The Local Organising Committee for Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, otherwise called The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) ably led by Hassan al Thawadi are not leaving anything to chance in their bid to not only host the best World Cup ever but also to leave great legacies the world will appreciate and talk about for many years.

Qatar have produced the machinery that will cool the atmosphere at match venues, they are hosting a compact World Cup that could see fans watching two matches in a day and they are building unique stadiums and infrastructure that could make visitors return after the games for holiday. Tourism.

Their concern is not only about visitors as the most recent development has shown.

Construction workers at the various sites across the Qatar 2022 World Cup stadiums have taken delivery of thousands of vests from the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC).

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The cooling vests, which have been designed by UK-based apparel experts TechNiche, reduce a wearer’s thermal body temperature by up to 15°C. Testing and development over the past year have shown the vests improve a wearer’s comfort, concentration and the ability to work efficiently during hot conditions.

The story of the cooling vests began after a student Aryam Ahmed witnessed a tragic end to a construction worker who collapsed and passed out from the heat in the street, she decided she wanted to solve the problem.

The Emirati engineering student spent the next two years developing a suit which would keep outdoor workers cool – and is now set to pitch her fledgling business to an audience of international business leaders and investors.

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The 21-year-old was recently chosen as one of the winners of the Pitch@Palace initiative, a scheme designed to encourage Emirati entrepreneurship backed by UK royal Prince Andrew.

Speaking on the legacy this innovation has for the rest of the gulf region, Mahmoud Qutub, Executive Director of the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Department, said: “The cooling vest has the potential to transform the lives of our workers.

“We have spent two years exploring how best to utilise various cooling products, but many are simply not suitable for Qatar’s environment. We want our workers to really benefit from the concept of this technology and, after putting the TechNiche products through rigorous testing, they delivered impressive results.”

He explained that the new product, was designed specifically for workers in Qatar.

“However, we recognise the impact such products could have for anyone working outside in hot conditions. It’s another example of developing solutions to protect our workers that also have the potential to leave a tangible human and social legacy.”

He explained that the Committee has issued 3,500 vests after rigorous tests. Said he, “During the test phase, the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Department worked alongside TechNiche to compile data, tweak performance and maximise the cooling effects of the technology.

Steel fixers, carpenters, masons, foremen, scaffolders, banksmen and riggers are the workers currently benefiting from the 3,500 vests that have been issued to-date.

How the technology works

The vests are submerged in water to allow the fabric to soak up as much water as possible. Airflows, like movement and wind, then evaporate the water contained in the vests. The more airflow, or the more a wearer moves, the more it works.

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A super-absorbent polymer fibre within the vest’s fabric holds the water layer for slow evaporation over several hours, delivering constant cooling for the wearer. The wearer stays dry due to quilted layers of absorbent fibre on the outside, and waterproof fabric on the inside.

The vest will stay cool for up to eight hours, depending on the environment, and will cool a wearer’s thermal body temperature by up to 15°C.

The Qatar feat has led to the production of cooling suits in the UAE. The World Cup hosts appear to be leading the way in their region.

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