The FIFA World Cup is only a few weeks away and the buzz and excitement is growing in the lead up to the prestigious tournament. Already it's a tournament with a unique circumstance as it will be the first tournament to be held in the winter as well as the first to be held in the Middle East. Qatar have spent a lot of money prior to this tournament especially on the playing stadiums.
Eight stadiums have been announced for the tournament and is the fewest we've had since the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. We look at the stadiums that will be used at the World Cup in November.
Al Janoub Stadium
Launched in May, 2019, the 40,000 seater stadium located in Al Wakrah, 22km south of central Doha was designed by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. The architecture of the stadium was inspired by the sails of traditional Dhow boats, used by pearl divers from the region. The curvilinear roof and exterior refer to Al Wakrah's history of sea transportation, additionally making fans in this stadium feel like they are on a ship. The bowed beams hold up the roof take the resemblance a ship's hull.
Khalifa International Stadium
This stadium was opened in 1976 before it was renovated and then relaunched in May of 2017. It is located in Al Rayyan, 5km west of central Doha and is arguably the most iconic stadium in the country. The Khalifa International stadium has a capacity of 40,000 and has hosted important international events like the Asian Games, the Gulf Cup and the AFC Asian Cup.
Education City Stadium
Located in Qatar Foundation's Education City in Al Rayyan, 13km north-west of central Doha, the 40,000-seater Education City Stadium was opened in June 2020 with a digital event. The stadium is one of the most eco-friendly stadiums around, with 20% if it's building materials being green. It received a five star GSAS (Global Sustainability Assessment System) rating in 2019.
Al Thumama stadium
The Al Thumama stadium, located in Al Thumama, 12km south of central Doha was launched after the Amir Cup final which was won by Al Sadd who defeated Al Rayyan on penalties in October 2021.
Designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim M Jaidah, the 40,000 seater stadium resembles the 'gahfiya' - the traditional headcap worn by men and boys in Middle East. The stadium is set host matches up to the quarter-final stage at the 2022 World Cup.
Al Bayt Stadium
Al Bayt stadium was launched in November 2021 when when Qatar faced Bahrain in their opening fixture of the Arab Cup. The 60,000 capacity stadium which is located in Al Khor City, 35km north of central Doha was launched in November 2021. It set to host a total of nine games at the World Cup later this year including the World Cup’s opening fixture.
The stadium has a unique look with its giant tent structure covering the whole stadium which is named after bayt al sha’ar – tents historically used by nomadic peoples in Qatar and the Gulf region.
After the tournament, the upper part of the stadium will be taken apart and the removed seats will be donated to other countries.
Stadium 974 is a 40,000 capacity stadium which was unveiled at a special event on November 21, 2021. The first match in the stadium was held November 30, 2021 on the opening day of the FIFA Arab Cup.
The stadium is made out of shipping containers and modular steel. It will be the first ever demountable stadium in the history or the World Cup. Not only is 974 the international dialling code for Qatar, but it is also the exact number of shipping containers used in construction.
At the end of the tournament, this stadium will be dismantled and repurposed.
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium
This stadium was built in 2003 but got renovated and relaunched on Qatar's National Day after the 2020 Amir Cup final. It is the home stadium for Qatar Stars League giants Al Rayyan SC. It is located in Al Rayyan, 20km west of central Doha, right at the edge of a desert. Over 80% of the construction material used for the renovation of the stadium came from the original one that previously occupied the site, while existing trees which were around the stadium were not harmed.
On 18 December 2022, 80,000 fans will be present as this stadium will host the FIFA World Cup final. The stadium was designed by Foster and Partners and is located in Lusail City. It was launched in June 2020 and its design is inspired by the hand-crafted bowls found all across the Arab and Islamic world during the rise of civilization.
This is the largest capacity stadium in Qatar and will be a fitting location to host the final game of a historic tournament.