The perception of the culture of the Middle East is linked, among other things, to its imposing desert and to those cultures that tamed it through various ways of surviving and taking advantage of it. Qatar 2022 will have the mission to help the world get to know and fall in love with its region. How will it achieve this? Precisely through the rolling of a ball.
So, for a little less than a month, from November 20 to December 18, the whole world will be talking about nothing but soccer... and the Qatari culture that will be permeated in each of the 64 matches that will write the book of the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
Thus, one of the main showcases for Middle East culture, where the eyes and attention of the world will inevitably rest is on the games. And FIFA World Cup matches cannot take place without world-class stadiums. That's the key. Meet Al Bayt Stadium, the nod to the culture of the Qatar 2022 region.
The honor taken away from Qatar 2022's Al Bayt Stadium
In June 2014, the design of this iconic stadium was unveiled. Since then, the expectation was inevitable, as the Al Bayt Stadium would be the second largest capacity venue in Qatar 2022 and the one that would originally host the opening match of this edition of the FIFA World Cup.
However, as fate would have it, the opportunity to be the first stadium where the ball rolls in Qatar 2022 was taken away. However, it will still be historic: the host country's National Team's first participation in a World Cup will take place at the Al Bayt Stadium, when it takes on Ecuador in a Group A match.
Local culture at its best at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar 2022
The name of this World Cup venue comes from the nomadic populations of both Qatar and the Persian Gulf, known as Bayt al sha'ar, who managed to tame the inclement desert thanks to their mobile lair: a tent. That is precisely the experience that those who enjoy live matches at the Al Bayt Stadium will live, being sheltered by a giant tent to enjoy soccer.
It was a tradition of the aforementioned nomadic tribes of the Qatari desert to identify their sense of belonging to the group by displaying black stripes around their tents, just like the ones on the façade of the Al Bayt Stadium, which invites all those who visit it to feel at home. Thus, on November 30, 2021, the big soccer tent was officially inaugurated with a FIFA Arab Cup 2021 match between Qatar and Bahrain, which ended in a 1-0 victory for the home team.
Al Bayt Stadium: Qatar 2022 mixes the traditional with the avant-garde
On the outside, a large traditional tent of the nomadic tribes that survived for hundreds of years in the desert of the region; inside, a true ode to technology. The Al Bayt Stadium clearly divides the nod to a cultural past with the technological innovation that surrounds the host country of the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
Once inside the stadium, fans attending Qatar 2022 matches held there will enjoy the soccer under the shelter of the roof covering all the venues of the stadium. This is thanks to the tent-like design of the Al Bayt Stadium, but also thanks to its fully retractable roof, which helps to require a less powerful cooling system and therefore less energy consumption.
The privileged surroundings of the Al Bayt Stadium: one more amenity of Qatar 2022
Fans' experiences in a soccer stadium culminate with the final whistle of the games. However, at the Al Bayt Stadium, the good time and enjoyment also happen before and after the soccer activity. Something that those attending the upcoming FIFA World Cup will undoubtedly appreciate.
Around this stadium, 400,000 square meters of parks and playgrounds, equivalent to approximately 30 professional soccer fields, allow for recreational time once soccer takes a break from its action. It stands out within the landscape, that there are three pedestrian paths that lead to the stadium, in a reminder of what is the jewel of the place.
Location and capacity of Al Bayt Stadium
Good things cost. Al Bayt Stadium is the farthest away venue in Qatar 2022, located approximately 45 kilometers north of Doha in the municipality of Al Khor. To get to the stadium, transportation will be available from the Lusail Metro Stadium. However, for those who choose to arrive by car, 6,000 parking spaces will be available.
Rivaling the Lusail Stadium is complicated due to its massive capacity. However, the Al Bayt Stadium has the honor of being the second largest of the 8 stadiums that make up the Qatar 2022 venues roster. A total of 60,000 people will be able to enjoy each of the matches played here.
The future of Al Bayt Stadium after Qatar 2022
Like the vast majority of the upcoming FIFA World Cup stadiums built specifically to host the tournament, the Al Bayt Stadium will also see its capacity reduced to 32,000 seats to accommodate projects aimed at benefiting the Al Khor community. Hotels, restaurants, sports centers, malls and an extension of the Aspetar sports medicine hospital will occupy part of the vacated area.
The Qatar 2022 matches that will held the Al Bayt Stadium
Only the imposing Lusail Stadium will host more matches of the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup. Al Bayt Stadium will have the privilege of hosting nine games: the opening game and five more of the Group Stage and three of the Knockout stage. Among the latter, there will be one of the Round of 16, one of the Quarter Finals, and one more of the Semifinals.
November 20, Group stage, Qatar vs Ecuador
November 23, Group stage, Morocco vs Croatia
November 25, Group stage, England vs USMNT
November 27, Group stage, Spain vs Germany
November 29, Group stage, Netherlands vs Qatar
December 1, Group stage, New Zealand/Costa Rica vs Germany
December 4, Round of 16, Group B first place vs Group A second place
December 10, Quarter Final
December 14, Semifinal