Eight more days until the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar. Eight different stadiums spread across five different cities are set to be hosting this year’s tournament.
So today, we take a look at Qatar Stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and give an insight into what fans can expect from the venues:
8) Al Bayt Stadium
Not bad for a start, is it?
This magnificent stadium, located 35 km from Doha in the city of Al Khor, will host the opening game of the 2022 FIFA World cup. The 60,000-seater comes with a retractable roof, inspired by traditional tents used by nomads in the Gulf called ‘bayt al sha’ar’. The venue will also host five other group-stage games and three knockout-round games in this year’s tournament.
Al Bayt Stadium was inaugurated on November 30th, 2021, during the opening ceremony of the 2021 edition of the FIFA Arab Cup.
The stadium also includes luxury hotel rooms, where one can watch games from their balcony. The area surrounding the stadium is garnished with green parks and multi-sport grounds, complemented by running and cycling tracks. One can also enjoy horse and camel riding. All these activities are monitored by a community club known as the Quodorat Centre, which conducts various youth programs to educate the youth about Qatar’s cultural heritage. If you’re visiting this stadium, prepare for a warm welcome.
7) Al Janoub Stadium
Bet you weren’t expecting this design.
Qatar’s traditional roots have certainly influenced a lot of stadium designs, and Al Wakrah’s unique stadium is no exception. Amassing a capacity of 40,000 spectators, the Al Janoub Stadium will be hosting six group stage matches and one knockout game. Located 22 km from Doha, the magnificent design of the stadium is inspired by the sails of traditional dhow boats.
The venue hosted the 2019 Amir Cup final as its inaugural match.
The stadium comes with a retractable roof and cooling system. The sporting complex is further facilitated with multipurpose rooms for swimming, spa, and shopping. Like the other stadiums in this list, the capacity of Al Janoub stadium is also set to be reduced after the world cup, with seats being donated to developing countries that need sporting facilities.
6) Al Thumama Stadium
An epitome of culture and tradition.
Covering nearly a quarter of the small city of Al Thumama, this uniquely designed stadium was inspired by the ‘gahfiya’, a traditional cap worn by Qatari males. Its round and bold design give it a beautiful exterior look, and the interior that houses 40,000 fans is just as beautiful. Six games in the group stages and two in the knockout phases will be hosted in this stadium.
Starting with the 2021 Amir Cup final, Al Thumama has hosted eight total matches prior to this year’s quadrennial event.
Located 12 km from central Doha, the venue can be seen from flights that descend over the venue, onto the runway of Hamad International Airport. A whole sporting complex is built around the stadium, with volleyball, handball, and basketball courts set to be built, along with running and cycling tracks. The stadium will be later reduced to a capacity of 20,000 to provide infrastructure to developing countries.
5) Education City Stadium
A whole stadium for education? No way, right?
Al Rayyan’s ambitious development of the Education City led to the formation of this extraordinary stadium. Located on the outskirts of the capital Doha, this 40,000-seater has triangles on its exterior, that form complex and colorful patterns along with the movement of the sun. A total of eight matches, which include six group stage games and two matches in the knockout rounds, are set to be played in this venue.
The stadium hosted its first match on September 3rd, 2020, a Qatar Stars League game of the 2020-21 season.
Nicknamed the “Diamond of the desert”, the stadium is surrounded by eight universities along with sporting and leisure facilities. After the world cup, 25,000 seats are set to be retained for use in university games while the rest will be donated to other countries.
4) Khalifa International Stadium
A legend of the Arabian Peninsula.
Qatar’s first-ever international venue, the Khalifa International Stadium stands out as one of the most legendary sporting arenas in the Middle East. The Doha-based stadium has been re-designed and re-energized for this year’s grand event, and the 45,000 expected to be in the stadium can certainly expect a lot from this historic venue. The stadium will host 6 group stage games, a knockout tie, and the third-place play-off game for this year’s world cup.
The venue has hosted a long list of matches ever since its inauguration in 1976, including tournaments like the Arabian Gulf Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup, and IAAF World Athletics Championships.
The stadium’s dual arches were always standout features. They now feature a wide canopy below them. The old stadium also comes with a cooling system to maintain a comfortable temperature for people inside.
3) Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium
This beauty is definitely not a mirage.
Standing right on the edge of the desert in Umm Al Afaei, this 40,000-seater will leave you mesmerized. The façade of this venue contains patterns that symbolize natural beauty, familial love, and local and international trade. This stunning venue was named after Ahmad bin Ali Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar from 1960 to 1972. It will host five group-stage matches and a knockout game in this year’s tournament.
Inaugurated on the 18th of December 2020 on the occasion of National Day in Qatar, the stadium has hosted four games in the FIFA Arab Cup in 2021 prior to the 2022 World Cup.
Nearly 25 km from the capital, the stadium was constructed using recycled materials from the previous venue that occupied the land. The stadium is neighbored by the Mall of Qatar and is set to be accompanied by parks, cafes, and sporting complexes in the future.
2) Stadium 974
Sometimes, it’s better to just keep it simple.
The idea of using recycled shipping containers to build a stadium has surely not crossed anyone’s mind, but when it comes to the developers of Stadium 974, one can make an exception. This innovative stadium is the first ever fully demountable covered stadium in world football, and will surely leave an everlasting impression on the 40,000+ people who visit it. The seven matches to be hosted in this stadium include six group-stage games and a knockout round tie.
Based on the cityscape of Doha’s coastline, the venue was officially inaugurated at a digital event in November 2021 and organized its first official game in a FIFA Arab Cup tie between UAE and Syria the same year.
The 974 shipping containers symbolize Qatar’s long-standing international trade and industrial progress, and the number happens to be Qatar’s international dialing code as well. Some of the containers also contain bathrooms and other similar facilities. After the end of the FIFA World Cup, the stadium is set to be dismantled.
1) Lusali Stadium
Venue for a final? Check.
The Lusali Iconic Stadium is set to be the venue for the final game of this year’s World Cup. With a capacity of 80,000 seats, it is the biggest stadium in Qatar, located about 12 km north of Doha. The stadium’s design is also inspired by traditional Qatari culture, with the exterior acting as a ‘fanar’ lantern with the interplay of lights. Along with the final, the stadium will also host six group-stage games and three knockout-round matches.
The stadium was inaugurated on September 9th, 2022, when Al-Hilal and Zamalek played each other for the 2022 Saudi-Egyptian Super Cup.
The stadium comes with a cooling system powered by solar energy and a zero-carbon footprint feature. After the conclusion of this year’s tournament, it will be reconfigured into a 32,000-capacity stadium with the upper complex being re-purposed into civic facilities like housing, business venues, and even schooling.