combined support facility area
months to complete
From the early days of equestrian and fencing to the popularity of football in recent decades, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a long and established sports history. The role of sports in KSA’s development was further emphasized in 2009 when the Kingdom announced through a royal decree the development of the King Abdullah Sports City to recognize the importance of sports and its benefits to the country as a whole. Included in this project was a 60,000-seat FIFA-compliant football stadium, an engineering and construction marvel that emphasizes the importance of sustainability and functionality. Saudi Aramco appointed Arcadis to provide project and commercial management expertise for the main stadium and associated sports facilities that were expected to be completed within 24 months in time for the 2014 King’s Cup.
When we commenced our work in early 2012, it was like being in the midst of a major international football game: there were a lot of people of different nationalities. They were focused on their part of the project that needed to be completed under an accelerated program. At the peak of construction, there were more than 8,000 site operatives working two, 12-hour shifts. As project manager, we used our comprehensive understanding of stadia design, procurement processes and construction management to sort out the collaboration between different teams to make sure that we achieve the project’s objectives without sacrificing the quality of work or the welfare of everyone involved. We also leveraged our experience in working with teams composed of people from different backgrounds to address key project concerns like the management of materials shortage and design changes.
The exemplary service provided by our commercial team, on the other hand, resulted in the successful audit of the project by the client’s independent auditors. This reflects the close working relationship between our commercial team and the client’s in-house business managers. By driving greater efficiency across different working groups, we were able to complete the superstructure of the main stadium in less than six months while the stadium itself was completed within the allotted 24-month period, resulting in a world record nomination for the fastest construction of a stadium.
Behind its façade, technological innovations and the number of manhours spent in building it, the King Abdullah Sports City stadium is an important piece to KSA’s vision of promoting health, economic and social welfare through sports. Aside from providing a venue to watch local and international sports events, the leaders of KSA hope to encourage its people to engage in sports and have a more active lifestyle through the stadium’s associated facilities including an athletics stadium, football pitches and tennis courts, to name a few. With a healthy population, the Kingdom will have the manpower to push forward with its Vision 2030.