This year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar will run from Monday, 21 November until Sunday, 18 December and, with the Final Draw now made, maybe you are thinking of attending some of the games to one of the world’s most watched sporting spectacles. If so, our definitive stadium by stadium guide – along with maps showing the accommodation near each stadium – will hopefully help with your plans.
There will be 8 stadia used for this year’s FIFA World Cup. Groups A, B, E and F have been allocated to the Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium and Ahmad bin Ali Stadium. Groups C, D, G and H have been allocated to the Lusail Iconic Stadium, Stadium 974, Education City Stadium and Al Janoub Stadium.
Here’s the low-down on each stadium, and a breakdown of which games will be played at these venues and when, along with a series of hotel recommendations and interactive maps to help you book.
The Lusail Stadium is located about 20 km north of Doha. It is the embodiment of Qatar’s passion for sharing its culture with the world, and has been designed as a rich representation of the Arabic world, showcasing motifs of vessels, bowls and art pieces from the region. It is the biggest stadium in Qatar, owned by the Qatar Football Association, and will be the venue for the World Cup Final. Interestingly, it will be cooled using solar power and will have a zero carbon footprint.
The Al Bayt Stadium can be found in the city of Al Khor, famous for its pearl diving and fishing. Fashioned to replicate the bayt al sha’ar (the mobile home tent of the Bedouin tribes), its innovative design echoes the flowing fabric of the traditional Bedouin dwellings. It will be the venue for the opening match of the FIFA World Cup, between the host nation of Qatar and Latin American qualifiers Ecuador.
Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, popularly known as the Al-Rayyan Stadium, is named after Ahmad bin Ali Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar from 1960 to 1972, and is home to Al-Rayyan Sports Club and Al-Kharitiyath Sports Club. It is located at the edge of the desert and draws from Qatari cultural symbols to create a stadium that mirrors the desert and cultural beauty that surrounds it. The locals of Al Rayyan are known for their love of tradition and warm hospitality, and the area also plays host to a new mall, The Mall of Qatar.
The Al Janoub Stadium is located in the southern city of Al Wakrah, one of Qatar’s oldest continuously-inhabited areas. Its curvilinear postmodernist and neo-futurist design acknowledges the dhow, the pearl fishing boats which are one of the most iconic symbols of the Qatari region, since Al Wakrah has long been known as a centre for pearl diving and fishing. The use of flowing designs, timber and natural materials in the stadium construction pays homage to this heritage.
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