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Qatar to open new metro

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Doha (AFP)

Doha's first metro opens to the public on Wednesday, the Qatari transport and communications ministry said, as the Gulf country readies for the 2022 football World Cup.

The Doha Metro Red Line South is part of infrastructure which authorities said would be ready two years ahead of the tournament.

"The initial operation includes 13 out of 18 Red Line stations," the ministry said in a statement on Monday, with services running from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm Sunday to Thursday.

The complete Red Line runs from Al-Wakrah stadium to Lusail stadium, two of the venues which will host games of during the 2022 World Cup.

The 40-kilometre (25-mile) line also connects to Hamad International Airport in the centre of the city.

The $45-billion Lusail stadium, which can seat up to 80,000 people, is to host the opening and final games of the World Cup.

The metro's full network, due to open in 2020, will consist of three lines -- Red, Green and Gold -- and 37 stations.

Qatar Rail, the state-owned company responsible for the metro, has said it hopes to encourage people to use public transport.

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