Fourth World Cup Stadium To Host First Match on Qatar National Day
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) recently announced the inauguration date for the latest of its eight World Cup Stadiums to reach completion. The recently completed stadium, located in the Al Rayyan municipality of Qatar, will be unveiled on December 18th playing host to the final of one of the country's most significant football tournaments, The Amir Cup. The date chosen for the inaugural match is also significant; it is Qatar National Day. What better way to celebrate than with the opening of a structure that demonstrates the country's progress at home and as part of the global nation, and whose design showcases both the Qatari culture, its modernity and innovative spirit. It also marks, according to H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of the SC, "the two-year countdown to the biggest match in Qatar's history: the FIFA World Cup final".
Al Rayyan Stadium
A stone's throw (23km) to the west of Doha city centre, Al Rayyan Stadium can accommodate up to 40,000 football fans per match. During the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, the stadium will host games up to the quarter-finals.
Awaiting the influx of fans, both before the World Cup and at the event itself, is a stadium designed to reflect its proximity to the desert. From the undulating stadium facade that wraps around the stadium to the dome-shaped structures across the complex, the entire precinct emulates the flow of the desert dunes to the west. Even the geometric motifs that adorn the stadium facade, and often found in traditional Islamic architecture, symbolise aspects of the desert and its native flora and fauna. And, in the evenings, the entire facade glows adding a new dimension to the edifice and bringing it to life.
Built on the site of the old Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, up to 80% of the materials used in the construction of the new stadium were taken from the demolished structure or, where possible, recycled. In fact, the stadium and its surrounding landscape have been designed to protect and conserve the natural environment - during construction and through the eventual operation and management. During construction, environmentally friendly building materials and practices were used throughout the build. Locally sourced materials and contractors were prioritised, and more than 15% of the building materials used were made from recycled content. Waste wise, 90% of the waste produced during construction was processed for reuse or recycling. Looking forward to the stadium's operation, innovative, solar-powered district cooling technology, LED lights and energy-efficient fixtures and fittings will reduce overall energy consumption - as much as 20% less than comparable venues. Highly efficient flow-restricting fixtures and fittings, greywater systems for use in district cooling and landscaping, and naturally drought-resistant native plants, planted throughout the precinct, will reduce the consumption of domestic water supplies. Water use at Al Rayyan Stadium will be around 20% less than similar facilities. The site was also designed to be easily accessible using local transport, specifically the Metro, to reduce pollution and energy use.
That commitment to sustainability saw the stadium awarded with a prestigious four-star GSAS sustainability rating by the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) signifying Qatar's commitment to sustainability.
Even when the final whistle of the 2022 World Cup tournament blows, the stadium will continue its sustainable journey...
When the World Cup tournament ends, the stadium will become home to the Al Rayyan Football Club. The stadium's capacity will be reduced to 20,000 seats, with the removed facilities donated to the developing world to create new sporting venues elsewhere. The local community will also benefit from the amenities in the complex surrounding the stadium. Sport and leisure facilities, such as pitches for football, cricket and hockey, tennis courts, tracks for cycling, walking, running and athletics, and an aquatics centre, will be provided to promote healthy lifestyles for all.
But, before all of that comes to pass, Qatar's biggest football cup competition will kick-off the stadium's grand opening...
The Amir Cup 2020
First played in the 1972/73 season, The Amir Cup is Qatar's biggest football cup competition. Played out every season, and involving all of Qatar's first and second division teams, the event attracts the country's biggest crowds, especially the Cup final. The 2019 Cup final, hosted alongside the newly completed Al Janoub Stadium inauguration, attracted almost 40,000 fans.
Al Sadd, Qatar's most successful team - many of whom make up the National Team and will be at 2022, have won the Amir Cup a total of 16 times. The 2020 tournament final will feature Al Sadd and Al Arabi, the tournament's second most successful team in the competition. The excitement will be palpable and certainly fitting of the inauguration of this awe-inspiring venue.
The World Cup 2022
The completion and inauguration of the Al Rayyan Stadium is a huge achievement on the road to the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and the Arab world. With two years until kick-off Qatar have completed five of its eight World Cup stadiums - no mean feat considering all but one stadium was built from scratch and three were completed during the COVID-19 crisis. And in the next two years? As Engineer Hilal Al Kuwari, Chairman of the SC’s Technical Delivery Office said, ‘The remaining three (stadiums) will be delivered in the near future in order to give us plenty of time to test our operational plans”.
The excitement in Qatar is building, and preparations steam ahead as time ticks down towards 2022 and one of the greatest events in the world.
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