On December 2, 2010, Qatar was announced to host 2022 FIFA World Cup. That was time for celebrating the first-ever Middle Eastern country to organize the tournament. The 1.8M population of Qatar then (2.8M today) never imagined the journey their country was about to embarked. Indeed, in less than 10 years, the population grew by more than a half, pushing the available urban resources and services to their limit. At the same time, the country undertook an ambitious investment plan of $200B on various infra-structural projects including a brand new three-line metro network, six new stadiums, several new satellite cities, and an astonishing 4,300km of new roads, which tripled the size of the road network in only five years.3
While this enterprise boosted the socio-economical life of people in Qatar, it did disrupt the way they navigate the urban space and their mobility patterns in general. Simple commutes to work, drops and pickups of kids to and from schools, became challenging and impossible to plan with daily changes in the road layout, including temporary and permanent closures, deviations, new connections, conversions of roundabouts into signaled intersections, turn restrictions, to name but a few. A commute to school that lasted 10 minutes yesterday, could last 25 minutes today. Cab drivers in the city of Doha (Qatar's capital), who are mostly foreigners, also wish they could rely on popular navigation services such as Google Maps, Here, or Tomtom.
No entries found