1. The First World Cup in the Middle East
Qatar will be the first Middle Eastern country to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. In the build-up to 2022, Qatar has spent billions of dollars constructing some of the most eco-friendly and architecturally advanced sporting facilities, undertaking enormous economic and infrastructural developments, and investing in the rapid expansion of its football capacity. Qatar is also set to make history, as this will be the first World Cup in the northern hemisphere that will not be held during summer. The tournament is instead scheduled for late November until mid-December. It is to be played in a reduced timeframe of around 28 days, with the final being held on 18 December 2022, which is also Qatar’s National Day. The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) is the main body responsible for the oversight and delivery of the global tournament.
Qatar took its first step on the road to hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 by establishing its bid team in 2009. The bidding team was headed by H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who was the chairman of the bid committee and is the current managing director of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. Qatar promoted its hosting of the tournament as representing the Arab World, and drew support from across the member states of the Arab League.
As part of its mission, the bidding team announced the Generation Amazing football for development program, to positively impact the community through the power of football. The program’s vision was to touch the lives of some of the world’s most deprived people through the delivery of expert football training, community pitches, and by promoting sustainable behavior.
Five candidates, including Qatar, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and the USA, submitted bids for the highly-prized hosting rights. On 2 December 2010, FIFA announced that Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, after the FIFA Executive Committee voted by ballot in Zurich.
To read the FIFA Bid Evaluation Report on Qatar’s application, click here.
Qatar is a peninsular Arab nation with a small population of 2.8 million. The capital of the country is Doha, which is situated on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the east of the country and is the most populous city. Qatar is home to numerous people from around the world, who comprise the vast majority of its population. The economy is largely fueled by the export of hydrocarbons, with Qatar being the world’s second-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. The country’s currency is the Qatari Riyal.
As host nation, Qatar is preparing to make history by hosting its first FIFA World Cup. Through the World Cup, Qatar plans to showcase its culture, history, identity, and hospitality and make this event an unforgettable experience for every fan, spectator, player, and other entities that come to the country for the tournament.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) which was established in 2011 to oversee the delivery and staging of this mega event, is making rapid progress in building stadiums and other infrastructure, and ensuring that the tournament and its preparations contribute to Qatar’s sustainable development.
From the stadiums where football history will be made to infrastructure, accommodation, and transport, the General Secretary of SC, H.E. Hassan Al-Thawadi, estimated the total value of the various construction projects, at around six billion US dollars. In a statement at the International Economic Forum, held in 2019 at St. Petersburg, he stated that in addition to that amount and for further development across the country, there are other infrastructure investments, which will no doubt be used for the World Cup. By some estimates, the overall investment surrounding the World Cup is going to be approximately 220 billion US dollars.
The Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 will be hosted across eight stadiums. The initial five proposed stadiums for the World Cup were unveiled at the beginning of March 2010. It was proposed that all venues will be equipped with and will employ cooling technology capable of reducing temperatures within the stadium by up to 20°C (36°F). The plan to use the cooling technology was introduced in response to the criticism that the weather conditions in the country would be too extreme during summer in the northern hemisphere, when the FIFA World Cup is usually held. The bidding committee proposed the use of these technologies not only in stadiums but also in fan-zones, training pitches, and walkways between Metro stations and stadiums. However, the schedule of the FIFA World Cup was changed to the winter months to better accommodate the players and spectators during matches. As part of the initial bid, it was also proposed that the upper tiers of the stadium will be disassembled after the World Cup and donated to football development projects abroad.
- Doha – Khalifa International Stadium | Capacity: 40,000 seats | Status: Re-designed for the tournament and re-opened in 2017
- Education City Stadium | Capacity: 40,000 seats | Status: Inaugurated in 2020
- Al Rayyan Stadium (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium) | Capacity: 40,000 seats | Status: Inaugurated in 2020
- Lusail Stadium | Capacity: 80,000 seats | Status: under construction
- Al Thumama Stadium | Capacity: 40,000 seats | Status: Inaugurated in 2021
- Al Khor – Al Bayt Stadium | Capacity: 60,000 seats | Status: Inaugurated in 2020
- Al Wakrah – Al Janoub Stadium | Capacity: 40,000 seats | Status: Inaugurated in 2019
- Ras Abu Aboud Stadium | Capacity: 40,000 seats | Status: under construction
Click here for more information on the stadiums.
The official emblem for Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 was launched in September 2019, which embodies culture and traditions as the main elements and serves as an icon for the upcoming tournament. Its design resembles the traditional woolen shawl that men and women wear across the Arab region, especially during the winter months when the tournament is scheduled to take place. Like football, the shawl’s popularity is used as a symbol of a unifying force. It is shaped in a figure-eight, which represents the number of stadiums that are being built to host the event. The emblem’s design celebrates Qatar’s heritage, while embodying the vision of a global event that connects and engages the entire world.
Sustainability and Legacy
Hosting the tournament is already creating a lasting legacy for Qatar. Through infrastructure, education, football for development, support for regional innovation, and a dedication to improving workers’ welfare, SC plans to forge a sustainable future for Qatar. Sustainability has been at the heart of the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 from the very start. FIFA and Qatar jointly presented the FIFA World Cup Sustainability Strategy that sets new benchmarks for social, human, economic, and environmental development. The document outlines five commitments, including human rights, diversity, and environmental protection, as well as 22 sustainability-related objectives.
- To read the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 Sustainability Strategy, click here.
- To read about Sustainable Stadiums, click here.
- To read the Executive Sustainability Summary, click here.
With this Sustainable Strategy, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy plans to set an example for future FIFA World Cup competitions and other sporting mega-events. The document contributes to the Qatar National Vision 2030 and will build a lasting, sustainable legacy for Qatar.