Education City Residents Inconvenienced by FIFA Matches

Education City stadium hosted four FIFA Club World Cup matches between Feb. 4 and Feb. 11. Qatar Foundation announced that road closures and diversions across EC would remain in place until Feb. 13, angering the residents who took to social media and criticized QF for not prioritizing them and disrupting their everyday activities.

QF made the announcement in an email sent to all residents, with details about all the changes that the matches brought about.

Email sent to the residents by QF on Feb. 2 announcing details about the matches.

Access in and out of EC was restricted on the days during which the matches were happening. The gates were closed, delivery was only allowed outside of the gates, and ride-sharing services such as Uber were only allowed to meet their clients outside predetermined gates.

QF updated their guidelines on Feb. 11 and allowed deliveries next to the Ceremonial Court for residents of the female student housing and next to the Central Plant 7 Parking for residents of the male student housing.

Update sent to residents on Feb. 11 regarding locations where they can pick up deliveries.

QF sent an email to the residents with the locations designated for picking up deliveries on match days

QF also apologized for the measures taken to accommodate the matches and reiterated that their priority is safety and security after residents expressed their frustration about how the matches were managed.

In an email sent to all residents, Qatar Foundation advised residents to adhere to safety guidelines and “avoid crowded areas.”

Health requirements emphasized in the email sent by QF to residents on Feb. 2.

Hayat Rakab, a computer science freshman at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, shared her irritation with The Daily Q.

“I had the most frustrating experience leaving Education City and that’s because I had driving school at 6 p.m. every night, and so ordering the Uber was very frustrating because we would put the location at the Ceremonial Court parking lot, which is what they told us to do, but then the drivers wouldn’t know which gate to come to. And so, we’d have to call them and tell them and even when we tell them, for example, please come to gate 9 [the only designated functioning gate] and they would still get lost,” Rakab said.

Walking long distances to gates delayed food delivery, which took a toll on some students’ mental health, according to Rakab. She said her sister, for instance, had a mental breakdown because she struggled so much to get an Uber and had to walk aimlessly for over 20 minutes.

EC Residents who use personal cars were asked to move their vehicles from Oxygen Park parking, which is located close to the male student housing, to the South East car park on match days. Consequently, residents of the male housing had to walk 20 minutes to reach the South East car park.

Rakab also criticized the loud music in front of female housing, saying that it was unnecessary and disturbed students who were studying or sleeping.

“Parking a DJ right in front of our dorm was super inappropriate for us because we’re university students studying and trying to take naps and work, but then we hear loud DJ music and drums and cheering and it’s just super inappropriate,” she said

Chaewon An, a freshman at Northwestern University in Qatar, was especially inconvenienced by the restrictions on food delivery.

“Uber drivers would often get confused about the different gates and I would wait a long time. It’s also inconvenient to walk to the gates. Also, not being able to use the shuttle and the student center closing is a bit of a struggle for a lot of students,” An told The Daily Q.

Despite their frustration, some residents said they understood that Qatar Foundation imposed these restrictions to ensure the security and safety of the attendees and the residents.

“Most of the changes within EC are not great for students living in QF housing, but I also think they are unavoidable,” said An.

The Daily Q reached out to QF housing for a comment and has not yet received a response.


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