The stadium has been designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim Jaidah, who is the chief architect of Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB) and is based on the traditional ‘gahfiya’ headdress.
A contract has already been awarded for the stadium’s construction by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) to a joint venture between Qatar-based contractor Al-Jaber Engineering and Turkey’s Tekfen Construction. It was awarded in February.
The stadium is due to hold 40,000 fans during the tournament itself, but will be reduced to a 20,000-seat venue once the tournament is over, with the excess seating donated to a country in need of sporting infrastructure, SC said in its statement.
It will be built on pitches currently used by the Qatar Football Association in the Al-Thumama district, which is located in the south of Doha, about 12 kilometers from Hamad International Airport.
Hassan Al-Thawadi, SC Secretary General, said: “We’ve always been very careful to combine the past with the future in our designs. The gahfiya is a continuation of that theme. It’s a blend of our heritage and culture, and a commitment to the future.”
He also described Jaidah as “a well-known architect in Qatar”.
“Our vision with this World Cup was always to complement and assist in developing local talent,” Al-Thawadi said.
Jaidah described his design as “a nod to the past, while offering an exciting glimpse into Qatar’s tomorrow”.
“In Qatari culture, the gahfiya forms an important part of every young boy’s pathway to adulthood,” he said. “This rite of passage inspired my vision for the stadium’s design. It is an arena that symbolizes Qatar’s youth and its emergence as a major player on the global sporting scene.”
Once the tournament is complete, the surrounding site will undergo a conversion to house a boutique hotel and a sports clinic, while the surrounding precinct will have facilities for other sports including handball, tennis and swimming.