Ghoniem's models will incorporate estimated population flows into Qatar by fans from various nations and regions during the 2022 World Cup Tournament.
Funded by the state-run Qatar Foundation, Ghoniem is focusing on Qatar's transportation and lodging systems. "We hope to determine what mix of lodging and transportation will offer the most efficient, least congested movement of people and resources," notes Ghoniem. "To do that, we will create models and run simulations with alternative transportation modes and routing. We'll also incorporate different scenarios, including time of day, date, and probable demand for specific games."
Qatar is investing $200 billion on transport and tourism infrastructure through 2022, Ghoniem observes. Qatar proposed 12 stadiums, seven of them in the capital, Doha. Like previous Cup hosts, Qatar's venues extend beyond the capital city. But owing to the kingdom's diminutive land mass and concentrated population, all of the stadiums will be within a 37-mile radius. This will pose added congestion challenges.
Getting a handle on such questions will entail extensive mining of historical data. For this, Ghoniem is turning to FIFA, its national committees, and national tourism offices. He also plans to incorporate data from next summer's FIFA Cup in Brazil into his models. And he is partnering with researchers at Qatar University, which now houses a FIFA office.
Isenberg School of Management