Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup on 2nd December in 2010, making it the first Arab and Middle Eastern country to do so in 92 years. The winning bid was granted on their ability to host the ‘most compact’ World Cup ever; with 12 of the venues located within 60 kilometers of each other by constructing new stadiums and restoring the remaining. The win was solidified after the FIFA Executive committee was impressed by Qatar’s visionary architectural ambitions to utilise solar energy to provide air-conditioning sustainably.
Some of the new stadiums built are inspired by Qatari elements with a sustainable approach for example: Al Janoub Stadiums’ exterior, designed by renowned late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid was conceptualised based on the city’s’ interrelation with the sea and it’s pearling history. Similarly, Stadium 974 is constructed partially employing old shipping containers to represent Qatar’s maritime history and with materials that are easy to deconstruct, ‘974’ is also Qatar’s international dialing code.
Thumama Stadium’s structure is created to look like a gahfiya (traditional Arabic hat), designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim Jaidah. Following a similar theme, the stadium is also named after a tree that grows in the surrounding areas. The organisers of the event have also stated the Lusail Iconic Stadium, the one that will host the final game of the year, was specifically built for the World Cup and has zero carbon footprint.
Ever since 2010, the country has been hard-at-work, preparing to host the most anticipated event in the sports industry. FIFA has an audience of over 5 billion worldwide and is expected to host 1.5 billion visitors.
To accommodate all the spectators from around the world, Qatar has spent $200 billion to transform the city, constructing new roads, multitudes of hotels, including cruise ships to multi-task as ‘floating hotels,’ to the extravagant Place Vendome mall and a new airport and metro system. Among them is ‘Lusail city’ the areas surrounding the Lusail Stadium, the infrastructure will contain 19 districts that will include a lagoon, golf courses and theme parks. Qatar has also collaborated with the organisers of Glastonbury music festival to incorporate the desert and provide comfortable tents for fans to reside in.
Among all the Arab teams, four teams have been qualified to partake in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The teams include: Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Morocco. Qatar automatically secured a spot as the host and it will be the team’s first time to play at the league. However, other teams like Saudi Arabia and Morocco have been qualified for a total of six FIFA World Cup tournaments prior to the 2022 league. Tunisia has also been qualified five times, the first time being at the 1978 FIFA World Cup, where the team was the the first Arab team to ever get that far and win ninth place.
The tournament will have 64 games among all the divisions to determine the winners of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The first games of the Arab teams are scheduled to take place on the 20th of November, between Qatar and Ecuador, this will be first match to start off the league. Saudi Arabia and Tunisia are both scheduled to play the next day on the 22nd of November, against Argentina and Denmark, and on the following day, Morocco will be playing against Croatia. To enjoy the game from the comfort of your couch, fans from all over the Middle East can subscribe to TOD, the official streaming platform for FIFA.
To learn more about all the matches and their schedules click here.