As football fans across the world await the final draw of lots for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, here is a quick look at the eight stadiums in Qatar where the matches will be held. Interestingly, these stadiums are not just architectural marvels but also representative of Qatari culture.
Qatar's oldest stadium, built in 1976, Khalifa International Stadium or National Stadium, has been completely refurbished with a new look.
Stadium 974, built near Doha's bustling port, has been built from shipping containers and special steel. It is a reminder of Qatar's trade and maritime culture. Interestingly, 974 is the international dialling code of Qatar and also the number of containers used here.
The opening match of the tournament will be hosted at the Al Bayt Stadium, located in Al Khor, about 50 km by road from the capital city of Doha. The roof is built like a bayt al sha'ar – a tent historically used by nomads.
Al Janoub Stadium, located in Al-Wakrah, is a reminder of Qatar's dhow boats which were traditionally used for the pearl-diving trade.
The circular form of the Al Thumama Stadium is reminiscent of the gahfiya, the traditional hat worn by men in this region.
The rebuilt Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium's facade is illuminated with traditional patterns inspired by the flora and fauna of the region.
The colour of the diamond-shaped stadium in the Education City changes with the passage of the sun.
The Lusail Iconic Stadium, located north of Doha, is the largest of the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums with a capacity to hold 80,000 people. This is where the grand final will be held. The eye-catching design of the stadium has drawn inspiration from the decorative motifs seen on ancient vessels and other objects.
One of the major driving forces behind the architecturally grand stadiums is the concept of sustainability. For example, Stadium 974 will be completely disassembled after the tournament and the components donated to a country which needs the infrastructure. Upper tiers of some of the stadiums will be dismantled and also recycled to nations which need to develop their sporting infrastructure. Some of the stadiums will be repurposed as public facilities, hospitality infrastructure, and other.
The stadiums have been built across the country so that visitors can also enjoy the many attractions. For more information, check here (visitqatar.qa)