Qatar, on Tuesday, inaugurated Al Bayt Stadium, the seventh venue for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The new stadium was officially launched ahead of Qatar's opening FIFA Arab Cup fixture against Bahrain which the hosts won 1-0.
The Amir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, was present at the inauguration and also officially announced the commencement of the Arab Cup. Ahead of the match at Al Bayt, the opening ceremony of the Arab Cup was held.
The stadium, located in Al Khor city, will host nine matches of the 2022 World Cup including the opening match on 21 November, 2022 and will . The stadium will have a capacity of 60,000 but after the 2022 World Cup, it will be converted into a 32,000 seater stadium.
The city of Al Khor is located 46kms away from the capital Doha. The name Al Bayt is taken from the word ‘bayt al sha’ar’ which means tents used by nomadic peoples in Qatar and the Gulf region.
The design of the stadium also resembles the aforementioned tents.Supreme Committee 2022 Qatar World Cup
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, also present at the event, said, "Al Bayt is the house where everyone is uniting, where everyone is coming together. It is a symbol for what the World Cup represents. The Arab Cup represents today what the World Cup will represent next year of people coming together, of people being united from all over the world. So, to have games in such a beautiful stadium, in such a symbolic stadium, is something that we have to cherish and that will be crucial for the success of the World Cup.”
H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), said: “The FIFA Arab Cup is off to a flying start with four exciting matches and the inauguration of two stadiums that will be used during next year’s FIFA World Cup. We are incredibly proud of both venues. Al Bayt pays tribute to Qatari and Arab culture, while Stadium 974 is a beacon of innovation and sustainability. We are sure fans from all over the world will enjoy visiting these state-of-the-art venues during both the Arab Cup and next year’s World Cup.”
Nasser Al Khater, CEO, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC, said: “The atmosphere at Al Bayt was incredible for the inauguration ceremony and throughout the match. It was wonderful to see so much passion for football during this momentous occasion, which offered a glimpse of the World Cup we will host in 2022. The FIFA Arab Cup is off to a great start and we look forward to more exciting matches between now and the final on 18 December.”