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UK Minister of State for the Middle East visits 2022 FIFA World Cup headquarters

Doha: The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) – the orgranisation responsible for delivering the infrastructure for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar – recently welcomed a high-level political delegation from the United Kingdom to discuss progress four years ahead of kick-off.

Led by the Minister of State for the Middle East, Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, and joined by H.E. Ajay Sharma, the British Ambassador to the State of Qatar, the delegation was welcomed to the organisation’s headquarters in Doha by SC Secretary General, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi.

During the visit, the delegation was given a personal tour of the Legacy Pavilion by Al Thawadi and given detailed plans of all preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, including each of its associated legacy programmes.

A key part of the tour involved progress updates on each of the eight proposed FIFA World Cup tournament venues. As well as the already completed Khalifa International Stadium, the group was shown scale models and given key facts about Al Wakrah Stadium. Sure to become one of the most iconic venues at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the stadium was designed by AECOM, in association with British firm, Zaha Hadid Architects.

The group was also given updates and design, sustainability and legacy information on each of the other five revealed designs – Al Rayyan Stadium, Qatar Foundation Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium – as well as the final venue to be revealed, Lusail Stadium.

In addition to ensuring the infrastructure required to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup is delivered, the SC is charged with ensuring the tournament leaves a lasting legacy. Among the programmes and commitments discussed during the visit were Challenge 22, Generation Amazing, Community Engagement and the Josoor Institute.

Prior to the tour, the delegation received a presentation on Workers’ Welfare – one of the SC’s priority legacy commitments. During the hour-long session a number of issues were discussed, including the SC’s work with independent external regulators such as Impactt Ltd. and Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI).

The group also discussed other initiatives including a workers’ nutrition programme with Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, an innovative cooling vest pilot, the Workers’ Welfare Forum elections and the recent collaboration with The Phoenix Partnership to deliver a pilot project which provides workers with health cards in order to keep electronic health records.

Following the visit, Al Thawadi said: “Qatar and the UK share a close relationship, in business and in sport. We look forward to further developing these relations, especially when Qatar hosts the greatest football tournament in 2022, and we hope that many UK fans will come to Qatar to enjoy the first edition of the World Cup in the Middle East.

“In February we were delighted to welcome another delegation from the UK to Qatar, the English Football Association. We built on the already strong bonds between our two sporting communities in the signing of an MoU – to promote grassroots initiatives – between the SC and The FA.

“I hope Alistair and his guests were impressed with what they have seen here. We look forward to welcoming them back to Qatar in 2022, if not before.”

Mahmoud Qutub, Workers’ Welfare Executive Director, said: “Over the last couple of years we have engaged heavily with NGOs, industry experts and companies representing the private sector from the UK. This was an important opportunity to reflect the outcomes of those conversations and demonstrate the progress we are making as a result.

“Clearly Alistair is a man who cares deeply about the issues we are working on here in Qatar. We were glad to talk openly about the progress we have made, as well as some of the challenges we are facing along the way.”

Rt Hon Alistair Burt said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy during my visit to Qatar. Football is a great way to bring people and cultures together and the UK offers support to Qatar as it hosts the first World Cup in the Arab world.

“During my visit I was interested to hear from the Worker Welfare department about the work the Supreme Committee is doing to improve the situation for the workers on its sites, including through dispute resolution, inspections and technological developments. I hope improvements will continue to be implemented.”

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