Doha: The 60,000-capcity Al Bayt stadium, which will host the opening match and the semifinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, opened on Tuesday in the Qatari city of Al Khor, a Sputnik corresponded reported.
The giant tent-like arena became the second to last stadium completed in Qatar ahead of the World Cup. The official opening ceremony took place before the first group match of the debut FIFA Arab Cup between Qatar and Bahrain. The match was attended by Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The stadium was designed to look like tents historically used by nomadic peoples in Qatar and the Gulf region, the so-called bayt al sha’ar. It is the first arena in the world to have its exterior covered with a non-traditional building materials but will boast a uniquely developed fluorocarbon solid. The structure was built using ecological materials and using the latest eco-friendly technologies, including solar power and water recycling.
After the World Cup, half of the stands will be taken away and the facility will be used for exhibitions and weddings, the stadium’s manager told the press. Other surrounding infrastructure will also serve the needs of the locals and tourists after the end of the tournament. It includes a large park near the stadium with tracks for running and cycling, horse and camel races, as well as a 96-room hotel that will have two cinemas, stores and restaurants.
Currently, the stadium is used to host the matches of the inaugural FIFA Arab Cup, in which 16 teams from the Arab world will face off in six FIFA World Cup venues in Qatar. The tournament’s finals will take place on December 18, timed to coincide with the Qatar National Day and to mark the start of the one-year countdown to the World Cup.
Qatar has become the first Arab nation to host a football World Cup. The tournament will be held from November 21 to December 18, 2022.