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Qatar’s world-class

facilities


From lifestyle to sports, to education and healthcare, Qatar is home to many top-of-the-line facilities for all

I.

The Al Shaqab Equestrian Club

Architect: Leigh & Orange Architects LTD

WHEN: 2014

WHERE: Education City, Gate 9, Doha, Qatar

INTERIOR DESIGN: Leigh & Orange Architects LTD

PRODUCTS: Equestrian excellence and horse breeding

Website: alshaqab.com

Qatar for years has been famed for its first-class selection of Arabian horses, so protecting this legacy and heritage was key for the country. This is where the Al Shaqab equestrian centre came into play and the club today plays tribute to this tradition by breeding, grooming and training some of the finest horses in the world.

The building itself has been designed as a horseshoe that spans over 980,000 square-metres.

Al Shaqab is a member of the Qatar Foundation and is situated in Education City. Taking advantage of this large area, the facility houses different sections for the horses. This includes the equine education section, which is a fully-equipped training academy and where horse riders of any level can practice.

Of course, the stunning horses themselves need their own care and this can be found in the equine exercise centre and endurance accommodation sections. Features like hydrotherapy, an exercise unit, an equine jacuzzi and a dry treadmill can be found here, as well as a horse walker, ensuring the horses are fully taken care of.

Other facilities include a breeding and show centre, endurance stables, the special Emiri stables and the Marwan Club which encompasses the restaurant, Chef’s Garden.

II.

Qatar National Library

Architect: OMA —
Rem Koolhaas

WHEN: 2017

WHERE: Education City, Doha, Qatar

INTERIOR DESIGN: OMA, Rem Koolhaas

PRODUCTS: Public library, digital library, auditorium, recording studio, study areas

Website: qnl.qa/en

Qatar National Library truly takes a traditional library concept to new heights with its exceptional design and facilities. A non-profit organisation that houses over one million books, with a focus on providing insight into the history and cultures of the Gulf region, it is one of the most spectacular places to see when in the country.

The library is located in Education City and aims to nurture and cultivate creativity, while preserving the nation’s Middle East as well as Islamic heritage. You can explore Qatar’s rich history by visiting the archive centre — home to centuries-old original documents, letters, telegrams, certificates and invoices that capture Qatar and the Arab world’s unique culture and heritage. You can also find early translations and editions of the Quran, and early works of famous European scholars on the history of the Islamic world.

It is also one of the most technologically advanced libraries in the world, with interactive properties such as an automated checkout and return stations and a people mover system, a wide range of computer systems, tablets, interactive screens and audio-visual equipment throughout the building. The library also offers free access to different creative areas for all users, it consists of a 3D-printing and scanning section, recording studio, and videography/photography room with equipment for digital design, musical instruments, virtual reality accessories, DIY electronics, and much more.

The building was designed by world-renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, and resembles two pieces of paper pulled up and folded diagonally to create a shell-like structure.

III.

Education City Golf Club

Architect: Jose Maria Olazabal

WHEN: 2018

WHERE: Education City, Doha, Qatar

INTERIOR DESIGN: Jose Maria Olazabal

PRODUCTS: Golf course

Website: ecgolf.com

The ECGC is a world class facility that seeks to offer a fresh and inventive take on the world of golf. A member of the Qatar Foundation, it is advanced on the global level due to its incorporation of education, innovation, sustainability, and research which all aid in spreading the culture of the sport among residents.

People can learn to play golf as well as enjoy the renowned facilities. They have various short game formats; a 6-hole championship that has 7 teeing ground options per hole, and a flood lit 9-hole par-3 course, all that have been designed by Spanish professional golfer, Jose Maria Olazabal, who has won two major championships.

IV.

Aspetar Hospital

Architect: Ellerbe Becket

WHEN: 2007

WHERE: Aspire Zone, Sports City Street

INTERIOR DESIGN: Ellerbe Becket

PRODUCTS: Orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital

Website: aspetar.com

Accredited by the FIFA medical centre for excellence in 2009, Aspetar is the first specialised Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in the Gulf for athletes.

The staff are some of the most qualified and leading sports medicine practitioners and researchers in the world. The hospital houses various centres that cater to the different challenges facing athletes, such as sports groin pain, sports cartilage, and sports spine centres. Other services offered include physiotherapy, sports science, orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation. Aspetar gives its services to local sports clubs and federations and provides services to international and professional athletes and sportspeople. This facility is part of the Aspire Zone which is a multi-purpose and recreation complex that was used during the 2006 Asian Games.

V.

The Aspire Dome

Architect: Roger Taillibert

WHEN: 2003

WHERE: Aspire Zone

INTERIOR DESIGN: Roger Taillibert

PRODUCTS: Multi-purpose dome for various sporting activities

Website: aspirezone.qa

Another impressive facility in the Aspire Zone is the Aspire Dome. This is the largest indoor multi-purpose dome in Qatar and includes a full football pitch.

The dome has the ability to hold 13 sporting events simultaneously in a climate-controlled area. It has won silver in the 2007 IOC/IAKS Distinction Awards for its unique architecture.

Some of the events hosted here include competitions for the 2006 Asian Games, the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

VI.

Aspire Park

WHEN: 2003

WHERE: Aspire Zone

PRODUCTS: Public park for families, coffee shop, restaurants, mosque, kiosks

A great place to go for a jog or have a picnic is Aspire Park. Located near the Aspire Tower, this park has multiple facilities that make visiting here more fun and relaxing.

The walking path is lined by beautiful greenery that spreads out across throughout the park. You will also find Qatar’s only lake here, with a bridge that crosses over to a coffee shop.

The park has multiple kiosks for different snacks or drinks as well as two restaurants — Burgeri and Sugar and Spice. Near the park there are also two shopping malls — the Villaggio mall which is within walking distance and the Hyatt Plaza mall.

VII.

The Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence

Architect: Roger Taillibert

WHEN: 2004

WHERE: Aspire Zone

PRODUCTS: Venues and equipment for various sports training

Website: aspire.qa

Aspire Academy contains programmes that help to develop well-rounded sports champions. They do this through providing global training methods that allow students to compete on an international level.

Students and graduates get the opportunity to compete globally including in youth and senior Olympic Games and World Championships. The main sports that the academy offers athletic scholarships for are football, athletics, squash, table tennis and fencing.

Since the academy falls under the Aspire Zone, students have access to all its facilities for training including the Hamad Aquatic Centre, the Warm Up Track, Khalifa Stadium and for the ladies only, Aspire Ladies Gym.

VIII.

Education City Stadium

Architect: Fenwick-Iribarren Architects Pattern Architects

WHEN: 2020

WHERE: Education City, Al-Rayyan

PRODUCTS: Football stadium for 2022 World Cup

Website: qatar2022.qa/en/stadiums/education-city-stadium

One of the many venues for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Education City Stadium represents quality, durability and resilience. Nicknamed the ‘Diamond in the Desert’, the stadium details triangles that create a diamond-like effect. These change colour as the sun moves across the sky, and at night the stadium glistens. Apart from the incredible exterior, the stadium also features advanced technology such as stadium cooling.

During the World Cup, the stadium will seat 40,000 people, but once the games are over, the venue’s seating capacity will be reduced by half, and the other 20,000 seats will be donated to help build stadiums and cultivate sports in developing countries.

Sustainability also takes up a large part of Qatar’s plans which is why many of the stadiums are surrounded by greenery and operate in renewable ways.

Sources: All of this information was gathered form the universities main websites and latest annual reports.

Photos: 1 – hussein ali/Getty Images, 2 – Tim White/Getty Images, 3 – trevor.patt/Flickr, 4 – Education City Golf Club/Facebook, 5 – Aspetar Hospital/Facebook, 6 – The Aspire academy/Facebook, 7, 8 – hussein ali/Getty Images, 9 – Allan Baxter/Getty Images, 10 – Education City Stadium/Facebook, 11 – Francois Nel/Getty Images

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