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Touring the Eight Qatar World Cup Stadiums

posted on: Oct 26, 2022

By Drew Jackson/ Arab America Contributing Writer

FIFA World Cup 2022 Trophy in front of Doha, Qatar| Photo Credit: FIFA

The 2022 FIFA World Cup taking place this Winter in Qatar has been one of the most anticipated sporting events since Qatar won the FIFA bid in 2010.  This World Cup will be the first to take place in an Arab nation and is also set to be the most expensive, costing Qatar a reported whopping 220 billion USD.  For reference Russia only spent a mere 14.2 billion USD on the event and Brazil only invested 11.6 billion USD in 2014. 

The reason behind Qatar’s massive price tag associated with the World Cup is due to their relative lack of infrastructure and stadiums to host an event of this scale.  In line with the Qatar 2030 plan, Qatar was already planning on spending around 200 billion USD from 2010-2020 on infrastructure to support their tourism and business goals.  However, Qatar had to completely build 7 of the 8 stadiums and renovate its existing national stadium to accommodate the near 2.9 million World Cup attendees. These infrastructure investments accelerated the construction of many hotels, shopping complexes, and building offices. The stadiums were also built with sustainability in mind and will run almost entirely off of solar energy from panel farms in the country.

With the World Cup approaching let’s take a look at the eight stadiums that will host the world’s second largest competitive spectacle, behind only the Olympics. 

Al Bayt Stadium: 847 million USD

Al Bayt Stadium | Photo Credit: FourFourTwo

Al Bayt stadium is the most expensive stadium on this list.  With a seating capacity of 65,000 people, this illustrious stadium will host 8 matches including the opening match on November 20th. 

Designed by Lebanese construction firm Dar Al-Handaseh, the stadium’s design is meant to pay homage to the nomadic Bedouin tribes of Qatar.  The design emulates the traditional Bayt al-Shatar tents used for thousands of years by nomads as shelter. 

Al Bayt stadium is also home to a five star hotel whos balconies will have direct views of the pitch during the tournament.  The stadium was given a five star rating by the Global Sustainability Assessment System(GSAS).

Lusail Iconic Stadium: 767 million USD

Lusail Iconic Stadium | Photo Credit: Radio Times

The second most expensive stadium is the Lusail Iconic Stadium, the largest stadium in the World Cup with a seating capacity of 80,000 fans.  This stadium will host the most games with 10 games featured including the World Cup final. 

Designed by renowned British Architectural firm Foster & Partners, the stadium’s design is influenced heavily by the iconic Fanar Lantern, as well as traditional Arab bowls and vessels used throughout the Middle East. 

In addition to its massive size and cost, the stadium boasts an impressive 0 carbon footprint, running entirely off of solar panels on the outside of the stadium.  At the conclusion of the World Cup, the stadium will be repurposed into a venue for businesses, shopping boutiques, and restaurants.

Education City Stadium: 700 million USD

Education City Stadium | Photo Credit: Tiso Turnstiles

Known as the “Diamond in the Desert” Education City Stadium located in Doha is the third most expensive Qatar stadium, costing an estimated 700 million USD to construct.  

Designed by Fenwick Iribarren and Pattern Design, the stadium is built with a jewel like appearance giving birth to its nickname as the “Diamond in the Desert.”  The stadium was built using 20% of materials from green sources and has a 5 star GSAS rating.  Education City will have a seating capacity of 40,000 fans and will host eight games including a quarter-final. 

At the World Cup’s conclusion the site will serve as the new athletic center/stadium for the eight international universities that call Doha home.

Al Janoub Stadium: 656-700 million USD

Al Janoub Stadium | Photo Credit: Qatar 2022

The fourth most expensive stadium is known as Al Janoub stadium, located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Qatar, with conflicting reports claiming the cost of construction being between 656 and 700 million USD. 

This stadium was designed by the legendary late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, credited with the design of the London Olympic Aquatic center in 2012. Hadid designed the stadium after the swooping sails of traditional Dhow boats used by pearl divers in Al Wakhra. 

Al Janoub has the capacity to host 40,000 fans and will hold seven World Cup games. Following the conclusion of the World Cup, Al Janoub will serve as the center of a lively shopping area and tourist destination, in line with the site’s future role in Qatar’s 2030 Plan. 

Khalifa International Stadium: 374 million USD

Khalifa International Stadium | Photo Credit: Timeout Doha

The fifth stadium on our list is the only stadium in existence prior to 2010.  The Khalifa International Stadium, commonly known as Qatar’s National Stadium, was renovated for a 374 million USD price tag in order to host the event. 

Home to Qatar’s national team and named after Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, the former Emir of Qatar, Khalifa International Stadium has a rich sporting history.  It opened in 1976 and hosted the 1992 Gulf Cup, where Qatar won for the first time ever.  Additionally, this is the only stadium which will not be partially or fully dismantled following the World Cup’s conclusion, and will continue to feature on the world stage as the site of soccer and track and field tournaments.  

Khalifa International Stadium will have a seating capacity of 40,000 fans and will host seven matches including the third-place patch. 

Ahmad bin Ali Stadium (Al Rayyan Stadium): 360 million USD

Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium | Photo Credit: Sporting News

The Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, better known as the Al Rayyan stadium is another stadium on the site of an already long-running stadium.  Al Rayyan Stadium costed around 360 million USD to construct and was built recycling about 80% of the materials from the original stadium on the site. 

Designed by Pattern Design, the stadium’s facade is meant to serve mainly as a broadcast site.  The membrane of the stadium will project games as well as scores and news from around the tournament for those outside to see. 

At the conclusion of the World Cup, the stadium will host the Al Rayyan Sports clubs, a conglomerate owning multiple sports teams but most notably the Al Rayyan Football Club.  

Al Thumama Stadium: 342 million USD

Al Thumama Stadium | Photo Credit: Inside World Football

One of the cheaper stadiums to construct, the Al Thumama Stadium, named after the Thumma gum tree, comes in at a cost of 342 million USD.  

Designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim M. Jaidah, Al Thumama is designed after the traditional Ghafiya hat worn across the Arab world.  Its design won it the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Award in 2021.  Located in a district of Doha very close to the city’s center, Al Thumama is part of a much larger development project. 

Al Thumama will have a seating capacity of 40,000 and will host seven matches including a quarter-final.  

At the conclusion of the World Cup, Al Thumama will be converted into a massive community center, hosting a boutique hotel, a massive 50,000 square meter park, and a Mosque. 

Stadium 974: Cost unknown

Stadium 974 | Photo Credit: Dezeen

The final featured stadium for the 2022 World Cup is called Stadium 974, with an unknown cost due to the unique materials used to build the stadium. 

Stadium 974 is the first temporary venue in World Cup history, and will be completely dismantled following the conclusion of the tournament.  Constructed entirely out of recycled steel and 974 storage containers, the stadium boasts a four star GSAS rating.  Once the stadium’s use is complete, the dismantled pieces will be provided in the form of construction assistance to under-developed nations across the world. 

Stadium 974 will have the capacity to host 40,000 fans and will hold six matches.

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