Qatar, a country in the middle-east, has a low population, and an even lower fan-base for football. Also, it lacked basic necessities and infrastructure for hosting the world’s biggest football event. However, 12 years ago, Qatar was selected to be the host for the 2022 FIFA Football World Cup. Even today, many look down upon the selection as a controversy.
In 12 years, Qatar’s economy developed to a great extent. Its biggest city and capital, Doha, underwent major changes in order to be one of the most developed countries in the world. Modern buildings, office headquarters, amenities for a luxurious lifestyle, commutation system, all developed rapidly throughout the length and breadth of Doha. Influx of foreign investments, and foreign workers in the city also contributed much to shape the economic boom of Doha.
However, getting ready for the World’s biggest event, the FIFA World Cup, was still very challenging for Doha. Before the world cup, Qatar had only 1 stadium in the country, the Khalifa International Stadium, which is fit for the world cup. In addition to that, 7 new stadiums were built over the next decade and were made ready on the eve of the world cup.
Al Bayt stadium, on the northeastern coastal city of Al Khor, hosted the opening ceremony and the first match of the FIFA World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador. The final will be held in Lusail Iconic Stadium, which happens to be the largest, with a capacity of about 80,000 spectators. Apart from Al Khor, which is a suburb of Doha, all the stadiums are situated in Doha not far from each other.
Another stadium, Stadium 974, happens to be a temporary stadium. It is constructed out of 974 recycled shipping containers. The number 974 is chosen as it is the international dialing code (+974) of Qatar. The other newly launched stadiums for the World cup are Education City Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium and Al Thumama Stadium. The Education City is a city in itself which grew up from a single school and was modernized for the FIFA World Cup.
Apart from the stadiums, Qatar built 5-lane highways, advanced metro systems, and new luxury hotels. Along with that, the areas near the stadiums have become lively with shopping centers, malls, restaurants, stalls, amphitheater, and decorations. The FIFA World Cup 2022 has explored the vibrancy of night life in Qatar, a country in the Middle East, and is taking Qatar to new heights.
Written by – Himadri Paul