach for the London 2012 Olympic Games where the Olympic Delivery Authority was tasked with the delivery of the venues and infrastructure for the games and for the post-games legacy works. They engaged with construction specialists including Lend Lease and Mace, whilst coordinating activities with public sector agencies to ensure that every project finished on time and budget.

Notably, London 2012 was the first Olympic Games to be delivered without any fatalities during construction.

Related blogs:

Middle-East market focus: An interview with Dr Asif Sharif
2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums kick off with CONJECT
International construction made possible by cloud collaboration


About the author

Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason leads the UK and MEAP Marketing team, with far too many years in B2B marketing to mention. A CONJECT newbie, Michelle is eagerly climbing a steep learning curve.

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