Qatar’s decade-old dream of hosting the FIFA World Cup is just a month away. Thirty days from Friday, the football showpiece will begin at the Al Bayt Stadium with hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador, marking it the first time a FIFA World Cup event will be held in the Middle East and Arab world.
To say Qatar is ready for the month-long extravaganza would be an understatement. Since winning the bid to host the World Cup in 2010, Qatar has been well ahead of its time in preparation to welcome the players from 32 nations and fans from all over the world.
The eight state-of-the-art stadiums – designed to highlight Arabic tradition and culture – were in place well ahead of the schedule, a driver-less modern metro system launched in 2019 had made it smoother for fans and residents to travel to most parts of Qatar.
The country now is in its final stint of giving finishing touches with palm tree-style street lamps and neon office blocks lining the highway from Hamad International Airport to central Doha. The iconic Corniche has already got a makeover with a vast array of entertainment options involving globally renowned artists and a range of local and international food and beverage options being offered to fans and residents.
The ticket sales have nearly touched three million, which show the excitement level of the fans around the world to come to Qatar and experience a unique and most compact World Cup ever. The tournament has also achieved record-breaking hospitality ticket sales with 240,000 packages sold – 63% of those to international clients.
“We have always said that Qatar will deliver the best-ever edition of the FIFA World Cup. And as you look around the country today, at the state-of-the-art stadiums, the training pitches, the metro, the wider infrastructure, everything is ready and everyone is welcome,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino reaffirmed earlier this week.
“The world is excited. Qatar is ready. The stage is set. Together, we will deliver the best World Cup ever on and off the field,” added Infantino.
In a month’s time, a dream Qatar had nurtured for decades will come into life.
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