In under two years' time, the entire world's attention will be drawn to Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and accordingly a large array of beautification and greenification projects are underway.
Doha's beautification is influenced by Qatar's traditional Arab aesthetics mixed with modern touches. The use of traditional elements from Qatar's cultural heritage has added a true soul to the city's appearance. The architecture of Doha's Hamad International Airport is a case in point: the entire airport is designed with the theme of an Arabic oasis, and traditional wave-like motifs are used here and there, including on the airport's iconic roof. A wide variety of desert plants, compatible with the region's climate, are placed across the building, which are irrigated with recycled water.
The greenification and beautification of Hamad International Airport may be a symbolic gesture, but more effective measures are also being taken to turn the high-income city of Doha into an eco-friendly capital.
The Doha Metro project, for example, is rapidly developing to reduce the citizenry's reliance on private vehicles running on hydrocarbon fuels. Since becoming operational in May 2019, Doha Metro has been carrying passengers between 37 stations across three lines, whose length add up to some 76km. Thanks to the implementation of cutting-edge railway engineering principles and the use of high-quality rolling stock, Doha Metro trains can reach the speed of 100 km/h, which places them among the fastest fleets in the world.
Shortly after its inauguration, Doha Metro's monthly ridership jumped to over half a million, which is considerable given the city's size and population. In the summer of 2019, a “total of 518,535 people used the metro in July, while 563,577 people used it in August,” according to The Peninsula, citing statistics shared by Qatar Rail. As such, the expansion of Doha Metro is in order. Another metro line will be rolled out before the FIFA World Cup in 2022, with the number of metro stations exceeding 100 across a total railway length of 350km by 2026.
As for the capital city's bus network, the country has decided to gradually phase out buses running on hydrocarbon fuels, replacing them with electric-powered ones, despite Qatar's wealth of LNG and easy access to cheap refined petrol. “By 2022, 25% of the public transit bus fleet in Qatar will have become electric. Public buses, government school buses, and Doha Metro feeder buses will gradually shift to electrification, thus hitting the roll-out percentage that is required to reduce harmful carbon emissions from buses by 2030, in addition to honoring the concerted efforts that aim to maintain environmental sustainability,” noted the Ministry of Transport and Communications in a press release in September 2020.