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The gleaming metro system built under the Qatar desert

(CNN) — It’s quick. It’s driverless. It has a Gold Class for premium passengers. And it is considered one of the most superior metro practice methods ever built.

This is the Doha Metro, a gleaming transportation system that may carry followers to their vacation spot in subsequent 12 months’s soccer World Cup and, it is hoped, will go on to revolutionize transport in Qatar.

Constructed largely underground and throughout the Qatari capital and its suburbs, the community has been operational since 2019, offering a dependable transportation various in a quickly increasing metropolis the place residents have lengthy relied on vehicles and visitors is regularly gridlocked.

Phase considered one of the challenge noticed the creation of 37 stations, with three strains — Red, Green and Gold — operating alongside a 76-kilometer (47-mile) community.

The absolutely automated, 60-meter-long trains have a 416-passenger capability and are divided into three sections: Standard, Family (for lone females and males or females commuting with kids aged 11 or youthful) and Gold (Goldclub Travel Card holders) class.


Clean and spacious, the trains can cruise at as much as 100 kilometers per hour (60 mph) and are absolutely outfitted with CCTV and public Wi-Fi methods. They even have USB ports in order that Gold class vacationers can cost cell phones and tablets whereas in transit.

Merging previous and future

The metro's trains can cruise at up to 100 kilometers per hour.

The metro’s trains can cruise at as much as 100 kilometers per hour.


Dimitris Sideridis

The stations had been all designed to characterize a imaginative and prescient of each modernization and preservation, fusing conventional options of regional structure with a up to date strategy.

“It was essential that the design would relate to its context, to the metropolis of Doha and to Qatar,” Ben van Berkel, co-founder of UNStudio, a Dutch structure agency that joined forces with the Qatar Rail Architecture Department to create the stations, tells CNN Travel.

“We needed to merge the previous and the way forward for Qatar in a single gesture, so we drew inspiration from varied conventional Qatari architectural components — notably the arch — and adjusted this to create what we discuss with as ‘vaulted areas,'” he says.


“So, whereas the exteriors considerably reference the monolithic power of previous Qatari structure, the inside areas create an impact of sunshine, motion and fluidity.”

Design and planning goals

The metro is a crucial part of Qatar's plans for hosting the soccer World Cup 2022.

The metro is an important a part of Qatar’s plans for internet hosting the soccer World Cup 2022.

Dimitris Sideridis

While curved varieties and illumination had been key design components, sustaining a transparent architectural id was additionally important.

Van Berkel mentioned considered one of the principal challenges with a model new challenge of this scale was “to create a design which allows each coherence and individuality.”

“On the one hand, it’s important to create recognition factors throughout an entire metropolis, whereas on the different, every particular person station has to have its personal scale, id and reply to its particular context,” he explains.

The architects tackled this by way of the use of recurring components and supplies, together with stable sandstone exteriors and putting interiors with a mother-of-pearl iridescence — a nod to Qatar’s lengthy historical past as a significant pearl-diving and buying and selling hub.

By devising a normal however adaptive system it additionally turned doable to make use of a wide range of configurations, every of which reply to the particular necessities and sizes of the particular person stations.

“The scale of the metro community in Doha required cautious planning to be able to adjust to a strict time schedule and obtain minimal disruption to the current infrastructure,” Van Berkel says. “For this motive, flexibility turned a design and planning goal on all ranges.”

Major artery

Msheireb Station lies at the heart of the network.

Msheireb Station lies at the coronary heart of the community.

Dimitris Sideridis

At the coronary heart of all of it is Msheireb Station, the largest in the community in addition to its interchange serving as a hub for all three strains operating by way of it.

Vast and smooth, the spectacular station encompasses a complete of 4 principal ranges and has a depth of roughly 40 meters. Past its illuminated entrance, triangular arched varieties adorned with hexagon-shaped pearlescent tiles lend a futuristic look that extends all the solution to the platform ranges.

The station’s wealthy inside areas additionally supply an array of economic outlets, whereas the modest exterior is dotted with bicycle racks.

Outside, commuters and passersby may also marvel at a mural by Doha-based artist Abdulaziz Yousef Ahmed titled “Family Reunion” — considered one of the a number of items of artwork on show alongside the community, which embrace a duplicate of the Greek statue of “Charioteer of Delphi” that World Cup spectators will come throughout upon arrival at Hamad International Airport metro station.

The world’s largest soccer occasion continues to be greater than a 12 months away, however preparations are already underway, with the new subterranean rail community at their core.

Inside the Sport City station, massive posters of blue-and-white footballs emblazoned with arrows level in direction of the route of the close by Khalifa International Stadium, considered one of the venues that may host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Eco legacy

The Msheireb station connects all three lines.

The Msheireb station connects all three strains.

Dimitris Sideridis

Organizers count on multiple million folks to reach in Doha throughout the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East and the Arab world — and the Metro system was designed to be its transportation pillar.

The system instantly hyperlinks Doha’s Hamad International Airport with 5 of the eight stadiums internet hosting Qatar 22 matches, with the remaining websites of the compact occasion being accessible through a mix of rail and bus choices.

Organizers say the Doha Metro will — in live performance with bus and tram routes — shuttle followers between their resorts, the stadiums and the metropolis’s varied vacationer sights.

“The metro system is environment friendly, electrical and makes use of regenerative braking methods which assist to scale back the carbon footprint,” World Cup organizers say on their website. “In addition, all the metro stations are designed and operated under inexperienced constructing certification — guaranteeing their inexperienced credentials.”

Looking past the World Cup, officers see the increasing Doha Metro as a key infrastructural part of the Qatar National Vision 2030 — the gas-rich nation’s improvement plan to diversify its financial system — that may profit future generations in the years to observe the soccer match last on December 18, 2022.

“The legacy that eco-transportation will depart is one thing that might be felt by everybody in Qatar lengthy after the World Cup,” says Thani Al Zarraa, mobility director for the occasion’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.


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