The design, by AECOM in association with Zaha Hadid Architects, is inspired by the rich heritage of Qatar and the Al Wakrah region, with its timeless characteristics of simplicity, solidity, space and light.

This is visible in the colors, patterns, and materials throughout the stadium as well as in its interpretation of the dhow, the Arabian pearl fishing boat of great cultural significance in Qatar. The use of timber and other traditional materials reflect this heritage while helping to reduce the embodied carbon of the structure.

The roof is in two symmetrical halves, with its axis oriented roughly north to south. Each side is expressed in three shells or volumes, inspired by the hulls of dhows turned upside down to create cover and shelter. The symmetrical arrangement of the roof plan of interwoven organic forms around the central opening is inspired by local ornamental geometric patterns and Qatari calligraphy. Inside, the boat reference is carried through via an expressed ceiling structure from engineered timber that strongly resembles the skeleton of a traditional dhow hull.

Passive and innovative design

The thermal comfort of spectators and players is of the utmost importance to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. This will be achieved through a combination of passive design techniques, innovative shading technologies, and airflow delivery systems, which have been optimized through computer simulation to minimize cooling loads. These measures will also help the tournament meet its operational carbon targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Vision and legacy

We also led the development of a 585,000 square meters legacy precinct that has the stadium at its heart alongside a new sports center and community hub. Aligned with Qatar’s National Vision 2030, this new precinct embraces the cultural heritage of Al Wakrah and the adjacent historical settlement of Al Wukair, incorporating this identity into the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ fan experience.

Following the tournament, the stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 20,000 with seats removed, donated and reconstructed in coordination with FIFA in countries that require assistance in developing sporting infrastructure. The remaining stadium will serve as the future home of Al Wakrah Sports Club and will sit at the center of the legacy precinct.

This was the first stadium procured by Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. It officially opened on 16 May 2019 as Al Janoub Stadium.