Man-made 'clouds' to shade 2022 World Cup in Qatar?


March 27, 2011

Artist's illustration of the proposed Al-Shamal Stadium to be built in Ash-Shamal, Qatar for the 2022 World Cup

Artist's illustration of the proposed Al-Shamal Stadium to be built in Ash-Shamal, Qatar for the 2022 World Cup

With the World Cup always held in the European off-season in June and July, the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar offers the prospect of players and spectators sweating through the hottest part of the year. Doha sees an average top temperature of 41 degrees Celsius (106°F) in these months with the possibility of top temperatures as high as 50°C (122°F). While shifting the World Cup to the cooler month of January has been mooted and since rejected, a team of engineering scientists from Qatar University (QU) have taken a more high-tech approach to solving the problem – they've reportedly developed a type of artificial "cloud" designed to float above the World Cup venues and provide fans and players with relief from the blazing sun.

The proposed stadiums for the World Cup unveiled a year ago – which included the Lusail Iconic Stadium – would all employ cooling technology capable of reducing temperatures inside by up to 20°C (36°F), but concerns remain about training grounds.

The artificial clouds system was invented by a team led by Dr Saul Abdul Ghani, Head of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at QU, who told Gulf News that the "clouds" would be made from a lightweight carbon structure carrying a giant envelope of material containing helium gas. The "cloud" would also feature solar panels on its upper surface to power engines that allow the cloud to be moved via remote control.

The system would initially cost around US$500,000, with prices coming down with commercial scale production. It's unclear whether the clouds will actually be built. With still eleven years till the kick off of the 2022 World Cup, the long term forecast is mainly sunny with a chance of cloud.

Via The Daily Mail.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

Let me tell you something. I travel, work and vacation regularily in the Middle East and there is no shade in the summer. It doesn\'t matter what \"cloud\" you put up in Doha. Its bloody hot and 40 degrees is not for wimpy ass soccer players

Rocky Stefano

Sounds like a helium filled \'duvet\' floating overhead. Great idea but if the wind is in the wrong direction might it end up over Saudi Arabia?


As with many things, The Simpsons already did it.


I agree. It is absolutely bloody ridiculous to have a sport event of this nature in one of the hottest place on the planet. Corruption in FIFA. I tell ya...


This reminds me of \"The Hydrogen Highway Solution\". The major selling point of Hydrogen Powered vehicles is? They only emit water vapor! And where do they operate? On concrete or asphalt covered surfaces, acting as heat sinks that create updrafts that send the vapor skyward into the atmosphere forming clouds, a major source of greenhouse gases, thereby contributing to a further \"Warming\" of the planet! (Think of L.A. or NYC as a Louisiana Swamp in August. If the alarmists are right, that is.)

Myron J. Poltroonian

Myron, I think you have a few incorrect facts. As far as I know, water vapour is not a greenhouse gas. Clouds in fact, reflect sunlight.

Why not just spray a fine water mist from jets around the top of the arena? this should have a cooling effect, surely?


Windy_Kites... I fly kites too, windier the better... Water Vapour is the most significant Greenhouse Gas. Also, a car burning Petrol/ gasoline if you prefer, emits more water than a car burning Hydrogen... Go figure.

Research before making politically correct, factually incorrect statements.

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