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#Arab Cup 2021
Doha: The moment has arrived. Qatar is ready to showcase six of their FIFA World Cup 2022 venues to the Arab world.
A total of 16 nations will compete for the maiden FIFA Arab Cup title from today, turning pages in history books not only in Qatar, but also the entire Arab region.
Being the first Arab Cup under the auspices of FIFA – the tournament will be a memorable one for all participating nations. And in the meantime Qatar will mark another milestone in the country's preparations for next year's World Cup, presenting to the world the country's two brand new event-ready venues – Stadium 974 and Al Bayt Stadium today.
Both the ultra-modern venues will host matches in FIFA Arab Cup 2021 Group Stage today, sending the message that the country is ready for next year's football spectacle – one year in advance.
Six out of eight FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 venues will host the matches during the Arab Cup. Stadium 974 will today host its first match – between United Arab Emirates and Syria at 8:00pm, while Qatar and neighbours Bahrain face off at Al Bayt Stadium at 7:30pm.
Here is a look at all the Arab Cup 2021 host venues, built from scratch within a very short period, reshaping Qatar's skyline.
Located in Al Khor, the spectacular Al Bayt Stadium takes its inspiration from 'bayt al sha'ar' – which were tents historically used by nomadic peoples in Qatar and the Gulf region. The design honours Qatar's past and present, while keeping one eye on the future of the community. The stadium precinct includes the vast Al Bayt Park, which opened in February 2020.
Designer: Dar Al-Handasah
Inauguration: Today – Prior to today's FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 match between Qatar and Bahrain.
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host five matches, including the final on December 18.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Al Bayt will stage nine matches up to the semi-finals stage during next year's FIFA World Cup, including the opening match of the tournament.
Al Janoub Stadium
Located in Al Wakrah, Al Janoub Stadium was the first Qatar 2022 venue to be built from scratch. The stadium's design is inspired by the sails of traditional dhow boats, in tribute to Al Wakrah's seafaring past. Built with an innovative cooling system and retractable roof, the venue can be used all year round.
Designer: AECOM and Zaha Hadid Architects
Inauguration: The stadium was inaugurated on May 16, 2019 when it hosted the 47th Amir Cup final
Major matches hosted: Al Janoub staged several matches during the 2020 AFC Champions League, including the final on December 19, 2020
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host six matches up to the quarter-finals stage
Qatar 2022: Al Janoub will stage seven matches up to the Round of 16 stage
Al Thumama Stadium
Qatari architect Ibrahim M. Jaidah's inspiration for the design of Al Thumama Stadium was the 'gahfiya' – a traditional woven cap worn by men and boys across the Middle East. The gahfiya forms a fundamental layer of the traditional clothing of the region. It is also a symbol of dignity and independence. In May 2018, the venue's design won the MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Award.
Designer: Ibrahim M. Jaidah
Inauguration: Al Thumama was inaugurated on October 22 when it hosted the 49th Amir Cup final
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host six matches up to the semi-finals stage
Qatar 2022: Al Thumama will stage eight matches up to the quarter-finals
Built using modified shipping containers and modular steel elements, Stadium 974 is the first fully demountable stadium in FIFA World Cup history. The design is inspired by Doha's character and history as a major port city on the Arabian Gulf. 974 is the number of shipping containers used in the development and also Qatar's international dialling code.
Designer: Fenwick Iribarren Architects
Inauguration: The stadium was unveiled during a digital launch on November 20 and will hold its first match today when the United Arab Emirates play Syria in their opening match of the FIFA Arab Cup.
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host six matches, including the third-place play-off
Qatar 2022: 974 will stage seven matches up to the Round of 16 stage
Education City Stadium
Located in Education City, home of Qatar Foundation, the stadium's façade features triangles that form complex, diamond-like geometrical patterns which appear to change colour with the sun's movement across the sky. Like diamonds, the stadium's design represents quality, durability and resilience. The 'Diamond in the Desert' was also the first Qatar 2022 tournament venue to achieve a five-star design and build rating from the Global Sustainability Assessment System.
Designer: Fenwick Iribarren Architects
Inaugurated: The stadium was inaugurated in June 2020 through a specially-programmed digital launch as a tribute to frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
Major matches hosted: The stadium hosted matches in the 2020 AFC Champions League and four games during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020, including the final on February 11, 2021
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host five matches up to the quarter-finals stage
Qatar 2022: Education City will stage eight matches up to the quarter-finals stage
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium
Located in the city of Al Rayyan, the stadium was built on the site of the old venue – also named Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium – with many of the materials from the deconstructed venue being used in the new project. The stadium's most striking feature is a glowing façade, comprised of patterns that characterise different aspects of the country: the importance of family, the beauty of the desert, native flora and fauna, and local and international trade.
Inauguration: The stadium was inaugurated on December 18, 2020 when it hosted the 48th Amir Cup final
Major matches hosted: Three matches during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 in February 2021
FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021: The stadium will host four matches during the group stage
Qatar 2022: Seven matches up to the Round of 16 stage
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