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Qatar 2022: Salient features of Al Thumama World Cup stadium

Al Thumama

Bengaluru, October 23: Qatar, the host nation of 2022 FIFA World Cup unveiled the sixth venue -- Al Thumama Stadium -- on Friday (October 22) as the Middle East country steps up its preparations to host the quadrennial extravaganza in a year's time.

The stunning venue was inaugurated in the presence of Qatar's Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino as the country marked yet another milestone on the Road to 2022.

There could not have been a better match than the final of the 49th edition of Amir's Cup between Qatar Stars League (QSL) clubs Al Sadd and Al Rayyan to set the ball rolling at Al Thumama.

Dubbed the Qatar Classico, the match-up between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan, who are coached by two World Cup-winners -- (Xavi Hernandez, Al Sadd and Laurent Blanc, Al Rayyan) saw number of prominent players take to the pitch.

Sadd beat Rayyan 5-4 on penalties to clinch the trophy after the teams were level 1-1 at the end of the regulation time. It was a record 18th victory in the competition for the Wolves.

Al Thumama is the sixth venue to be ready for Qatar 2022.

Five stadiums -- Khalifa International, Al Janoub, Educational City, Al Rayyan and Al Bayt -- were already complete and hosted many matches amidst the raging novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It may be recalled that in a break from the normal tradition of hosting the FIFA World Cup in the June-July window, Qatar 2022 will be held in winter with the tournament starting on November 21 and ending on December 18 to coincide with the Qatar National Day.

Qatar, who are the reigning Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup champions are building eight stadiums for biggest football show on earth.

Main work on two more tournament venues -- Ras Abu Aboud and Lusail - will be complete by the year end.

Qatar 2022 will be a 28-day affair as the country is set to host the first FIFA World Cup to be held in Middle East and the entire Arab world.

Stadium design

Stadium design

The stadium designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim M Jaidah represents the gahfiya - a traditional woven cap worn by people across the Middle East. The gahfiya forms a fundamental layer of the traditional clothing of the region. It is also a symbol of dignity and independence.

In May 2018, the venue's design won acclaim when it earned the MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Award.

Formal inauguration

Formal inauguration

Al Thumama Stadium's unmistakable presence sits majestically amid its lush green surroundings. Areas for play and relaxation have been created to not only beautify the venue, but to further enhance the lives and futures of the local communities.

The inauguration ceremony took place prior to the Amir's Cup final and involved local schoolchildren celebrating the design of the stadium.

Stadium legacy

Stadium legacy

During Qatar 2022, the stadium will host eight matches up to and including the quarterfinals stage. The venue will also be a prominent host of the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021, with six matches up to and including the semi-finals stage being played at the venue.

After Qatar 2022, the stadium's capacity will be reduced to 20,000 and used for football and other sporting events, with the dismantled sporting infrastructure to be donated to developing nations.

Cooling technology

Cooling technology

Al Thumama features state-of-the-art cooling technology, which will allow the venue to host events throughout the year.

Its precinct includes a number of sporting facilities, including cycling and running tracks, and extensive green spaces, for the benefit of the local community.

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Story first published: Saturday, October 23, 2021, 9:34 [IST]
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