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Qatar's Al Thumama stadium design resonates with the Arab community, says Chief Architect Ibrahim Jaidah

10:58 PM SGT 28/8/17
Al Thumama Stadium Qatar 2022
The architect of the revolutionary new Al Thumama stadium speaks to Goal on the inspiration and features behind it...

The Al Thumama stadium is one of seven venues currently under construction across Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and it has a revolutionary design based on the ‘gahfiya’ headdress worn by men across the Arab world, an essential component of traditional Arab dress. 

Al Thumama Stadium is set for completion in 2020 and will seat 40,000 spectators and host matches up to the quarter-final stage when the FIFA World Cup kicks off on November 21st, 2022.

Architect Ibrahim Jaidah, who designed the stadium, spoke to Goal on the inspiration behind the design of the stadium and elaborated on the special features incorporated in it in a questionnaire: 

Q: What was the inspiration behind such a different idea to design a stadium?

A: The inspiration behind the design comes in line with Qatar's hosting promise that this World Cup will be one for the region to celebrate. I believe it will be a stadium design that resonates with the Arab community, and we are extremely proud to have designed this innovative venue.

We worked hard together with 13 partners to come up with the current design. During the design and conception phase, a lot of childhood memories came alive, remembering walking around the Aljasra area wearing our traditional cloths including thawb and gahfiya. The reveal of Al Thumama Stadium design comes with immense pride in having contributed to the delivery of the first World Cup in the history of Qatar and the region

Q: With the whole world descending in Qatar for 2022, is the design intended to showcase the true face of the culture of the region? If so how?

A: I am very proud and delighted to contribute in designing one of the stadia which is going to host the first World Cup in the Arab region. The fact that the stadium's design is inspired from the Arab culture shows how much Qatar is keen to promote the Arab culture through staging this universal event.

Q: Are there any special features in the design of the stadium? If so, please explain?

The stadium will be equipped with both world-class standards of disabled access and the SC’s revolutionary cooling technology to enable year-round sporting activities after the tournament. In legacy mode the stadium capacity will decrease to 20,000 thanks to demountable modular seating sections which the SC will donate to developing football nations after the tournament.

The remaining 20,000-seater Al Thumama Stadium will feature a boutique hotel and a range of amenities the SC is agreeing with the local community to ensure the precinct meets its needs long after the final whistle in 2022.