Exploring the Stadiums Ahead of FIFA 2022

After years of planning, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, one of the most anticipated worldwide events of the year, is finally about to get off. The quadrennial international men’s football championship will be hosted in Qatar for the first time, for the first time in an Arab country, from November 21st to December 18th, 2022. Since FIFA confirmed in 2010 that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup, preparations for a total of eight stadiums have been in full swing, particularly given that it will be hosted in a nation with severe climatic conditions.

Al Thumama Stadium

Al Thumama stadium, located 12 kilometers south of Doha, is designed with Arab culture in mind, taking influence from the woven patterns of a Gahfiya, the traditional headpiece worn by Muslim males in the Arabian Peninsula. In addition to its design, the surrounding region investigates the significance of ecological and contextual architecture, with a goal of achieving 4-star Global Sustainability Assessment System Trust (GSAS) accreditation for both design and construction. When compared to a traditional stadium, the stadium saves 40% more freshwater by utilizing recycled water to irrigate green areas. The design incorporates 50,000 square meters of park space, with natural trees covering 84 percent of the landscape. The stadium was dedicated on October 22, 2021, at the 49th Amir Cup Final.

Al Janoub Stadium 

Zaha Hadid Architects were chosen in 2013 to collaborate with AECOM on the design and construction of Al Janoub Stadium (previously known as Al Wakrah Stadium). The design is inspired by the city’s history of pearl diving, fishing, and traditional dhow boats and is built in Al Wakrah, one of the oldest inhabited neighborhoods in Doha’s south, and situated among a rich cultural location with a significant archaeological legacy. The 40,000-seat stadium opens on May 16, 2019, in time for the Amir Cup final. Following the World Cup, the stadium’s capacity will be lowered to 20,000 people, with the remaining 20,000 seats given to football development initiatives across the world. Hospitality and leisure facilities, as well as a school, event hall, cycling, horseback riding, and jogging tracks, are among the additional amenities being built beside the stadium to assure its long-term usage.

Al Bayt Stadium

The 60,000-capacity stadium, inspired by traditional nomadic tents, will host the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2022TM as well as events through the semi-finals. The stadium’s design respects Qatar’s past and present, showcasing the city’s culture, customs, and history. It is located in the northern city of Al Khor, a region noted for its pearl diving and fishing, which has drawn desert residents to the shore throughout the years. The top tier of the modular design seating is detachable, similar to Nomad’s tents, and will be dismantled after the tournament and donated to poor countries in need of athletic facilities. The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and Aspire Zone Foundation unveiled the stadium’s design in mid-2014, and it is scheduled to open in early 2020, coinciding with Qatar’s National Sports Day.

Ahmad bin Ali Stadium

The Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, home to one of Qatar’s most recognized football clubs, honors its close-knit community by adding emblems of Qatari culture and customs. The undulating façade, formed of designs that symbolize diverse characteristics of the country, such as “the value of family, the beauty of the desert, the native flora and fauna, as well as local and international commerce,” is one of the key design highlights. A lightweight canopy and efficient cooling technologies will shield 40,000 fans while assuring maximum comfort throughout the contests. The stadium, dubbed the “portal to the desert,” will open its doors in December 2020, during the Amir Cup final.

Education City Stadium

The Education City Stadium is surrounded by academic institutions and sports organizations and is located in a bustling hub of knowledge and creativity. Because of its unique position in Education City, the facility has been meticulously built with a strong emphasis on accessibility. Excavators discovered rocks dating back 20-30 million years during construction, forcing them to dig 17 meters deeper so that the pitch can lay below sea level, where temperatures are cooler. The façade incorporates triangular designs, a reimagining of ancient arabesque patterns that seem to change color throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky. The design was released in 2014, and it is expected to be completed and available to the public in 2020.

Stadium 974 

Stadium 974, formerly known as Ras Abou Aboud, is one of the most unique stadium designs of the eight constructions. It is inspired by Qatar’s worldwide commerce and seafaring. The number “974” is also important for the project since it represents both the international dialing code for Qatar and the number of shipping containers employed in its construction. The building is positioned on the coast, across the skyline of Doha’s West Bay. Because it is mostly composed of shipping containers, the 40,000-person stadium will be completely demounted after the World Cup and repurposed as a waterfront development for the local community. The stadium was opened digitally on November 20, 2021.

Khalifa International Stadium

The Khalifa International Stadium, built in 1976 in Al Rayyan, has long been one of the most renowned stadiums, having hosted the Asian Games, the Arabian Gulf Cup, and the AFC Asian Cup, among other events. The stadium has been extended to accommodate 40,000 people for this event, and it is outfitted with “new cooling technology” that will enable players to participate in a comfortable setting. A single roof will be added to the building to protect the sitting areas, as well as a new east wing structure that will include food courts, shops, multi-purpose rooms, VIP lounges, a museum, and a health center. In 2017, the reopening ceremony was held.

Lusail Stadium 

The final of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM will be held in the 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium, the biggest of the eight structures. The interplay of light and shadow observed in the Fanar lantern influenced the design. The architectural shape and façade are inspired by the complex themes seen in art and furnishing items from the Arab and Islamic worlds from the early civilizations. Because of its prominent position in Lusail, a recently constructed city, the stadium’s master design includes a tram system and beautiful green areas, transforming it into a sustainability-focused arena that focuses on human needs and environmental protection. After the event, it will be converted into a multi-purpose community center, complete with schools, stores, cafés, athletic facilities, and health clinics. The stadium was dedicated towards the end of 2021.

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