In less than three weeks, the 2022 World Cup gets underway in Qatar – marking a landmark moment as football’s biggest tournament takes place in the Middle East for the first time.
In total, eight stadiums will host matches during the month-long tournament; Lusail Stadium, Stadium 974, Al Thumama Stadium, Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Education City Stadium, and the Al Janoub Stadium.
All venues will celebrate unique aspects of Arab heritage and will, between them, host millions of fans during the tournament, which kicks off on November 20.
Here is an in-depth look at each venue:
The 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium is the biggest in the country and will host the World Cup 2022 final.
According to the tournament website, the stadium is designed around the dance of light and shadows as seen in the traditional fanar lanterns. The stadium has been designed as a rich representation of the Arabic world, showcasing motifs of vessels, bowls and art pieces from the region. In addition to the final, Lusail Stadium will also host six group matches and three knock-out round matches including one semi-final.
The stadium is located 15 kilometers north of the Doha’s city center and stands as the centerpiece of the new Lusail metropolis.
After the tournament concludes, the Lusail Stadium is set to be turned into a community space including schools, shops, sporting facilities and health clinics. Also, most of the stadium's 80,000 seats are set be removed and donated to sporting projects.
Education City Stadium
Inspired by the geometric shapes of traditional Islamic architecture, the 40,000 capacity stadium is surrounded by several leading universities.
From its unique cooling system to the green spaces that surround it, the stadium was built with sustainability and the future in mind.
The initial capacity of the diamond shaped stadium will be 40,000 seats, which will be reduced to 25,000 seats at the end of the tournament with the additional seats being donated to developing countries.
Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
The 40,000 capacity venue has a distinct design as the stadium and surrounding buildings mirror aspects of the local culture and traditions. The intricate façade reflects the undulations of sand dunes while intricate geometric patterns reflect the beauty of the desert, native flora and fauna, as well as local and international trade. It will be the home of Qatar’s Al-Rayyans Sport Club when the tournament ends.
More than 80 percent of the construction material came from the original stadium that previously occupied the site, while existing trees were also carefully retained. When fans visit, they will be able to travel via an environmentally friendly new Doha Metro system.
After the tournament, half of the stadium's seating will be donated to football development projects overseas.
Al Thumama Stadium
Inspired by the gahfiya - a traditional woven cap worn by males across the Middle East - the 40,000 capacity Al Thumama Stadium was built specifically for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and will play host to a number of matches up until the quarter-final stage.
As is the case at every venue, air-conditioned vents have been placed throughout the ground to maintain an optimal environment inside the stadium.
At the events closing, the stadiums capacity will be reduced to 20,000 seats with the additional seating being gifted to developing nations, a true reflection of the generosity of the Qatari people.
A boutique hotel will replace the top seating of the stadium and branch of the world-renowned Aspetar Sports Clinic will be added. The stadium will hence continue to serve the community long after the World Cup has ended.
Constructed from shopping containers, Stadium 974 has a capacity of 40,000. The number 974 signifies the international dialling code for Qatar, and it’s also the exact number of shipping containers used in the construction of the venue.
The temporary venue is one of the most sustainable stadiums. It has been called the "first fully demountable tournament venue" in the history of the FIFA World Cup and uses less material to build than traditional stadiums, creating a blueprint for future developers to follow.
Al Bayt Stadium
Located in the city of Al Khor, famous for its pearl diving and fishing, Al Bayt Stadium is fashioned to replicate the bayt al sha’ar, the tents historically used by the nomadic people of Qatar. The 60,000 capacity venue has a retractable roof system and advanced cooling systems, therefore, fans will be able to watch matches in comfort.
It will be the stage for some of the key matches at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 including the opening match, five additional group matches, as well as knock-out round matches including one of the two all-important semi-finals matches.
Almost half of the venue's seats can be dismantled and be used in football projects across the world.
Al Janoub Stadium
Boasting a design that is inspired by the sails of traditional dhow boats, in tribute to Al Wakrah’s seafaring past, the Al Janoub Stadium, with a capacity of 40,000, is situated in one of Qatar's oldest inhabited areas.
The roof was designed to resemble a ship's hull and the structure is meant to resemble upturned dhows. An innovative cooling system and retractable roof mean the stadium will be used all year round.
The stadium will be served by Al Wakrah station on the Red Line of the Doha Metro.
Thanks to its modular nature, the stadium’s capacity will be reduced from 40,000 to 20,000 after the tournament, with the excess seats – from the upper tier – being donated to football development projects overseas.
Khalifa International Stadium
Built in 1976, the Khalifa International Stadium has hosted the Asian Games, Arabian Gulf Cup and AFC Asian Cup. In 2019, it hosted the IAAF World Athletics Championships, along with matches during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019.
The stadium underwent an extensive redevelopment in order to prepare it for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. It was the first FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 venue to achieve Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) certification.
The stadium’s dual arches remained intact following the redevelopment and have now been complemented by a wide canopy below which supports the stadium’s integration of the new cooling system.
The new tier added 10,450 seats to the capacity (tournament capacity 40,000), while the stadium now features a new facade. The new LED lighting system adds a new dimension to the fan experience.
The stadium is served by Sport City Station on the Doha Metro Gold Line.
The stadium lies in the heart of Aspire Zone – Qatar’s center of sporting excellence which was the foundation of the 2006 Asian Games. The precinct is designed to drive participation in sports.
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