The total number of passengers who used the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram networks during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ – from November 20 to December 18, 2022 – reached 18.2 million, with 17.4 million and 0.8 million passengers using Doha Metro and Lusail Tram respectively, Qatar Rail has announced. This translates to an average daily ridership of 600,000 for Metro, and 27,000 for Tram.
Doha Metro trains performed a total of more than 79,000 trips, travelling a total of almost 1.5 million kilometers, equivalent to two journeys to the moon and back. The total distance passengers travelled during the tournament exceeded 200 million kilometers, which is 1.4 times the distance to the sun.
Throughout the tournament, metro and tram services witnessed a huge turnout, especially during the first thirteen days when the group stage saw four daily matches played across eight stadiums. With the tournament hitting the highest-ever attendance in FIFA's history during group stages, Doha Metro & Lusail Tram made an exceptional contribution to providing a safe and reliable travel experience to fans who attended up to four matches a day, in addition to carrying them to fan zones, event areas, and key destinations across the city. During this period, Doha Metro trains were amongst the busiest trains anywhere in the world.
Managing Director and CEO of Qatar Rail H.E. Dr. Abdulla bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Subaie said:
“This edition of the World Cup was undoubtedly an exceptional one, the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 represents a historical milestone for the state of Qatar and the successful delivery of this global event will shine a bright light, through which the world will see the State of Qatar. At Qatar Rail, we are indeed proud of the tournament's success, which we attribute to the high level of preparedness and coordination among all key stakeholders. We highly prize the Ministry of Transport for its continuous support, the intensive preparations and the operational and strategic planning set into motion, and the expertise put forth by employees, which collectively played an instrumental role in our success and our ability to present an exemplary model for transport services during mega-events."
The network's high demand during the World Cup also led to the breaking of several operational records. On November 24, 2022, the tournament's 5th day marked a new record in daily metro ridership when 827,135 passengers were safely transported to and from stadiums and other destinations, exceeding the previous record patronage of 333,000 passengers who were transported on the Qatar National Day (QND) in 2019. The 2022 QND also saw an equally exceptional turnout, with a total of 810,000 passengers carried during the day.
Doha Metro's busiest stations were Msheireb, Lusail QNB, and DECC, while Legtaifiya and Lusail Central were the busiest stops along Lusail Tram.
As for the network's interchange stations, up to 400,00 passengers daily used Msheireb, which connects all three metro lines. Meanwhile, Al Bidda Station, where the Green and Red Lines intersect, received up to 150,000 passengers during the event.
Eng. Abdulla Saif al-Sulaiti, Chief of Service Delivery at Qatar Rail, said:
“Throughout the tournament, Doha Metro provided the highest levels of operational performance, despite witnessing record attendance at stadiums and holding up to four matches per day. Our main objective during the World Cup revolved around delivering a safe and reliable travel experience, with a special focus on the implementation of our operational plans and crowd management systems towards boosting our capacity to accommodate this record patronage, especially during the group stage. We also continued to focus on offering world-class customer service by providing travel information, facilitating passenger flow, and providing an integrated experience to fans and passengers."
In addition to directly connecting fans to five of the tournament's eight stadiums, Doha Metro proved to be a reliable mobility partner for fans and facilitated their access to activation areas, especially at the Corniche and its surrounding areas, including the FIFA Fan Festival at Al Bidda Park. Due to the various events and activities' popularity among fans, the seven metro stations in this area, namely Corniche, Al Bidda, West Bay Qatar Energy, DECC, Souq Waqif and Msheireb, welcomed up to 870,000 passengers per day starting or ending their journey, or transferring between lines. Lusail QNB Station was also popular among fans since it is located near the Darb Lusail Festival.
Thanks to the metro, fans and visitors were also able to easily access other event areas across the country such as the Arcadia Music Festival through Ras Bu Fontas station, the ARAVIA live music experience by MDLBEAST through Al Wakra station, the Fan Village Caravan City through Al Messila station, and Darb Al Saai festival through Al Rayyan Al Qadeem station.
Due to the compact nature of the tournament, and to cater for the high demand for its services during the tournament, Qatar Rail implemented special operational plans, where in coordination with key partners, the company's preparations for the event translated into an integrated travel experience that contributed to making the Qatar edition of the World Cup among the safest and most secure yet.
In this context, Qatar Rail and its partners and stakeholders developed an ecosystem of integrated skillsets, systems, plans, and procedures to strategically implement an effective crowd management system that optimizes passenger flow and provides rapid response when needed.
To this end, Eng. Jassim Al Ansari, Chief of Program Delivery at Qatar Rail commentd: “every decision by the team at the ICC was made to improve our passengers' experience after having a full overview of the network. This enabled us to react in a timely manner, for instance by bringing trains on hot standby into service in the busy times and therefore, minimize the impact on the passengers' journey. Meanwhile, our maintenance team ensured a rapid response time by allocating resources in strategic locations across the network and scheduling maintenance activities intelligently. This allowed us to achieve 100% fleet availability during the tournament despite the limited engineering hours available."
Accordingly, Qatar Rail mobilized more than 5,000 additional staff to support its operational plans for the World Cup and manage crowds at the stations in collaboration with RKH Qitarat, the operator of Doha Metro & Lusail Tram. Qatar Rail also coordinated with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy to install over 560 wayfinding signages across stations in order to make it easy and convenient for fans to access stadiums and other destinations in Qatar.
Qatar Rail's crowd management plans and ongoing efforts included the enhancement of Doha Metro's operational capacity, with the network's entire fleet of 110 trains serving the World Cup, operating at headwyas as low as 165 seconds across all three metro lines. In parallel, advanced systems played a key role in providing real-time information on passenger flow at stations, which enhanced the ability to deal with various scenarios related to crowd management safely and effectively.
Station capacities were also increased with 20 additional ticket machines and 35 additional passenger gates installed at strategic locations across the network to accommodate the growing demand for Doha Metro's services throughout the event. in addition, Qatar Rail has raised it security readiness to ensure providing safe travel experience to the fans specially with having large number of crowds at the network during the tournament.
“Our multi-faceted plan provided the World Cup fans with a safe and secure experience onboard our networks. This extended beyond the stations and included critical systems infrastructure protection and was augmented by the Railway Conditions of Carriage and User Regulations for passengers, which achieved an exceptional level of compliance throughout the tournament. We've also achieved the highest standards of environmental sustainability during this period. Moreover, and despite the record patronage, no major incidents were reported, thanks to our security preparedness for the event", Abdulrahman Ali Al Malik, Senior QSHESE Directo at Qatar Rail explained.
Complementing their in-station experience, customers also enjoyed access to 5G Wi-Fi services at all stations, as well as a unique shopping experience through more than 250 retail shops that offer a multitude of products and services across the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram networks.
Qatar Rail's commitment to constantly enhancing its customers' experience also translated into another feat, as 97% of incoming calls answered by the customer service center within 15 seconds of receiving them, which complemented the comprehensive customer communication plan put in place in coordination with partners and stakeholders.
In this connection, the metro amassed the attention of international journalists and fans alike, who praised the metro network, its cleanliness, modernity, and safety during the tournament. Fans' comments also highlighted the trains' interior design and comfort as well as the stations' distinctive architecture and spaciousness, which helped accommodate the influx of visitors and maintain a steady flow of passengers across the network.
By the same token, Qatar Rail's worldwide media coverage featured a large number of articles published in international newspapers underpinning Doha Metro's central role in the success of the World Cup and how it became a melting pot for cultural exchange among fans from all countries and walks of life. The Metro was also a huge hit on social media platforms, where many videos and fan experiences went viral the world over.
Qatar Rail's journey with the World Cup culminated with a special ceremony at Al Rayyan Park to celebrate the success of Doha Metro & Lusail Tram's operational plan for the tournament. The event was held in the presence of H.E. Dr. Al-Subaie, who attended alongside the senior and executive management officials of Qatar Rail and RKH Qitarat. Qatar Rail and RKH Qitarat's staff were honored during the event, in recognition of their exceptional efforts and valuable contributions to the success of this international mega-event.