Qatar 2022: Guide to Their Space-Age World Cup Stadiums
After FIFA's announcement that the 2022 World Cup Finals will be head in Qatar, there has been a lot of negative feedback and questions have raised concerning the voting process which took place. Many people feel Qatar is inadequate to host the World Cup and that there are for more negative aspects to their bid than positives.
Admittedly, there are some flaws to the Qatar 2022 bid, but I find it great that FIFA has given the Cup to a Middle Eastern nation for the first time in the history of the competition, and considering the success which South Africa 2010 was, I believe that Qatar 2022 will be a truly great World Cup.
The World Cup will be held in Qatar during the summer of 2022, where average temperatures range from around 78º to 115º Fahrenheit. This is a major concern for players and fans, but Qatar is planning to build 12 air conditioned stadiums which will use solar energy to keep fans and players cool during matches.
However, more than just being energy efficient, the stadiums are a true pleasure to see. They incorporate modern design with the traditional culture of the region to create a great environment for World Cup fans of all nations, and to support unity and tolerance, the true meaning of the World Cup.
With many believing that choosing Qatar as a host nation was the wrong choice by FIFA, I think we should have a look at some of the revolutionary stadiums to be built by Qatar, which could have a great impact on not just the future of football, but sports stadiums and venues all around the world.
Doha Port Stadium
Expected capacity: 44,950
Qatar is going to be the first host nation to display a stadium completely based around water. The Doha Stadium will hould around 45,000 people and will use water as its primary energy source.
It will be situated on an artifical peninsula, which will be built in the Persian Gulf. Water from the Gulf will also run around the outer part of the building and double as a natural cooling system.
If that isn't enough, you can be taken to the stadium by a "water taxi."
Image courtesy of: AS&P - Albert Speer & Partner Gm
Expected capacity: 44,740
The Al-Gharrafa Stadium was initially built in 2003, with an original capacity of less than 25,000. However, it will be going under major renovations as it is redeveloped into a World Cup stadium.
The outer part of the stadium will be covered in ribbons, which represent the nations who qualify for the 2022 World Cup, to promote unity among nations.
Expected capacity: 45,120
This design may seem very modern and innovative, but it is based on the traditional fishing boats of the regions known as dhow. It very well reflects the fishing history of the region and shows how easily Qatar can incorporate cultural aspects into their spectacular designs.
Additionally, the stadium is very easily accessible, and fans can get to it by multiple means of public transportation.
Expected capacity: 45,330
The design of the stadium is based on a seashell and provides spectators with another deeper look into Qatarian culture, not to mention they will have a breathtaking view of the Persian Gulf, just outside the stadium.
Umm Slal Stadium
Image courtesy of AS&P - Albert Speer & Partner
Expected capacity 45,120
Located about 40 miles from Doha, this stadium is like no stadium which has ever been done before.
With a design based off traditiona; Arabian forts, it will be a true architectural masterpiece. It is truly like nothing I have ever seen before, and the fact that is a football stadium is mindblowing.
Education City Stadium
Image courtesy of AS&P - Albert Speer & Partner
Expected capacity 45,350
Located in between University Campuses, the Education City Stadium is really something else. A stadium that glistens at nighttime to provide wonderful lighting, it is a highly accessible stadium, just 51 miles from Bahrain on railway.
After the World Cup, the stadium will be downsized to hold 25,000 and will be used as sporting venues for the local Universities.
Khalifa International Satdium
Images courtesy of AS&P - Albert Speer & Partner
Expected capacity: 68,030
The stadium has already been used as host of a recent Brazil-Argentina friendly, and will host the 2011 AFC Cup Final. It was opened way back in 1976 and was part of the 2006 Asian Games, as well as host of last year's Brazil-England friendly.
It was renovated in 2005 and has a current capacity of around 40,000, however, it will be undergoing major renovations in order to prepare for the 2022 World Cup.
Another interesting thing to know about the stadium is that it has a large platform on the eastern side, which can be used for launching fireworks. This would be pretty interesting to see at the World Cup.
Expected capacity: 45,120
Al-Wakrah is Qatar's oldest city, and the stadium takes a lot of inspiration from the seas and waters which shaped the history of the nation. The curved, blue appearance also reflects the culture of fishing and pearl diving.
It is currently home to the Al-Wakrah football team, and has a capacity of around 20,000, but will undergo some major remodeling before becoming a World Cup stadium.
Expected capacity 44,740
This is probably the most revolutionary of the stadiums being built in Qatar. It is currently used as a multi-sporting venue, but will undoubtedly be one of the hottest arenas for the 2022 World Cup.
The outer part of the stadium features a membrane which will be used for displaying advertisements, live scores and match updates.
It will also show live match replays, essentially allowing people to watch a game from outside of the stadium.
The development of this stadium could change the future of architecture as a whole.
Qatar University Stadium
Expected capacity 43,520
Qatar University Stadium will be the marginally smallest stadium of all, but is nothing short of excellent.
The stadium is located on campus and is replacing one of the school's current arenas. It has a capacity of around 43,520 but after the World Cup, it will be split up and part of the arena will be given to an under-developed nation to help build sporting arenas.
The stadium will then be used by the university for football matches and other sporting purposes.
Sports City Stadium
Expected capacity: 47,560
Based on the idea of traditional Arab tents, the Sports City Stadium is will probably be the most advanced sport's stadium on the face of the planet.
It will feature a retractable roof, a partially retractable pitch and retractable stands, making it the best football pitch ever. However, once the 2022 World Cup is over, Qatar's bidding committee stated, "The stadiums innovative features will make it an ideal venue for football matches, but also concerts, theatre performances and non-football related athletic events."
Lusail Iconic Stadium
Expected capacity: 86,250
This stunning stadium will be used to hold the opening match and eventually, the Final of the 2022 World Cup. This stadium too was inspired by the fishing culture of the region, taking a shape similar to that of the traditional dhow boats.
Completely surrounded by a large moat, some are already calling it the "island stadium."
"Reflecting Doha’s culture and heritage, the stadium is designed to be highly energy efficient and capable of performing in extreme summer climatic conditions," say the designers.
The stadium is expected to be done with construction in 2019.
Qatar's bid director, Yasir Al Jamal, talked to CNN about the cooling systems used at the World Cup stadiums.
"Stadium seats will be cooled using air pumped at the spectator ankle zone at a temperature of 18º C," Jamal said. "The same air will also be projected from the back and neck area of the seats, ensuring that each seating row of each stadium provides maximum comfort and enjoyment to fans."
Looking at these stadiums, I think that Qatar 2022 will honestly be a World Cup which will change the future of football forever.
Not only have stadiums been revolutionized, but I believe that FIFA's choice of Qatar will bring unity and tolerance among all footballing nations. How could it be the world's game without the whole world?
Of course, there are going to be some problems at the 2022 World Cup. There's no question about it; there have been problems everytime. In the end, I think that everyone is the real winner from this decision, and for the naysayers, you can just wait and see.