Each stadium at this year’s World Cup boasts its own unique design to represent different aspects of Qatari culture.
The FIFA World Cup is the most highly-anticipated sporting event in the world. And every four years, the host nation always puts its best foot forward to ensure that the tournament lives up to the hype under its watch.
In doing so, Qatar has made history, as they will be hosting the most expensive World Cup. They have spent an estimated $220 billion over the years that they have been preparing for the event. And largely, this has been spent on creating the infrastructures to accommodate 32 participating countries.
With this, Qatar has prepared seven new stadiums to create a total of eight to accommodate all 64 World Cup matches throughout the coming weeks, and each one is as extravagant as the next, with one-of-a-kind features.
Let’s take a quick look at each of the intricately-designed stadiums in Qatar.
1. Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
The Ahmad bin Ali Stadium’s most prominent feature is its glowing (literally) exterior. The stadium’s facade is lined with patterns that showcase unique aspects of Qatar’s culture, such as family values, the desert, nature, and trade.
The Ahmad bin Ali Stadium has a total capacity of 40,000 and will be hosting six matches throughout the tournament. The first game taking place in this glowing stadium will be the group stage match between USA vs. Wales on November 21.
2. Al Bayt Stadium
The Al Bayt Stadium’s design honors a piece of Qatar’s history. Specifically, it takes its name from ‘bayt al sha’ar’. These are tents that were used by nomadic people in Qatar and the Gulf Region.
Similar to a circus tent, the Al Bayt holds more than just a football pitch. In fact, with the space of over 30 football pitches, the entire stadium also includes play areas, exercise spaces, and tracks for running and cycling. With a tournament capacity of 60,000, the first World Cup match between Qatar and Ecuador will take place here.
3. Al Janoub Stadium
The Al Janoub Stadium was designed to mimic the winded sails of dhow boats, a traditional Arab sailboat. This is a tribute to Al Wakrah’s fishing and pearl-diving history. The first match here will be between France and Australia on November 22, where up to 40,000 fans can watch the action.
4. Al Thumama Stadium
Arguably one of the most beautifully designed venues for the World Cup, the Al Thumama Stadium’s circular shape is representative of a traditional woven cap worn by males in the Arab world known as ‘gahfiya‘. The stadium can fit up to 40,000 fans and it will host eight matches throughout the tournament, including one of the quarter-finals on December 10.
5. Education City Stadium
At first glance, the Education City Stadium may not be as striking as the others. But, this stadium actually features geometrical patterns that are designed to change in color along with the sun’s movement in the sky. Education City will also host eight matches throughout the tournament, including one of the quarter-finals on December 9.
6. Khalifa International Stadium
Unlike all the other stadiums, the Khalifa International Stadium is the only one that already existed before Qatar won the bid for the World Cup. But, it was still renovated to accommodate the event, adding 10,450 seats to increase the capacity to 40,000. Out of the eight games taking place here, the stadium will be holding England’s first game of the tournament against Iran on November 21.
7. Stadium 974
Stadium 974 boasts one of the most innovative stadium designs in the world. Built entirely out of shipping containers and modular steel, it is the first stadium in the world that can be taken down and put back up in any other location. This design was made to honor Qatar’s mission of creating sustainable designs. Even as a ‘collapsible’ stadium, 974 can hold up to 40,000 as well.
8. Lusail Stadium
The Lusail Stadium has to be Qatar’s most extraordinary, as it will be hosting the World Cup Final. It is also the biggest of the eight stadiums, as it can hold up to 80,000.
The circular shape of the stadium is similar to that of the Al Thummama Stadium. However, the Lusail’s design reflects a different aspect of Qatari culture. Its asymmetrical shape actually represents hand-crafted bowls that are found across Arab and Islamic countries. And just like the metal bowls, the exterior of the Lusail Stadium is meant to fade with time—a feature that breathes life and culture into this venue.
Each stadium boasts its own unique design. With this, it’s no wonder so much was spent in the making of this year’s World Cup. Qatar certaonly made sure that their stadiums match the excitement as the action set to take place within them.