The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is still five years away but the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) is on track to complete the infrastructure projects well ahead of the event, Supreme Committee Secretary General Hassan al-Thawadi said on Thursday.
He was speaking to journalists at the Hamad International Airport where a model of the Al Thumama Stadium, the sixth World Cup stadium to be launched by Qatar, was installed at the main departures hall.
The stadium’s design is inspired by the ‘gahfiya’, a traditional woven cap worn for centuries by males in many Arab countries. In Qatar and surrounding countries, men wear the ‘gahfiya’ beneath the ‘ghutra’ (flowing cotton cloth) and ‘agal’ (decorative black rope).
The style and even the name of the ‘gahfiya’ varies slightly from country to country, yet it still binds Arab nations together through shared tradition.
Designed by renowned Qatari architect Ibrahim al-Jaidah, the Al Thumama Stadium is set to be completed by 2020. 

The design of the Al Thumama Stadium

Al-Thawadi insisted that the illegal blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt has had no impact on the massive infrastructure projects that are under way to prepare for the World Cup.
“Our projects are on track, they are on schedule,” said al-Thawadi. “Projects are being delivered on time. As you can see this is one of the milestones, and we just finished another milestone with the Khalifa Stadium opening. We are on track to complete two more stadiums in 2018. As I have said before, all out projects are on track,” he added.
Al Thumama Stadium will seat 40,000 spectators and will host matches leading up to the quarter-final stage when the FIFA World Cup kicks off on November 21, 2022. 
“Most of our designs are based upon our unique heritage and culture. This one in particular is based upon our traditional gear. It actually represents what is common between many of our family members and within the GCC and Arab world. And it represents a significant portion of who we are and is part of our tradition,” al-Thawadi said.
“Every tournament has its own unique way and flavour, representing its culture. From the very beginning we have said, this is the World Cup for Middle East and Arab world. And it is critical to showcase the richness of heritage, culture and hospitality the Arab world is known for. Therefore every element we have is to promote who we are to the outside world and is part of our vision and commitment towards delivering a successful 2022 and leave a legacy beyond,” he added.
The innovative arena is being built by a Qatar-Turkey joint venture (JV) between AlJaber Engineering and Turkey’s largest construction company, Tekfen, with enabling works successfully completed in 2016. Architectural Design Consultant Heerim, who recently worked on the stunning Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan, will also be working on the stadium.
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. 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.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker, architect Ibrahim al- Jaidah and other dignitaries attended the airport ceremony.