Qatar opens first FIFA World Cup Stadium, 5 years ahead of the scheduled event
H.E. the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani officially inaugurated the Khalifa International Stadium on 17 May 2017 at a magnificent opening ceremony. The stadium is the first out of 12 set to host the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup and was completed five years before the kick off date of one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
A stadium loved by many marking Qatar’s past, present and future
Built in 1976 in Al Rayyan, Khalifa International Stadium has long been a symbol of the nation’s proud sporting tradition and its promising future. People of Qatar and the region have strong emotional ties to their beloved stadium for its memorable and long-standing history, having previously hosted the Asian Games, the Gulf Cup and the AFC Asian Cup. The 40,000-capacity infrastructure is located in Al Rayyan placing it at the centre of the World Cup venues and giving it a prominent stage for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
A renovated hub for sporting excellence and innovation
The stadium has undergone significant renovation and now boasts a modern shape and iconic dual arches that represent the unity among sports fans all over the world. In consideration of the weather conditions, all seating areas are protected by a canopy and fitted with the latest cooling technologies to comfortably host attendees under any circumstances.
Next to the stadium is the sporting complex Aspire Zone, which has been transformed into a hub for sporting innovation and excellence setting a new benchmark in integrating creative and innovative technologies in sports. Part of the complex is Aspire Academy where Qatar’s next generation of sporting talent is trained, while Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum exhibits nation’s proud history in sports.
Another notable building is Aspetar, the world’s leading hospital specializing in orthopedic and sports medicine, staffed by some of the most renowned sports medicine practitioners and researchers.
Opening ceremony hosts high-profile attendees
The grand opening ceremony commenced with HH the Emir cutting the ribbon to officially declare the stadium open. The Qatari national anthem was performed, followed by a violin performance taking to the center stage. The ceremony ended in a spectacular fireworks show.
Alongside HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the ceremony was attended by a wealth of high-profile figures including HH the Deputy Emir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kabore, HE Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa al-Thani, HE President of Qatar Olympic Committee Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani, HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa al-Thani, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani, as well as a number of officials from the Arab and international sports federations, members of press and the public.
The construction and renovation of Qatar’s 11 other stadiums continue in preparation for the World Cup.