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Khalifa Stadium rendering

The first of eight World Cup venues in Qatar is officially complete and will host its debut football match this weekend, organizers have announced.

After three years of renovations, Khalifa International Stadium in Al Waab will open to the public for the Emir Cup final on Friday, May 19.

The stadium was first built more than 40 years ago and opened in 1976. It was then extensively refurbished to host the Asian Games in 2006.

It is now once again being remodeled and modernized for the World Cup, with redesigned arches and new canopies to provide shade for spectators. There’s also a cooling system for players and fans.

In a statement, Qatar Football Association President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani said:

“We are happy that the Khalifa International Stadium will again host football matches in Qatar. The stadium has been witness to the most prominent sporting achievements of Qatar and is a venue that is closest to Qatari hearts.”

In addition to local matches, the 40,000 seater stadium is expected to host the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Ticket info

During Friday’s match, Al Rayyan will face off against Al Sadd, which is led by former FC Barcelona player Xavi.

The game will be a rematch of sorts for the two teams, which clashed during last month’s Qatar Cup semifinals.

Al Sadd SC/Facebook

Al Sadd Sports Club

Al Sadd beat Al Rayyan and then went on to defeat El Jaish in the finals to clinch the title.

Opening ceremonies begin at 6:30pm, and kickoff is at 7pm.

The first batch of 10,000 tickets are already on sale at Villaggio and City Center malls and cost QR30/person.


Khalifa International Stadium rendering

They will also be sold at Souq Waqif starting today and at the stadium during the day of the event, the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) said.

Who’s going? Thoughts?

All photos courtesy of SCDL

The seats have been installed, the pitch has been laid and a roof canopy is being fitted onto what will soon be Qatar’s first completed stadium for the 2022 World Cup.

A series of “sneak peek” photographs published by organizers this week show the latest progress on the redevelopment of Khalifa International stadium in Al Waab.

The pictures show contractors putting the finishing touches on the stadium, which will host matches up to the quarter-finals.

The 40,000 seats are in – with many still under protective wrapping – and 7,800 square meters of turf for the pitch were laid last month.


Progress at Khalifa stadium

The completion date of the venue has now been pushed to the end of June, according to the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy (SCDL).

This is around six months later than the original deadline of December 2016.

Khalifa stadium was first built more than 40 years ago and opened in 1976. It was then extensively refurbished to host the Asian Games in 2006.


Rendering of Khalifa Stadium

It is now once again being remodeled and modernized for the World Cup, with its arches redesigned and canopies installed to provide some shade for spectators. It will also have a cooling system for players and fans.

A walkway will connect to a new 3-2-1 Olympic and Sports Museum, which is also under construction.

Confirmed venues

Qatar is readying eight stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.

So far, designs have been released and construction work is under way on five of these venues. In addition to Khalifa International, they include Al Bayt Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Education City and Al Wakrah.

Al Khor and Al Wakrah are expected to be completed next, by the end of 2018, according to the SCDL.

Al Rayyan stadium will follow in March 2019 and the Qatar Foundation venue is slated for a late 2019 completion.

This week, the SCDL also provided updates on the Al Khor stadium in a new video.

It shows that nearly half of the stadium structure is now in place. Additionally, concrete modular seating structures for the 60,000-capacity venue have been installed.

Meanwhile, work is underway on the second players’ tunnel, according to the short film.

In design

The sites of the three other stadiums have been confirmed, and will be in Al Thumama, Ras Abu Aboud and at Lusail city.

However, these designs have yet to be made public.


Al Thumama stadium site

Last week, a Seoul-based firm announced that it won a $16.2 million contract to design the $342.5 million Al Thumama venue, situated between E- and F-Ring Roads.

Construction of the stadium will be led by a joint venture of Qatar’s Al Jaber Engineering and Turkish firm Tekfen Construction.

Meanwhile, the Lusail venue will be the showpiece for the games. It will host the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as matches throughout the tournament and the World Cup final.

A joint venture between Qatari firm HBK Contracting Co. (HBK) and China Railway Construction Corp. (CRCC) is responsible for leading the build of the stadium.


Construction at Lusail stadium site

British architectural firm Fosters + Partners has been working on the design of the venue, which organizers previously said was completed last year.

This was supposed to be revealed early this year, but is so far still under wraps.

Finally, the Ras Abu Aboud stadium will be at the center of a new waterfront development between Hamad International Airport and the Doha Port.


View from the upcoming Ras Abu Aboud stadium

Organizers are planning to build a new “urban neighborhood” on the 111-acre site next to the Doha Marriott Hotel.

Architecture firm Populous is the design consultant for the 40,000-seater venue, which will hold matches up until the quarter-finals.

The SCDL previously said it planned to be “managing eight live construction sites by mid-2017,” with construction on them finished by 2020.



Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A Seoul-based company has been awarded a $16.2 million contract to design Qatar’s Al Thumama World Cup stadium.

Heerim Architects and Planners Co. announced the agreement in a stock exchange statement this week, according to Zawya.

The South Korean firm has previously designed a stadium used by UEFA in Azerbaijan in 2015 and the main stadium for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

Heerim Architects and Planners Co.

2014 Asian Games Main Stadium in Incheon

The Qatar contract was awarded by the main contractor on the Al Thumama project, which is a joint venture between Al Jaber Engineering and Turkish firm Tekfen Construction.

The $342.5 million stadium, located between E-Ring and F-Ring roads, is expected to host matches up to the quarter-final stage.

It will seat some 40,000 fans, and like several other Qatar stadiums, be dismantled to accommodate half that many people after 2022.

Other stadiums

Qatar is currently readying eight stadiums for the 2022 World Cup. It will complete its first venue, the renovated Khalifa International, next month.

Others won’t be done until at least 2020. That includes Al Thumama and two other stadiums whose designs have yet to be finalized.

Qatar 2022 Bid Committee

Lusail Stadium rendering, as submitted by Qatar during bid process.

The most anticipated one is the Lusail Stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the tournament.

In 2015, officials announced that British firm Foster + Partners would work with sports and stadium experts including ARUP and Populous to create the final design for the arena.

It will be an “iconic, contemporary stadium inspired by Qatari culture,” the head of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) Hassan Al Thawadi said at the time.


View from the upcoming Ras Abu Aboud stadium

Meanwhile, the Ras Abu Aboud stadium is also still being designed. It will be located on a waterfront and when completed, face the Doha skyline.

Global architecture firm Populous is also working on the design for that venue, the SCDL said on its website.

Additionally, the main contractor for the Ras Abu Abboud project is expected to be chosen by June of this year.