On November 30, 2021, Al Bayt Stadium, the opening match venue for the FIFA 2022 World Cup, was unveiled, with the spectacular large tent-covered sports arena hosting the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 opening ceremony.
The stadium, located in the northern city of Al Khor, was designed by architectural company Dar Al-Handasah and delivered by Aspire Zone Foundation. It derives its name from ‘Bayt Al Sha’ar’ – tents historically used by the nomadic people of Qatar and the Gulf region. Dar Al-Handasah’s is similarly influenced by tents, with a beautiful tent-shaped canopy encircling the ultra-modern football stadium.
The black stripes commonly seen on nomadic tribes’ tents in Qatar have been referenced on the arena’s striking façade, while colourful sadu motifs will welcome supporters inside.
The design and building of the 60,000-capacity stadium are inspired by Qatar’s environmental aims, with the sports arena envisioned as an example of green development. In addition to using green building materials, Al Bayt Stadium is designed to consume as little energy as possible to keep both players and spectators cool and comfortable. The eye-catching tent structure extends out from every side of the field, collaborating with the retractable 1,600-tonne roof system to provide plenty of shade and enhance the air cooling technologies in use. These characteristics aid in maintaining a comfortable inside temperature without the use of additional power.
Sustainability also drives the design of the nearby area of Al Bayt Stadium, with parks and greenery, providing local communities with valuable outdoor space to enjoy.
The park area surrounding the stadium is the size of more than 30 football fields and includes sports courts, play areas, exercise equipment, and jogging and cycling routes. Fans are guided towards the stadium by tree-lined pedestrian walkways, while substantial taxi and bus services reduce the number of vehicles on local roads.
The stadium is also moveable, much like a true nomad’s tent. Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy plans to transform the upper tier of modular design seating into a 5-star hotel after the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In addition, a shopping complex, food court, gym, and multipurpose hall will be included in the main stadium building.
The stadium’s design pays homage to Qatar’s past and present while also looking to the community’s future. Other stadiums in Qatar, such as the Al Thumama Stadium and the 974 Stadium, have recently opened in preparation for the 2022 World Cup.