Starting June 28, Qatar will open a Brazil 2014 fan zone for football enthusiasts here who wish to tune into the second round of the FIFA World Cup.
The purpose-built family zone at Katara Cultural Village will show 16 live matches from June 28 until the final in mid-July on a 10m LED panoramic screen – the biggest of its kind in Qatar, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) has said.
The timing of the event is to coincide with Ramadan, a SCDL spokesman told Doha News.
The open-air venue will have a retractable roof and will be cooled using a prototype of one of the systems of “innovative technology” that Qatar is developing to use in stadiums and other public areas when it hosts the World Cup in 2022, the Supreme Committee said in a statement.
Match screenings are free and open to all, but the organizers recommend pre-registering to guarantee a place in the 1,500 capacity venue. This can be done by filling out an online booking form here.
Attendees will be required to provide their full names and Qatar ID numbers or passport numbers. Anyone under 18 years old must be registered by an adult, and accompanied by one during the match.
Those who pre-register will be entered into a competition to win prizes, which include a trip to the World Cup finals in Rio de Janeiro, two Kia vehicles and brunch and an overnight stay for two at the W Doha hotel.
The fan zone will be open for two hours prior to the start of the first game, and for one hour after the end of the final match.
Fans can book to watch up to a maximum of four nights per person through the pre-registration system.
For those who haven’t booked ahead, there will also be a limited number of tickets available on the night of the games. These can be collected in person from the Doha Exhibition Center (DEC) near Katara, but are on a first-come, first-served basis.
Car parking for visitors will be at the DEC parking lot, but those who pre-register can get a premium pass to park closer to the venue.
Shuttle buses will transport people from the parking to the venue throughout the event.
Among the entertainment on offer will be a kids’ corner – with face painting, soft play, a mini entertainer stage and a gaming pod.
Family-friendly interactive activities will also include an agility test, mini beach football, a “power shot” game to test the speed of penalty shots, and “precision shot” for would-be footballers to try to score as many goals as possible in 60 seconds.
The zone will also feature Qatar’s biggest football table.
On stage, there will be popular regional entertainers, including acts such as music and dance to stand-up comedy, story telling, juggling and acrobatic skills, Brazilian drumming and capoeira.
Food will also be available for sale after sunset prayers.
Quizzed as to why the Fan Zone was not open for the start of the World Cup, a SCDL spokesman told Doha News:
“The decision was made to open it to coincide with the start of the second round and also the start of Ramadan. This is a time when families come together to celebrate.”
For the opening round of the competition, football fans have the choice of tuning in at home through extra packages, or watching matches in one of the many hotels in Doha which are hosting World Cup events. However, many of them have entry charges or minimum spend requirements.
Large screens have also been put up in Souq Waqif screening some of the matches and have attracted sizeable crowds.
Do you plan to check out the fan zone? Thoughts?