Qatar’s Lusail Stadium achieves five-star sustainability rating

Qatar’s Lusail Stadium achieves five-star sustainability rating
Delegates of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy posing with GSAS certificates at the Lusail Stadium. (Qatar News Agency)
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Updated 16 August 2022

Qatar’s Lusail Stadium achieves five-star sustainability rating

Qatar’s Lusail Stadium achieves five-star sustainability rating
  • Achieving a high rating is challenging, as it requires a project to adhere to environmental sustainability standards which include 50 sub-criteria.

DOHA: FIFA World Cup final venue Lusail Stadium has achieved a five-star rating under the Global Sustainability Assessment System, the Qatar News Agency reported.  

The rating system is administered by the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development.

The 80,000-person capacity venue has several environmentally friendly features, including water-saving systems.

The roof is made from PTFE, a material that protects the stadium from warm winds and keeps out dust. This sustainability feature allows enough light for the pitch to grow while providing shade to reduce the burden on the stadium's air conditioning.

Its design, inspired by the interplay of light and shadow, is based on the fanar lantern to depict the Arab and Islamic world's golden age of art and craftsmanship.

Lusail received a five-star GSAS Design & Build rating and a Class A* GSAS Construction Management rating.

The certificates were presented to executives from the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy at a special event on Monday.

They included deputy director general Ghanim Al-Kuwari, sustainability executive director Bodour Al-Meer, and sustainability communications manager Jassim Al-Jaidah.

“This recognition from GORD is an important part of our FIFA World Cup journey,” said Al-Kuwari. “Sustainability has been central to our plans from the start as we are determined to develop venues that boost local communities here in Qatar long after the tournament. We are very proud to receive these awards and pay tribute to everyone involved in the construction of Lusail Stadium, an incredible venue that will host the biggest international football match on the planet, the FIFA World Cup final later this year."

Al-Meer said achieving these ratings was a testament to the hard work of the project team to prioritize sustainability features from the design phase through to construction and operation.

“In addition to the roof, the project site has conserved 40 percent more water than conventional stadium developments thanks to efficient fixtures and leak detection systems,” he said.

GORD founding chairman Dr. Yousef Alhorr said Lusail Stadium had set a “new precedent” in environmental excellence, guided by the SC's sustainability strategy, by meeting the “exacting” GSAS standards.

“We congratulate the SC for advancing climate action by successfully translating green building principles into impactful practices. This is testament to the strong commitment to sustainability which has been apparent from before ground was broken at Lusail and other venues,” he said.

The chairman said Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup was a milestone as all of its stadiums would be designed, built, and operated in line with the highest sustainability standards, as well as obtaining a certificate from a neutral party to abide by these standards.

The two-stage process of obtaining sustainability certificates took time and effort, Alhorr said.

The first stage was the evaluation process, which included field visits throughout the project’s estimated seven to eight-year lifespan to ensure the building specifications aligned with the construction.

The second stage was the review of thousands of documents by the office to ensure the accuracy of the information and the credibility of adherence to the required standards.

Obtaining the highest classifications was challenging as it required the project to adhere to environmental sustainability standards which entailed 50 sub-criteria, Alhorr added.

The sub-criteria were organized into eight major axes: Energy efficiency, water consumption, environmentally friendly materials, location, urban communication, indoor and outdoor environment, and operating practices.

Lusail Stadium project manager Tamim Al-Abed said the stadium's receipt of two sustainability certificates confirmed the committee's efforts to implement World Cup projects sustainably, adding that Qatar had delivered on its promises to adhere to strict sustainability standards throughout all stages of stadium construction.

He said the most important criteria that contributed to Lusail Stadium receiving the certificates were the selection of building materials, operating equipment, and cooling devices in the stadium in an energy-efficient manner, transferring exports sustainably, and monitoring and controlling waste, electricity consumption, dust and noise during the construction period.

He also said the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 would be a green tournament because it considered sustainability requirements at all stages of project implementation, beginning with design and ending with project delivery and operation.

Lusail Stadium will host 10 matches, beginning with Argentina against Saudi Arabia on Nov. 22 and concluding with the final on Dec. 18, which is also Qatar National Day.

It will house several civic facilities for the local community after the tournaments.

Any seats removed from the venue could be donated to countries without adequate sporting infrastructure.

The eight stadiums hosting matches during the World Cup have also achieved a minimum four-star rating under GSAS.

UAE set to launch rover to the moon Wednesday

UAE set to launch rover to the moon Wednesday
Updated 49 sec ago

UAE set to launch rover to the moon Wednesday

UAE set to launch rover to the moon Wednesday
  • Rashid rover will blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, tomorrow (Nov.30)
  • If the lunar mission succeeded, the UAE would be the fourth country to land on the moon.

DUBAI: The UAE has completed the final preparations to launch its first rover to the moon, it was announced on Tuesday.

Rashid rover will blast off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, US, on Wednesday, Nov. 30, embarking on a five-month journey to the moon.

In a statement, Japan-based ispace inc. announced it had completed the integration of its HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander into the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

“We are pleased to have finished the first phase of the Mission 1 with the final preparations before launch completed,” said Takeshi Hakamada, Founder and CEO of ispace.

“To do this, we utilized a design and development model that balanced reliability and low costs by employing proven technologies and components from around the world,” he added.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) invited viewers from all over the world to watch the launch live at 12:39pm UAE time (GMT+4).

The rover will land on the “unexplored moon surface at Atlas Crater, on the southeastern outer edge of Mare Frigoris (“Sea of Cold”)” in April 2023, the center said.

“The target site criteria were carefully considered by the Emirates Lunar Mission Team, including the duration of continuous sun illumination and communication visibility from Earth,” the MBRSC said in a statement.

If the lunar mission succeeded, the UAE would be the fourth country to land on the moon.

The 10kg Rashid rover will study the properties of lunar soil, mobility on the lunar surface, the petrography and geology of the moon, dust movement, and study surface plasma conditions and the moon’s photoelectron sheath.

It will send data and images back to Earth, using two high-resolution cameras: Microscopic, and thermal imaging ones, said the mission’s team.

The lunar mission was the latest of the UAE’s effort in space exploration. Earlier in February 2021, the UAE made history by landing its Hope probe to Mars, becoming the first Arab nation to launch an unmanned mission to the red planet.

More than 300 dead in Iran unrest: Guards general

More than 300 dead in Iran unrest: Guards general
Updated 9 min 8 sec ago

More than 300 dead in Iran unrest: Guards general

More than 300 dead in Iran unrest: Guards general
  • The toll includes dozens of police, troops and militia killed in clashes with demonstrators or murdered

TEHRAN: Iran has for the first time reported that more than 300 people have died in over two months of protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody.
The Islamic republic has deployed state security forces against what it labels “riots” that broke out after the 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian died on September 16, three days after her arrest for allegedly breaching Iran’s dress code for women.
“Everyone in the country has been affected by the death of this lady,” said Brig. Gen. Amirali Hajjizadeh of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in a video published by the Mehr news agency.
“I don’t have the latest figures, but I think we have had perhaps more than 300 martyrs and people killed,” among them some of “the best sons of the country,” said Hajjizadeh, head of the Guards’ aerospace division.
The toll includes those who have taken to the streets as well as dozens of police, troops and IRGC militia who have died in clashes with demonstrators or who were killed elsewhere.
The latest official death toll is much closer to the figure of at least 416 people “killed in the suppression of protests in Iran” published by the Oslo-based non-government group Iran Human Rights.
The group says its toll includes those killed in violence related to the Amini protests and in distinct unrest in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, near the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Thousands of Iranians and around 40 foreigners have been arrested and more than 2,000 people have been charged, according to judicial authorities.
Among these, six have been sentenced to death, with their appeals set to be heard by the Supreme Court.
Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 that overthrew the monarchy, Iranian law requires all women to wear modest dress and a hijab head covering that conceals their hair, rules enforced by morality police squads that patrol public places.
Over the past two decades, however, many women, especially in Tehran and other major cities, have shown more of their hair, before the rules were tightened again — a flashpoint issue in the protests.
Iran has blamed its enemies for the civil unrest, pointing at the United States, other Western powers and Israel, as well as exiled Kurdish-Iranian opposition groups based in northern Iraq whom it has hit with repeated missiles and drone strikes.
Amid the heightened tensions, Iran’s national football team will play the US side at the World Cup in Qatar from 1900 GMT Tuesday — a match seen as highly political between the countries that have had no diplomatic relations since 1980.
Iran’s judicial authorities Tuesday announced the release of more than 1,100 detainees in 20 provinces, including protesters, following Iran’s World Cup win Friday against Wales, the Mizan Online news agency reported.

UAE, Europol bust cocaine ‘super-cartel’

UAE, Europol bust cocaine ‘super-cartel’
Updated 29 November 2022

UAE, Europol bust cocaine ‘super-cartel’

UAE, Europol bust cocaine ‘super-cartel’
  • Dubai police arrest 6 ‘high-value’ suspects linked to Netherlands, Spain, France
  • Emirates committed to joint global security pacts, says deputy PM

DUBAI: The UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan lauded on Monday the arrest of 49 drug kingpins, including six chief suspects in Dubai, involved in a “super-cartel” that controlled a third of Europe’s cocaine trade network.

The arrests were the result of coordinated efforts between the UAE’s Ministry of Interior, the Dubai Police General Command, the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation Europol, and several overseas law enforcement agencies.



With the support of Europol, parallel investigations launched in Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UAE targeted the activities of the prolific criminal network involved in large-scale drugs trafficking and money laundering.

Over 30 tons of drugs were seized by law enforcement officers during the massive international operation, Europol said.

Dubai had arrested two “high-value” suspects with ties to the Netherlands, two with ties to Spain, and two with ties to France.

“One of the Dutch suspects is an extremely big fish,” a Europol source told AFP.



Another 13 people were arrested in Spain, six in France and 10 in Belgium, while 14 people were nabbed in 2021 in the Netherlands as part of the same operation, Europol said.

Sheikh Saif attributed the success of Operation Desert Light to the cooperation between nations and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Joint agreements remained a key part of the UAE’s commitment to global safety and security, he said.

In September, Europol and the UAE Ministry of Interior signed a Liaison Officer Agreement, as part of this commitment to tackle transnational crime, Europol said. The agreement ensures the deployment of UAE law enforcement liaison officers to Europol’s headquarters in the Netherlands.

A UAE official has already joined the network of over 250 liaison officers from more than 50 countries and organizations with permanent representation at Europol.

Israeli fire kills 3 Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli fire kills 3 Palestinians in West Bank
Updated 29 November 2022

Israeli fire kills 3 Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli fire kills 3 Palestinians in West Bank
  • Rioters hurled bombs and fired shots at soldiers who responded with live fire

JERUSALEM: Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops in the West Bank Tuesday, the Palestinian health ministry said, the latest deaths in a sharp uptick in violence in the occupied territory.
Two brothers were killed by Israeli fire in Kafr Ein, near Ramallah, while a third man died of bullet wounds to the head fired by Israeli troops in Beit Ummar, near the flashpoint city of Hebron, the ministry said.
Commenting on the Beit Ummar clash, the Israeli army said it had opened fire on “rioters” who “hurled rocks and improvised explosive devices at the soldiers” after two vehicles got stuck during an “operation patrol” in the area.
The Palestinian ministry said a man it did not identify had died “after being shot in the head.”
It named the dead in Kafr Ein as brothers Jawad Abdulrahman Rimawi, 22, and Dhafer Abdul Rahman Rimawi, 21.
There was no immediate comment from the Israeli army.
Palestinian Authority civil affairs minister Hussein Al Sheikh described the killing of the two brothers as an “execution in cold blood.”
Hamas, the Islamist movement which runs Gaza, said the Israeli “escalation” would be “confronted by escalating resistance” from Palestinians.
Violence has flared this year in the West Bank, where the Israeli army has launched near-daily raids across the territory.
This week the army announced it had made more than 3,000 arrests this year as part of Operation Break the Wave, a campaign it launched following a series of deadly attacks against Israeli civilians.
The United Nations says more than 125 Palestinians have been killed across the West Bank this year. Israel has occupied the territory since the Six-Day War of 1967.

Three Israeli soldiers detained for suspected revenge attack on Palestinians

Three Israeli soldiers detained for suspected revenge attack on Palestinians
Updated 29 November 2022

Three Israeli soldiers detained for suspected revenge attack on Palestinians

Three Israeli soldiers detained for suspected revenge attack on Palestinians
  • Palestinian gunmen seized the body of an Israeli Druze high-schooler from a hospital in Jenin
  • The incident fueled expectations that the military could launch an assault

JERUSALEM: Three Israeli soldiers were detained on Monday, the military said, after allegedly hurling an improvised bomb at Palestinians near the West Bank city of Bethlehem as revenge for the seizing of the body of a teenager last week.
On Wednesday, in the occupied West Bank, which has seen an intensification of violence since March, Palestinian gunmen seized the body of an Israeli Druze high-schooler from a hospital in the town of Jenin where he had been taken after a car accident, according to the Israeli Defense Forces.
The incident fueled expectations that the military could launch an assault to recover the teenager’s body. But it was quietly returned after some 30 hours following negotiations that, according to a diplomat, had involved the United Nations.
The gunmen did not announce their motivation, but Palestinians demonstrated in Jenin the same day, demanding the release of remains of their relatives which they said Israel was holding. The Druze are an Arab community in Israel whose members serve in its armed forces.
The Israeli military said in a statement that it had launched an investigation into the attack on Palestinians near Bethlehem on Monday by Israeli Druze soldiers but could not provide further details.
Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz said if it came to light that the incident was an act of revenge, the military is dealing with a “severe incident which requires accountability.”
“Israeli soldiers don’t take the law into their hands and exact revenge,” Gantz tweeted.