The sporting event is taking place from 30 November until 18 December.
A number of Middle East leaders and royals flocked to Qatar for the first-ever FIFA Arab Cup as per an invitation from Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Some 16 teams will participate in the 19-day tournament at six World Cup stadiums: Al Bayt, Al Thumama stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali stadium, Education City stadium, 974 Stadium, and Al Janoub stadium.
The countries competing in the tournament include: Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Mauritania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Sudan.
To mark the occasion, various Arab leaders arrived in Doha on Monday, just one day ahead of the historic event.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun landed in Qatar on Monday morning before holding a meeting with Sheikh Tamim on the same day.
The 88-year-old president’s trip comes amid a diplomatic crisis with GCC states that was triggered by comments made by Minister of Information George Kordahi, in which he criticised the Saudi-led coalition’s military intervention in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia along with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait took joint action in expelling their Lebanon envoys and withdrawing their ambassadors from Beirut.
Meanwhile Qatar has called for calm, though dismissed Kordahi’s comments as “irresponsible” and accused him of plunging Lebanon into an “external crisis.”
Read also: Stadium 974 unveiled
The Lebanese football team is facing Egypt on Tuesday at Al Thumama Stadium and will go head to head with Algeria on 4 December and Sudan on 7 December.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to land in Doha on Monday for the Arab Cup’s inauguration.
Abbas was in Qatar in December last year in his first visit since November 2019.
The Palestinian football team, known as “Fida’i”, will be facing off with Morocco on 1 December, then Saudi Arabia on 4 December, and Jordan on 7 December.
Jordanian Crown Prince Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah IIJordan’s Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II landed in Qatar on Monday and met with Sheikh Tamim upon his arrival.
His visit comes a month after Jordan’s King Abdullah II traveled to Qatar in his fist visit to the country in several years, during which he discussed the two countries’ bilateral ties with Sheikh Tamim.
Jordan’s national team will be playing against Saudi Arabia on 1 December, then Morocco on 4 December, and Palestine on 7 December.
It still remains unclear who will be representing the remaining countries at the opening ceremony of the FIFA Arab Cup.