When football enthusiasts flock to a World Cup venue, they expect more than a tent out in the desert to rest their weary heads, but that’s about all Qatar has to offer right now. In preparation for 2022, Barwa Real Estate plans to scrape together a massive artificial island to offer a luxurious temporary solution for up to 25,000 visitors.
The two million square meter Oryx Island right off the coast of Doha will be comprised of five temporary floating hotels on the project’s western flank and three permanent hotels.
An open air theater pavilion and a total of 234 villas for both temporary and permanent use are also planned.
For $5.5 billion, the development company commissioned HOK and ABS Architects to design the floating island in that takes the form of an Oryx – a striking white antelope that is indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula.
“We anticipate that there will be a short-term demand for hotel rooms, so maybe it is not [sic] wise to offer all these hotel rooms for only a short time,” Chief Executive of Barwa Abdulla al-Subaie told Reuters.
“Oryx Island can accommodate 20,000 to 25,000 people. Cruise ships can be docked for one week, two weeks. It can be mobilised and demobilised for a short time.”
Despite the obvious environmental problems associated with artificial islands that neighboring Dubai understands well, Qatar will “mobilize and demobilize” the pedestrian-only island for short term use.
Electric vehicles, water taxis and ferries will transport football fans and venues for watching the games will be scattered throughout.
Meanwhile, it’s still not 100 percent certain that the 2022 World Cup will be held in summer. FIFA’s medical chief is not wild about the idea even though Qatar has promised to provide the facilities necessary to keep people cool and safe.