This is the third and final instalment of our look at the stadiums hosting the World Cup in Qatar from November 20 through December 18. The sense of expectation is more intense than ever, the preparations are now over, and the 32 competing teams are revealing their official selections. In this final instalment, we take a look at the last three of the eight stadiums, located in the cities of Al Khor, Al Wakrah and Ar Rayyan.
The Qatari city of Al Khor is home to Al-Bayt Stadium: as the name – "the house" – indicates, it has the shape of a Bedouin tent, the traditional home of the local nomadic people. The facility, designed by Dar Al-Handasah, seats 60,000 fans and celebrates the Qatar of yesterday and today, while also looking into the future. Adjacent to the stadium is a village, Al-Bayt Park, with large green areas with exercise spaces, cycle paths, and areas dedicated to horse and camel rides. This facility, which will host the first match of the World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador, was inaugurated in late November 2021 with the first match of the FIFA Arab Cup.
The seating capacity of Al-Bayt Stadium will be lowered once the tournament is over, with the upper tier to be removed and reused for the construction of other sports facilities around the country. The Sky Boxes will also be converted to a five-star hotel with a huge shopping mall equipped with a gym, sports medicine clinic, and food court.
Match schedule at Al-Bayt Stadium
November 20 - Group A: Qatar vs Ecuador (at 7 p.m. local time)
November 23 - Group F: Morocco vs Senegal (at 1 p.m. local time)
November 25 - Group B: England vs USA (at 10 p.m. local time)
November 27 - Group E: Spain vs Germany (at 10 p.m. local time)
November 29 - Group A: Netherlands vs Qatar (at 6 p.m. local time)
December 1 - Group E: Costa Rica vs Germany (at 10 p.m. local time)
December 4 - Round of 16 (at 10 p.m. local time)
December 10 - Quarterfinals (at 10 p.m. local time)
December 14 - Semifinals (at 10 p.m. local time)
Al-Janoub Stadium, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, was one of the first to be completed ahead of the World Cup. Opened in May 2019, it now hosts the home matches of local team Al-Wakrah. Seating is currently 40,000 for the World Cup, but this will be reduced to 20,000 once the competition is over. The facility is modeled after the shape of a dhow, a traditional Arab sailing vessel, with the retracting roof recalling the hull, and the façades recalling the sails. Like the other stadiums hosting World Cup matches, Al-Janoub Stadium also caters for a range of activities, including running and cycling, and has green spaces for children, a market, and a mosque.
Match schedule at Al-Janoub Stadium
November 22 - Group D: France vs Australia (at 10 p.m. local time)
November 24 - Group G: Switzerland vs Cameroon (at 1 p.m. local time)
November 26 - Group F: Tunisia vs Australia (at 1 p.m. local time)
November 28 - Group G: Cameroon vs Serbia (at 1 p.m. local time)
November 30 - Group D: Australia vs Denmark (at 6 p.m. local time)
December 1 - Group H: Ghana vs Uruguay (at 6 p.m. local time)
December 5 - Round of 16 (at 6 p.m. local time)
The last stadium we’re looking at is Ahmed bin Ali, designed by BDP Pattern and located in Ar Rayyan, Qatar’s second largest city after the capital, Doha. This is a very modern and colorful facility, distinguished by its bright façade that features traditional decorations and symbols from Qatari culture, namely, the desert, family, and flora. Seating 40,000, this stadium is surrounded by sports facilities, parks, football and cricket fields, tennis courts, children’s play areas, a water park, and a skate park. After the World Cup, the top seats will be removed and donated to other facilities around the country. The materials used to build the facility were 90% recycled and recyclable.
Match schedule at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
November 21 - Group B: USA vs Wales (at 10 p.m. local time)
November 23 - Group F: Belgium vs Canada (at 10 p.m. local time)
November 25 - Group B: Wales vs Iran (at 1 p.m. local time)
November 27 - Group B: Japan vs Costa Rica (at 1 p.m. local time)
November 29 - Group B: Wales vs England (at 10 p.m. local time)
December 1 - Group F: Croatia vs Belgium (at 6 p.m. local time)
December 3 - Round of 16 (at 6 p.m. local time)
Location: Al Khor
Project by Dar Al-Handasah
Location: Al Wakrah
Project by Zaha Hadid Architects
Ahmed bin Ali Stadium
Location: Ar Rayyan
Project by BDP Pattern
All images courtesy of FIFA World Cup