From ‘THE LINE’ design to the World Cup in Qatar: Middle East’s top five moments

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The end of the year is often a time when people reflect on all they have accomplished over the past 12 months. In 2022, the Middle East has witnessed several iconic moments that will go down in history for the region.

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Here are the top five highlights across the Arab world in 2022:

5. Expo 2020 Dubai comes to an end

Expo 2020 Dubai came to an end on March 31 after six months of breathtaking events, performances, and cultural displays. The global showcase recorded more than 24 million visits with attendees hailing from 192 countries. This was the first time the event was held in the Middle East region.

Artists perform during Expo 2020 Dubai closing ceremony at Al Wasl, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 31, 2022. (File photo: Reuters)
Artists perform during Expo 2020 Dubai closing ceremony at Al Wasl, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 31, 2022. (File photo: Reuters)

4. Egypt hosts COP27

From November 6 to 18, Egypt hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh.

World leaders at COP27 in Egypt. (Reuters)
World leaders at COP27 in Egypt. (Reuters)

The event was the first COP in Africa since COP22, which was held in Morocco in 2016.

The hosting of COP27 in Egypt also marked 30 years since the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

3. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince announces designs for ‘THE LINE’

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of NEOM, announced the launch of “THE LINE” project in the city of NEOM on June 25.

THE LINE city concept design. (neom.com)
THE LINE city concept design. (neom.com)

THE LINE represents a pioneering global model for what urban communities will look like in the future and features an environment free of roads, cars, and emissions. It will run on 100 percent renewable energy and prioritizes people’s health and well-being over transportation and infrastructure.

2. Qatar hosts Middle East’s first FIFA World Cup

Qatar hosted the highly-anticipated FIFA World Cup tournament in Doha from 21 November to 18 December – the first time an Arab nation has hosted the global sporting event.

The opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. (Twitter)
The opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. (Twitter)

According to Qatar, cumulative attendance reached 3.4 million people and beIN MEDIA GROUP announced that it recorded more than 5.4 billion views throughout the month-long tournament, and 1.1 billion views on its official social media channels.

Fans of Saudi Arabia wait on the stands ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Poland and Saudi Arabia on November 26, 2022. (AFP)
Fans of Saudi Arabia wait on the stands ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Poland and Saudi Arabia on November 26, 2022. (AFP)

1.Morocco becomes first African and Arab nation to qualify for World Cup semifinals

Morocco made history as the first African and Arab nation to qualify for the FIFA World Cup semifinals. Football fans around the world were left shocked over the Atlas-lions win against Portugal.

Morocco’s players celebrate winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group F football match between Canada and Morocco at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on December 1, 2022. (AFP)
Morocco’s players celebrate winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group F football match between Canada and Morocco at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on December 1, 2022. (AFP)

While Morocco did not go on to win against France, their impressive football skills will surely be remembered for years to come.

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