Designing Future-Proof, World Class Stadiums to Propel the Middle East to the Forefront of Sporting Tourism

Designing Future-Proof, World Class Stadiums to Propel the Middle East to the Forefront of Sporting Tourism
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Published August 26th, 2010 - 10:00 GMT

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Original, innovative, modern stadiums are being developed across GCC nations at an unprecedented rate. Each new development will bring fresh ideas and rapidly advancing technologies. Against the odds, it is evident that the Middle East is fast becoming an unlikely hotspot for sports tourism, as it looks beyond oil to diversify its economy. In the last two years we have seen sporting events such as the Dubai World Golf Championship, the FIFA Club World Cup Abu Dhabi, the 19th Arabian Gulf Cup and the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships to name but a few events in the region. The Arabian Gulf Cup having been run for over 30 years, was originally a football tournament but within the last 6 years it has been expanded to include other sports such as basketball, volleyball and handball, and now features national teams from Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Oman and Qatar.

For a region brimming with sporting potential and passion, the stakes are now being pushed higher with Qatar putting out an impressive bid to host the2022 FIFA world cup. Never before has the tournament been held by a Middle Eastern Country and Qatar have undoubtedly pulled out all the stops with their bid to be chosen as host country. With innovative designs being presented, it is clear that contemporary stadium development now involves a planning process far beyond thinking only about sports. There are now many motives that stimulate architectural imagination with the consideration of countless incentives and limitations. When discussing the direction of cutting-edge stadium masterplans, Sven Schmedes, Managing Director of GPM India commented that "the evolution of stadiums is only the beginning of a revolution triggered by operational and media requirements. I strongly believe that the next 12 years will result in a paradigm shift in stadium design and operation".

Sven also commented that "the growth potential for sporting venues in the Middle East is tremendous and the success of Dubai Sport City shows the demand for state-of-the-art facilities." With this in mind, Sven advised that the greatest challenge in the region at the moment is "to design multi-purpose indoor sport venues with an integrated and sustainable strategy for operation on a long-term basis".

Considering the ever-shifting concepts of cutting-edge, future-proof and revolutionary stadium designs, it would seem that now is a crucial time to keep up-to-date with leaders in the industry.

IQPC's Stadium and Venue Design and Development MENA will provide case studies on innovative designs, consider the challenges in guaranteeing sustainability and maintainability of venues and will present industry insider techniques on ensuring the legacy of developments through multi-functionality. Held in Doha, Qatar from the 7 to 10 November 2010, the second of IQPC's successful stadium events will bring together international key speakers to share best-practice methods of integrating local culture into design and harmonising regulations and requirements of global sporting associations to warrant the hosting of international events.

Stadium and Venue Design and Development MENA will be the region's ultimate networking platform for the sporting venue design and development industry and an opportunity to exchange best practices and practical solutions that can be implemented to guarantee ROI and develop for the future. 

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