For the first time in the history of FIFA World Cup, the tournament is to be held in a middle-eastern country – Qatar. Such an honor! However, for that purpose, the country needs between 8 to 12 eligible stadiums. We’re now taking a look at what stadiums Qataris have prepared for the 2022 World Cup.
Built in Doha in 1976, the Khalifa International Stadium is one of the venues chosen to host 2022 World Cup group matches, round of 16, quarter-finals and semi-finals. The venue, which is part of the Doha Sports City complex, has already hosted the Gulf Cup, Asian Games and the AFC Asian Cup, and it will also host the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
Khalifa International Stadium, also known as National Stadium, was mostly used for soccer matches before its renovation in 2005. Since then, other competitions like track and field have also been held in the stadium with its capacity increased from 20,000 to 40,000 seats. Being the oldest stadium in Qatar, the National Stadium has also hosted two 2019 FIFA Club World Cup matches, namely the fifth-place match and the semi-final between theCONMEBOL Libertadores
champions and the winner of Match 3.
Khalifa International Stadium, also known as National Stadium, was mostly used for soccer matches before its renovation in 2005. Since then, other competitions like track and field have also been held in the stadium with its capacity increased from 20,000 to 40,000 seats. Being the oldest stadium in Qatar, the National Stadium has also hosted two 2019 FIFA Club World Cup matches, namely the fifth-place match and the semi-final between the CONMEBOL Libertadores champions and the winner of Match 3.
Khalifa International Stadium underwent another renovation in 2017, emerging as a more modern and sophisticated stadium. It now boasts an ultra-modern shape and dual arches that represent continuity, embracing fans from all over the world. The stadium also features advanced cooling systems and protected seating areas. There is also a museum near the venue - 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum - accessible via a walkway that adds more to the sophistication of the area.
Not only the Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum but also other attractions, including parks, gardens and walkways, have been added to the premises around the stadium to make the whole area a more desirable place for visitors coming from all around the world in 2022. One of the most notable structures in the area is an enormous skyscraper - the Torch Doha Hotel - which has been erected since 2006 Asian Games.
Although a multi-purpose stadium, the Thani bin Jassim Stadium, simply known as Al-Gharafa Stadium, has been largely used for football matches. The stadium, locating in Al-Gharafa district, is also the home to Al-Gharrafa SC and Umm Salal SC football clubs. Al-Gharafa is among 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar to host World Cup group matches, and in order to do so, its capacity should increase from 25,000 to 40,000 to meet with World Cup standards.
Built in 2003 with the original capacity of 21,175, Al-Gharafa Stadium has hosted international and intracontinental competitions such as 2011 edition of AFC Asian Cup. One interesting fact about the stadium is that its capacity will be temporarily increased to 44,740 for the 2022 World Cup matches using a modular upper tier stand and after that, it will return to its former 25,000 capacity.
The venue is located near Doha, and although a Doha stadium, its design is no match for the sophisticated Khalifa Stadium, however, the stadium still looks beautiful with its outer appearance displaying the colors of the countries taking part in 2022 World Cup which is a symbol of friendship, mutual tolerance and respect there is in FIFA World Cup.
Home to Al-Rayyan and Al-Kharitiyath sports clubs, Al-Rayyan Stadium has a capacity of 21,282 which is not enough for FIFA World Cup matches and therefore needs an upgrade. However, the upgrade actually takes place not in the form of adding modules to the stadium or any expansion but in the form of building a thoroughly new stadium in place of the old Al-Rayyan Stadium with a capacity of 44,740 seats, all shaded.
In fact, there were talks that the stadium should be renovated and expanded for 2022 World Cup matches, but in the end it was decided that it would be better if a whole new stadium was built in place of the old Al-Rayyan Stadium. The old stadium was demolished in 2014 with the ground preparation works for the new stadium starting in the same year. The plan for the new stadium was proposed in 2015 and it was in late 2016 that it was confirmed and the work on the new stadium started.
The new stadium will feature a media façade for projections, news, commercials, sports updates, and information on the World Cup and its matches and by now, it is more than 90% complete, with the stands in place and roof stabilization finished. The seats have been installed and work on the pitch has already begun. The structures around the stadium look like sand dunes, especially when lighted at night, and the patterns on the outer edge of the stadium resemble those found in the Islamic architecture, with their intricacy indicative of Qatari art in exquisite handicrafts.
Located north-west of Doha at 20 kilometers from the city center, Al-Rayyan Stadium is part of a development project that also includes Mall of Qatar, the country’s largest shopping mall. A subway line is currently under construction in Doha that will connect the city to the stadium, making it easier and faster to travel to the sporting venue. Al-Rayyan Stadium is to host 2022 World Cup group matches.
One of the stadiums planned to be built for 2022 World Cup matches, Al-Shamal Stadium consists of two tires: One permanent lower tier with a capacity of 25,500 and one modular upper tier of 19620 seats, adding up to 45,120 seats and making the stadium eligible for World Cup matches. The shape of the stadium is inspired by a kind of traditional fishing boat used in Persian Gulf called Dhow. The stadium, from afar, looks like a dhow on the edge of the shore.
The work on the construction of the stadium is almost over and the venue is to be opened in summer 2020. As planned, Al-Shamal Stadium will host 2022 World Cup group matches. The stadium, which is also the home to Al-Shamal SC football club, uses a carbon-neutral technology for air ventilation. Al-Shamal Stadium is named after the city in which it is located - Al-Shamal. One interesting fact about the stadium is that visitors can use water taxis to reach at the venue.
One of the most sophisticated stadiums in Qatar with a postmodern design built recently - 16 May 2019 - to host 2022 World Cup group and round-of-16 matches, Al Janoub Stadium has a capacity of 40,000 - eligible for 2022 World Cup matches - and has hosted one of the most important matches in the Amir Cup - actually the final between Al Sadd SC and Al-Duhail SC - attended by 38,678 supporters and also Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the head of Qatar state.
Al Janoub Stadium, formerly known as Al Wakrah Stadium, sits at the heart of an urban extension in Al Wakrah city, making it possible for community-based activities to take place in and around the stadium on non-event days, according to its Iraqi-British architect, Zaha Hadid. With bowed beams holding up the roof just like in a ship’s hull, the interior of the stadium gives visitors a feeling of being on a ship.
The stadium’s outside view resembles upturned Dhow hulls arranged in a huddle to provide shade and shelter. The roof of the stadium is retractable and an advanced cooling system has been incorporated in the stadium that is able to keep the temperature of sitting areas at 18°C and the pitch at 20°C. Facilities around the stadium include swimming pools, spas, a shopping center with green roofs, a school, a wedding hall, cycling, horse riding and running tracks, restaurants, marketplaces and gyms which actually form into a sporting complex.
Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, known as Doha Port Stadium, is one of the hosting stadiums in 2022 World Cup which is yet to be built and also is planned to be dismantled after the World Cup with its seats being sent to developing countries in need of them. With a capacity of almost 45,000 seats, the stadium will sit on an artificial promontory, providing visitors with a beautiful seafront landscape view.
Doha Port Stadium is completely a modular project and will be built from recycled material. The cooling system that the stadium benefits from is quite simple: constant pouring of water on the facility’s roof and façade. People can arrive at the stadium on water taxis as shown in the photo above. The stadium will host 2022 World Cup group matches, round of 16 and quarter-finals.
The stadium to host the opening and the final match of 2022 World Cup as well as group and other stages matches, Lusail Iconic Stadium, also known as Lusail National Stadium, is still under construction. The work on the construction of the stadium actually began on April 11, 2017, but it has not yet finished, however, it should for 2022 World Cup. No wonder that the stadium has been chosen for the 2022 World Cup final, as it can accommodate 80,000 visitors which is higher than any other stadium prepared, extended or built for 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
However, after 2022 World Cup, the stadium will be reconfigured into a 40,000-seat stadium, as planned, with its excess seats removed. The stadium will turn then into a community space with schools, shops, cafes, sporting facilities and health clinics. Featuring a retractable roof, Lusail Iconic Stadium also boasts a highly-efficient energy saving system with solar canopies hovering over the parking and service areas to supply part of the electricity needed by the stadium and its surrounding buildings.
The venue's golden facade takes its inspiration from Arab architecture and the region's tradition of craftsmanship. When lighted at night, it could create a visual feast for the visitors coming from afar. Lusail Stadium is located 20 Kms away from central Doha in the newly-developed city of Lusail, and is accessible by road or through a new metro line that connects it to the center of Doha.
One of the proposed venues for 2022 World Cup, Al Bayt Stadium will be built in the municipality of Al-Khor, Qatar. The stadium is sometimes referred to as Al-khor Stadium too. The stadium takes its name from Bayt al Sha'ar - the traditional black and white tents made of goat hair where Arab nomads called Bedouin resided (bayt al sha'ar means “house of hair” in Arabic). The overall design of the stadium also takes after Bayt al Sha'ar and the stadium itself is colored in black, white and red to resemble the most to one of Bayt al Sha'ar tents.
Al Bayt Stadium features a retractable roof that can open and close in 20 minutes, providing the inside of the stadium with optimal temperature and enabling it to host matches throughout the year. The stadium has three tiers of seats with one of them being a modular one. The overall capacity of the stadium is 60,000 seats, 1000 of them are for press. Al Bayt Stadium is among those 2022 World Cup stadiums to be dismantled after the World Cup and turn to a recreational venue for the local community. The stadium construction started in late 2015 and according to Qatari sources it’s almost complete by now.
Parts of the stadium have been manufactured outside Qatar and then transported to the country for installation like the stadium roof and façade that was manufactured in Italy and Germany respectively. One interesting thing to know about Al Bayt Stadium is that its tent-like shape actually helps the stadium to keep the temperature at desired levels, just like what traditional Bayt al Sha'ar tents did centuries ago. There are also canopies stretched toward the pitch, providing the visitors with shade and helping with cooling the stadium and consequently reducing its energy consumption.
Although Education City Stadium was scheduled to open in 2019, the work on its construction was not finished in the same year, so the stadium could not host Club World Cup 2019 matches, however, according to FIFA, the stadium is now finished and ready for 2022 World Cup. The stadium has a capacity of 45,000 seats and should host group and round of 16 matches of 2022 World Cup. It is surrounded by several university campuses of Education City, and is designed to look like a diamond in desert.
Education City Stadium will be connected to Central Doha through a subway line currently under construction. It is also easily accessible from Bahrain. That means fans in Bahrain could reach the stadium with a high-speed train within an hour. Extra seats in the stadium will be removed after 2022 Word Cup and the stadium will get back to its normal 25,000 capacity. One interesting fact about Education City Stadium is that it’s one of the greenest (environmental friendly) stadiums in the world with 55% of its building material identified as being sustainable and 28% to have recycled content.
After 2022 World Cup, Education City Stadium will serve as an attraction for the local community with its three pavilions for swimming, indoor sports, and track and field competitions. With partially perforated cladding, the stadium allows for keeping the inside temperature between 24 and 28 degrees, no matter how high the outside temperature is. The stadium also features photovoltaic panels that are embedded in the cladding and can reduce energy consumption up to 20%.
A waterfront stadium in the Ras Abu Aboud region of Doha, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium is another stadium, still under construction, to host 2022 World Cup matches. The stadium is a fully modular one, meaning that it could be completely dismantled after the World Cup. One interesting fact about the stadium is that its main building blocks are shipping containers. Also all the stadium parts could be shipped within shipping containers and reassembled somewhere else as needed.
Since Ras Abu Aboud Stadium is a fully modular stadium, it will complete sooner with less waste produced compared to other stadiums, however according to the stadium project manager, Mohammed Al Mulla, 100 ship containers and 27,000 tons of steel are needed for the completion of the project. The venue is planned to change to a retail area with large parks after 2022 World Cup is ended. Abu Aboud Stadium will have a capacity of 40,000 and no date is declared yet for its completion, though it should be ready before the start of 2022 World Cup. The stadium will be reachable through Doha Corniche - a nice walk alongside West Bay, Hamad International Airport and Doha Metro Line.
The only stadium among 2022 World Cup stadiums that will retain its capacity of 49,000 seats even after the World Cup. It means no part of the stadium will be dismantled after the tournament. The venue will hold a convention center, a water park, a mall, and a sports museum among other cultural and recreational structures that have raised its construction cost to $1.6 billion. Very much like Al Bayt Stadium, the design of Sports City Stadium is inspired by traditional Bedouin tents, although the two stadiums are not similar at least in regard to their outer appearance.
Sports City Stadium will be an eco-friendly stadium with its power coming from solar cells on its roof and no carbon emissions. Aiming at being one of the highly sophisticated stadiums even in the world, Sports City Stadium will feature a partially retractable roof, a retractable pitch and a transformable seating bowl. The roof of the stadium would be large enough to provide a sitting room for fans, meaning that it could accommodate even more people than it boasts.
Sports City Stadium will also feature an advanced cooling system that is capable of pumping cool air into each row of seats and then filter it again as it descends from the seats. The stadium is to host group matches and the third place playoff of 2022 World Cup. Although not planned to be dismantled after the World Cup ends, the venue could still be used for non-sport purposes, such as concerts and theatre performances.
Located near a historical site, Umm Salal Muhammad Fort, and inspired by the kinds of the same fort in design, Umm Salal Stadium is another stadium to host 2022 World Cup matches. The stadium is planned to have a capacity of more than 45,000 seats, however, after the World Cup, the capacity will decrease to 25,000 seats and the stadium itself will serve as the home to Umm Salal FC.
The stadium is planned to host group, round of 16, and quarter final matches of 2022 World Cup.