Qatar’s sixth World Cup stadium will mimic the traditional “gahfiya,” the rounded skullcap worn by many men in the Middle East, organizers have announced.
The stadium is shaped like a white bowl and adorned with an intricate pattern.
It’s a nod to the cap that holds the ghutra and aghal in place on the head, forming “a symbol of dignity and independence,” the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) said in a statement.
The World Cup venue is the only one designed by a Qatari — architect Ibrahim Jaidah, who also did the Fire Station gallery and the new Ministry of Interior building.
According to SCDL Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi, the new design “embodies everything that unites us as Arabs and Muslims, and is a fitting tribute to the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East.”
Other upcoming 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar also honor Arab traditions.
For example, the Al Wakrah stadium is designed to look like a dhow, while Al Khor Al Bayt mirrors Bedouin tents and Qatari hospitality.
The 40,000 seat Al Thumama stadium will host group stage and quarterfinal matches during the tournament.
It is located between E-Ring and F-Ring Roads, or between the Medical Commission and the under-construction Kahramaa Awareness Park.
The venue is being built by a joint Qatar-Turkey venture between Al Jaber Engineering and Tekfen.
Once the World Cup is over, the stadium will be dismantled to house half the number of fans.
It will also become a sporting and leisure hub for the community, featuring a hotel, outdoor training pitches, basketball courts, an aquatic center, running track and community retail space, among others.
Despite the ongoing blockade by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, Qatar’s tight timeline to deliver World Cup stadiums remains on schedule, a senior official said.
The crisis has “caused an inconvenience,” Al Thawadi told Al Jazeera.
But “we have very quickly moved on to plan B, found alternative sources of supply as well as alternative routes of supply…projects are on schedule. No delays have occurred.”
Two designs left
The crown jewel of Qatar’s World Cup will be Lusail Stadium, which will host the opening and final matches of the tournament.
The design for the venue was supposed to be unveiled in early 2017, but this has not yet occurred.
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The open-air stadium will be Qatar’s largest, and is expected to seat some 80,000 football fans during the tournament.
Like the Al Thumama stadium, it is eying a 2020 completion.
The design for Qatar’s Ras Abu Aboud venue also remains a mystery for now.