Every tournament venue – including Lusail Stadium – has been completed as the country marks a year to go until the big kick-off
With exactly one year to go until the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world, Qatar has proudly completed construction work at all eight tournament venues.
The finishing touches were recently applied to Lusail Stadium – the 80,000-capacity venue that will host next year’s final on 18 December.
Lusail is one of seven venues to have been built from scratch, while Khalifa International Stadium was extensively redeveloped in preparation for the 22nd edition of football’s flagship international tournament.
To celebrate the one year to go milestone, qatar2022.qa takes a closer look at the eight amazing stadiums that will host the FIFA World Cup, which will kick off at Al Bayt on 21 November 2022.
Khalifa International Stadium
The first tournament-ready venue for Qatar 2022, Khalifa International has a long history of hosting major sporting events since 1976. Serving as Qatar’s national stadium, the venue underwent extensive redevelopment in order to prepare it for the FIFA World Cup. This included the addition of a new tier that added 12,000 seats to the capacity and a new façade. A new LED lighting system adds a new dimension to the fan experience.
Inaugurated: The redeveloped stadium was inaugurated on 19 May 2017 when it hosted the 45th Amir Cup final
Major matches hosted: Hosted five matches during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019, including the final on 21 December 2019, as well as games during the 2020 AFC Champions League. In 2021, the stadium played host to qualifiers for the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 and Asian zone qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Qatar 2022: The stadium will host eight matches up to and including the third-place play-off
Al Janoub Stadium
Located in Al Wakrah, Al Janoub Stadium was the first Qatar 2022 venue to be built from scratch. The stadium’s design is inspired by the sails of traditional dhow boats, in tribute to Al Wakrah’s seafaring past. Built with an innovative cooling system and retractable roof, the venue can be used all year round.
Designer: AECOM and Zaha Hadid Architects
Inauguration: The stadium was inaugurated on 16 May 2019 when it hosted the 47th Amir Cup final
Major matches hosted: Al Janoub staged several matches during the 2020 AFC Champions League, including the final on 19 December 2020
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host six matches up to the quarter-finals stage
Qatar 2022: Al Janoub will stage seven matches up to the round of 16 stage
Education City Stadium
Located in Education City, home of Qatar Foundation, the stadium’s façade features triangles that form complex, diamond-like geometrical patterns which appear to change colour with the sun’s movement across the sky. Like diamonds, the stadium’s design represents quality, durability and resilience. The ‘Diamond in the Desert’ was also the first Qatar 2022 tournament venue to achieve a five-star design and build rating from the Global Sustainability Assessment System.
Designer: Fenwick Iribarren Architects
Inaugurated: The stadium was inaugurated in June 2020 through a specially-programmed digital launch as a tribute to frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
Major matches hosted: The stadium hosted matches in the 2020 AFC Champions League and four games during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020™, including the final on 11 February 2021
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host five matches up to the quarter-finals stage
Qatar 2022: Education City will stage eight matches up to the quarter-finals stage
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium
Located in the city of Al Rayyan, the stadium was built on the site of the old venue – also named Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium – with many of the materials from the deconstructed venue being used in the new project. The stadium’s most striking feature is a glowing façade, comprised of patterns that characterise different aspects of the country: the importance of family, the beauty of the desert, native flora and fauna, and local and international trade.
Inauguration: The stadium was inaugurated on 18 December 2020 when it hosted the 48th Amir Cup final
Major matches hosted: Three matches during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020™ in February 2021
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host four matches during the group stage
Qatar 2022: Seven matches up to the round of 16 stage
Al Thumama Stadium
Qatari architect Ibrahim M. Jaidah’s inspiration for the design of Al Thumama Stadium was the ‘gahfiya’ – a traditional woven cap worn by men and boys across the Middle East. The gahfiya forms a fundamental layer of the traditional clothing of the region. It is also a symbol of dignity and independence. In May 2018, the venue’s design won the MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Award.
Designer: Ibrahim M. Jaidah
Inauguration: Al Thumama was inaugurated on 22 October 2021 when it hosted the 49th Amir Cup final
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host six matches up to the semi-finals stage
Qatar 2022: Al Thumama will stage eight matches up to the quarter-finals
Al Bayt Stadium
Located in Al Khor, the spectacular Al Bayt Stadium takes its inspiration from ‘bayt al sha’ar’ – which were tents historically used by nomadic peoples in Qatar and the Gulf region. The design honours Qatar’s past and present, while keeping one eye on the future of the community. The stadium precinct includes the vast Al Bayt Park, which opened in February 2020.
Designer: Dar Al-Handasah
Inauguration: On 30 November, the stadium will be inaugurated during the opening day of the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021™ when it hosts the match between Qatar and Bahrain
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host five matches, including the final on 18 December
Qatar 2022: Al Bayt will stage nine matches up to the semi-finals stage. This includes the opening match of the tournament
Built using modified shipping containers and modular steel elements, Stadium 974 is the first fully demountable stadium in FIFA World Cup™ history. The design is inspired by Doha’s character and history as a major port city on the Arabian Gulf. 974 is the number of shipping containers used in the development and also Qatar’s international dialling code.
Designer: Fenwick Iribarren Architects
Inauguration: The stadium was unveiled during a digital launch on 20 November 2021 and will hold its first match on the opening day of the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 when the United Arab Emirates play Syria on 30 November 2021
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host six matches, including the third-place play-off
Qatar 2022: 974 will stage seven matches up to the round of 16 stage
Located in Lusail City, the stadium is Qatar’s largest tournament venue. The design is inspired by the interplay of light and shadow that characterises the ‘fanar’ lantern. Lusail’s shape and facade echo the intricate decorative motifs on bowls and other vessels characteristic of the golden age of art and craftsmanship in the Arab and Islamic world.
Designer: Foster + Partners
Progress: The stadium has been completed and will be inaugurated in 2022
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Lusail will host ten matches during every stage of Qatar 2022, including the final