Hosting success sets new standards for future mega sporting events

Hosting success sets new standards for future mega sporting events

A visiting official says that hosting success sets new standards for future mega sporting events. The Qatar World Cup is the first edition of the significant soccer tournament ever held during December, and in the Middle East.

Qatar invested significantly in the mega-event, including revamping its national infrastructure. The sought-after ‘soft power’ implications start slowly but surely to show as the games unfold.

On the other hand, sustainable development requires, per the UN an integrated approach that takes into consideration environmental concerns along with economic development but, above all sustainability in the future. Will all those built-up infrastructures be of some use?

 


Qatar’s hosting success sets new standards for future mega sporting events: Bosnian Deputy PM

The Peninsula 25 November 2022

DOHA: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina HE Dr Bisera Turkovic said that Qatar did an amazing work to welcome the world during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and succeeded in establishing an incredible and excellent infrastructure, indicating that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has set new standards for future sporting mega-events.

In her remarks to Qatar News Agency, Her Excellency pointed out that Qatar’s hosting of such a global event will inspire generations of young people to come to embrace each other and create a more tolerant world.

Her Excellency said: “The whole world was watching the Al Bayt stadium for the opening ceremony. I am happy that I was present as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from the Western Balkans and a European country. The opening was a great global event for the first time to be held in an Arab country. Qatar has emerged into a modern, prosperous state, whose citizens enjoy opportunities and security, thanks to the wise leadership of HH the Amir, following the footsteps of HH the Father Amir.”

HE stressed the need to develop the culture of tolerance and respect, as highlighted during the World Cup opening ceremony, saying: “This is the first World Cup taking place in an Arab country and in a Middle Eastern country. It is a great chance for people to get to know a different culture and to learn about one great religion in the world.”

“The more we know the better chance we have for progress and stability in the world. Qatar offers open hand to all who want to come and witness what the Qatari nation achieved in such a short period of time offering unity of basic values and appreciation for difference with full respect of their own culture and religion,” Her Excellency added.

HE Dr. Bisera Turkovic indicated that previous World Cup hosting countries were not subjected to smear campaigns as Qatar was, saying: “Other countries did not receive such scrutiny when hosting global sporting events, even though those countries had many more things that could be criticized.”

Her Excellency explained that Qatar once again stresses that there is more that can unite people rather than divide them, and as sports are a healthy part of societies, it should remain clear from political influence, struggle to dominate, and imposition of bad habits such as alcohol and drugs.

The Bosnian official expressed her happiness that a Bosnian folklore group was present to take part in the world cup festivities at Katara Cultural Village for this truly global event.

HE Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that there are strong fields of cooperation between Bosnia and the State of Qatar, including political, economic, and cultural cooperation that is based on friendship and fraternity. This has been maintained through the exchange of visits between officials of the two countries at the highest levels and documented by the signing of many agreements and bilateral cooperation protocols. Her Excellency expressed her hope to see economic cooperation expansion during the coming period in all sectors.

Her Excellency added that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been working hard to attract public and private investment from Qatar through having more connectivity between the two countries, enabling direct flights with Qatar Airways, and increasing rights and security for Qataris in ownership of the real estate in Bosnia.

.

.

 

Facing heaviest delays in construction and infrastructure

Facing heaviest delays in construction and infrastructure

The Middle East seems to be facing the heaviest delays in construction and infrastructure, or so it is held in Consultancy-me

There is still much construction left in the gleaming steel and glass building of Qatar’s Doha Corniche (Google Maps street view picture above), which has stood incomplete and abandoned since 2010.  The reasons should not be very different from those elaborated on below.

 


Middle East faces heaviest delays in construction and infrastructure

 23 November 2022

 

Major construction projects in the Middle East run the highest risk of overruns in costs and delivery, with claims on derailed projects now averaging $154 million per project.

Now in its fifth edition, HKA’s annual CRUX Insight Report sheds light into the state of disputes in the major capital project and infrastructure sector. For its analysis, the global consultancy analysed claims and disputes on 1,600 projects in 100 countries for the period up to July 2022.

The analysis paints a worrying picture for project owners, contractors and other stakeholders. Globally, the combined value of claims stood at $80 billion, while cumulative delays added up to a staggering 840 years.

Facing heaviest delays in construction and infrastructure

Crux map

On average, costs claimed in disputes amounted to $98.7 million per project and more than a third of their capital expenditure (35% of CAPEX). From a time perspective, losses faced are even heavier. Claimed time extensions averaged 16.5 months – equivalent to 69% of the original planned project duration.

“Based on first-hand investigations by our expert consultants around the world, the report puts a number on the huge toll of project overruns on the global economy, our industry and project stakeholders,” said Renny Borhan, CEO of HKA.

The Middle East

According to the report, the Middle East is the world’s most challenging region for realising construction projects, with delays averaging 22.5 months or 83% of schedule duration. The average sum in dispute ($154 million) was more than a third of project expenditure (36% of CAPEX).

In the region, HKA’s experts assessed 380 projects in 12 countries, with the majority of projects in three segments: commercial buildings, onshore oil and gas, and transportation infrastructure.

Facing heaviest delays in construction and infrastructure`

Headlines figures

The prime causes of claims and disputes in the Middle East have been relatively steady for years. Since the first edition of HKA’s CRUX Insight Report, change in scope has topped the list.

“This chief cause is one seen in all regions. Projects are tendered and launched when designs are still immature. Change is inevitable in major construction projects and unless managed, inexorably leads to a wave of claims mounting into disputes,” explained Toby Hunt, a partner at HKA.

Scope change is followed by design information that was either issued late or incomplete, contract interpretation issues, and failure in contract management and/or administration.

Hunt: “Many of the dominant causes of claims and disputes in the region are design-centric and stem from lower levels of maturity in the construction and engineering industry.”

“The high-risk, low-margin contracting model rules in most parts of the Middle East. Risk allocation is skewed by heavily amended standard forms of contract with onerous terms on payments and liability. Often poorly drafted, they tend to include additional bespoke clauses that may have been designed to address problems that arose on previous projects, but conflict with other provisions of the current contract. Claims and disputes over contract interpretation ensue.”

Top causes of claims and disputes

Issues more specific to the region include foreign contractors’ reliance on (poorly) translated versions of Arabic contracts, and a relatively high competition for prestige projects – which results in over-ambitious bids.

Meanwhile, the growing skills deficit (exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic) is putting pressure on delivery, with builders and contractors struggling to recruit skilled employees. However, across the board, deficient workmanship was a far more significant cause of contention in Europe and the Americas than in the Middle East and other regions.

With construction and capital infrastructure activity buoyant in the region as national economies drive their diversification and investment visions, Haroon Niazi, co-leader of HKA in the Middle East, said that lessons being learnt from overruns should be captured and shared among the construction and engineering community across the region.

“Understanding the multiple reasons for distress on capital projects can help project promoters and the construction and engineering industry better mitigate problems on projects, and ultimately help them achieve better project outcomes.”

.

.

 

World’s largest floating city, in Saudi Arabia

World’s largest floating city, in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is planning a World’s largest floating city at an estimated eight billion dollars expense.  This Giga yacht is a massive turtle-shaped Pangeos that will house 60,000 people and have beach clubs, villas, and even a shopping mall.

 

World’s largest floating city, worth $8bn, to come up in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh –   A giant turtle-shaped structure – running 550-m long and 610 m wide – being modelled in the shape of a floating city for ultra-high-net-worths, is set to come up in Saudi Arabia.

The Terayacht project Pangeos, which is estimated to cost around $8 billion, is being designed by Italian studio Lazzarini and is likely to located at the King Abdullah Economic City, some 2 km from King Abdullah port. Once the work kicks off, it will take approximately eight years for completion.
The project, which is double the size of the Roman Colosseum, would be capable of hosting up to 60,000 guests at its peak, said Pangeos the Terayacht on its website.
“At the moment, Pangeos is just a concept, but it’s starting to his way to become something more than a computer animation,” said its founder Pierpaolo Lazzarini.
“The Terayacht proposal takes its name from Pangea, the supercontinent that existed millions of years ago during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras,” explained Lazzarini.
“Guests can unwind by staying in one of the many hotels, exploring its plethora of shopping centres, parks, beach clubs, resorts, as well as ship and aircraft ports,” he stated.
According to Lazzarini, the Terayacht would have its very own shipyard built specifically for its creation, and would be launched out of Saudi Arabia.
“A Terayacht needs a Terashipyard. The conception of a similar-sized vessel, involves the realisation of a specific shipyard/dam infrastructure that floods to levitate the terayacht when it will be launched,” he stated.
The project scope includes dredging work of one square km of sea by building a circular dam. Once dried the terrain will possible to start preparing the basement area, he added.
According to him, the floating structure subdivides the spaces in different blocks and the impressive sizes of the Pangeos structure creates an unlimited possibility in terms of layout and facilities.
“The hull is subdivided in about 30,000 cells. This space provide an unsinkable floating solution for the basement, which is composed by cluster compartments and connected by corridors,” stated the Italian designer.
“With 30 metres of draft, the ship’s enormous hull is made up of nine different bows and subdivided into several blocks. The structure also boasts a giant gate aft that allows vessels to enter this floating metropolis,” he revealed.
It would be powered by nine high-temperature superconductor (HTS) engines, each fully electric motor capable of a mind-blowing 16,800hp and powered by various onboard energy sources,” he added.

MENA faces extreme climate change threat

MENA faces extreme climate change threat

MENA faces extreme climate change threat warns Greenpeace

In so many countries and communities across the globe, especially in the Global South, people feel the impacts of the climate crisis in their own flesh. Working with a team of researchers, this is what we’ve been documenting in the Middle East and North Africa, where lives are being lost, homes destroyed, crops are failing, livelihoods are jeopardised and cultural heritage is being wiped out.The Middle East and North Africa region is warming at twice the global average. Ecosystems, inhabitants and livelihoods in Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates are all suffering from the impact of rapid climate change.

Across North Africa, including the countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, climate change-induced warming is already more pronounced in the summer, and wet seasons are becoming progressively dryer. Recent multi-year droughts have been unprecedented in the past 500–900 years. Despite the naturally higher temperatures and lower rainfall across the Arabian Peninsula, trends of further warming and drying are also evident and are expected to worsen over the coming decades.

Because of climate change, Africa is heating up and drying out, and this heat is set to increase to a possible range of 3°C to 6°C by the end of the 21st Century if Africa’s reliance on dirty fossil fuels continues. Global heating is leading to heavier and less predictable precipitation on some parts of the African continent, heightening the dangers of floods and landslides, while other areas are battling hotter, drier conditions, prolonged droughts, locust infestations, water shortages and crop failures. And coastal communities are on the front line of rising sea levels and more damaging storms.

MENA faces extreme climate change threat iddle East and North Africa climate change impacts - Red Sea corals bleaching
Some Red Sea corals are already at the limit of their heat tolerance and continued increase in sea surface temperature could lead to widespread bleaching. © Paul Langrock / Greenpeace

Life in the MENA region is challenging from the outset, with many countries naturally experiencing very warm and dry conditions relative to other parts of the world. However, what is happening now is anything but natural.

The Horn of Africa between droughts and groundwater supplies

The Horn of Africa between droughts and groundwater supplies

The Horn of Africa, between droughts and groundwater supplies that are increasing – why? 

Michael Singer, Cardiff University; Katerina Michaelides, University of Bristol and Markus Adloff, Université de Berne, detailed answers worth reading.

 

The Horn of Africa has had years of drought, yet groundwater supplies are increasing – why?

 

 

The Horn of Africa – which includes Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and some surrounding countries – has been hit by increasingly frequent and devastating droughts. Despite this, it seems the region has an increasing amount of groundwater. And this water could help support drought-stricken rural communities.

That’s the key finding from our new research, in which we discovered that while overall rainfall is decreasing, an increase in “high-intensity” rainfall has led to more water being stored deep underground. It’s a paradoxical finding, yet one that may help one of the world’s most vulnerable regions adapt to climate change.

In the Horn of Africa, rural communities live in a constant state of water scarcity punctuated by frequent periods of food insecurity. People there rely on the “long rains” between March and May and the “short rains” between October and December to support their lives and livelihoods.

As we write this, the region’s drylands are experiencing a fifth consecutive season of below-average rainfall. This has left 50 million people in acute food insecurity. The droughts have caused water shortages, livestock deaths, crop failures, conflict and even mental health challenges.

The drought is so severe that it is even affecting zebras, giraffes and other wildlife, as all surface waters are drying up and edible vegetation is becoming scarce. Worryingly, a sixth failed rainy season has already been predicted for March to May 2023.

Long rains down, short rains up

In a new paper we investigated changes in seasonal rainfall in the Horn of Africa over the past 30 years. We found the total rainfall within the “long rains” season is declining, perhaps related to the warming of a particular part of the Pacific Ocean. However, rainfall is increasing in the “short rains”. That’s largely due to a climate phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean Dipole, when a warmer-than-usual Indian Ocean produces higher rainfall in east Africa, similar to El Niño in the Pacific.

We then investigated what these rainfall trends mean for water stored below ground. Has it decreased in line with declining “long rains”, or risen due to the increasing “short rains”?

The Horn of Africa between droughts and groundwater supplies  Map of East Africa
The Horn of Africa borders the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
Peter Hermes Furian / shutterstock

To do this we made use of a pair of satellites which orbit repeatedly and detect small changes in the Earth’s gravitational field that can be interpreted as changes in the mass of water storage. If there’s a significant increase in water storage underground, then the satellite will record a stronger gravity field at that location compared to the previous measurement, and vice versa. From this, the mass of water added or lost in that location can be determined.

Using these satellite-derived estimates, we found that water storage has been increasing in recent decades. The increase correlates with the increasing “short rains”, and has happened despite the “long rains” getting drier.

Given that the long rains deliver more seasonal rain than the short rains, we wanted to understand the paradoxical finding that underground water is increasing. A clue is given by examining how rainfall is converted into groundwater in drylands.

When rain is light and drizzly, much of the water that reaches the ground dampens the soil surface and soon evaporates back into the warm, dry atmosphere. To become groundwater, rainfall instead needs to be intense enough so that water will quickly infiltrate deep into the soil. This mostly happens when lots of rain falls at once and causes dry riverbeds to fill with water which can then leak into underground aquifers.

The Horn of Africa between droughts and groundwater supplies People stand in river, rainy sky.
Heavy rains fill a dry river bed in the Somali region of Ethiopia.
Stanley Dullea / shutterstock

These most intense rainfall events are increasing in the “short rains”, in line with the overall increase in total rain in that season. And despite a decrease in overall rainfall in the “long rains”, intense rainfall has remained consistently high over time. This means that both rainy seasons have enough intense rainfall to increase the amount of water stored underground.

Finally, we demonstrated that the increasing water storage in this region is not connected to any rise in soil moisture near the surface. It therefore represents “banked” water that resides deep below ground and likely contributes to a growing regional groundwater aquifer in this region.

Groundwater can help people adapt to climate change

While early warning networks and humanitarian organisations focus on the urgent impacts of drought, our new research points to a silver lining that may support long-term climate adaptation. Those rising groundwater supplies we have identified may potentially be exploited to support people in rural areas whose food and water are increasingly insecure.

But there are some caveats. First, we have not assessed the depth of the available groundwater across the region, but we suggest that the water table is shallow enough to be affected by seasonal rainfall. This means it may also be shallow enough to support new bore holes to extract it. Second, we do not know anything about the quality of the stored groundwater and whether it can be deemed suitable for drinking. Finally, we do not know exactly what will happen if the most extreme droughts of the past few seasons continue and both long and short rains fail, causing intense rainfall to decrease too.

Nevertheless, our findings point to the need for extensive groundwater surveys across the Horn of Africa drylands to ascertain whether this increasing water resource may be viable enough to offset the devastating droughts. Groundwater could potentially irrigate fields and provide drinking water for humans and livestock, as part of a strategy to help this vulnerable region adapt to the effects of climate change.The Conversation

Michael Singer, Professor in Physical Geography (Hydrology and Geomorphology), Cardiff University; Katerina Michaelides, Associate Professor, School of Geographical Sciences , University of Bristol, and Markus Adloff, PostDoctoral Researcher, Earth System Modelling, Université de Berne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

.

.

%d bloggers like this: