A month from now, the world will be watching an exceptional FIFA World Cup edition, widely expected to be the best in history, with Qatar having prepared well for this tournament.
This achievement will prompt billions around the world to watch, search and read about Qatar, the Gulf Arab state that won the 2022 World Cup bid 12 years ago.
The official Qatar News Agency takes a look at the preparations:

* Qatar ready for kick-off with eight unique World Cup stadiums
The World Cup matches will be held at eight stadiums, seven of which were built specifically to host the tournament, while Khalifa International Stadium underwent comprehensive development.
Since winning the bid to host the World Cup, Qatar has started building the seven stadiums with innovative designs that blend Qatari tradition, culture and architecture, resulting in exceptional and unique stadiums.
All stadiums are equipped with solar-powered cooling technology to keep the temperature moderate. All the venues are environmentally friendly and temperature controlled.
Qatar has built stadiums with standard elements that will be reconfigured after the tournament to become a permanent legacy for the 2022 World Cup far beyond Qatar’s borders.
About 170,000 seats will be released after the end of the World Cup to developing countries as assistance from Qatar to improve the sports infrastructure of those countries, with 22 new stadiums to be constructed in developing countries.
This reconfiguration will leave Qatar’s stadiums with a capacity of 20,000-25,000 seats, which is suitable for its local sporting needs.
Khalifa International Stadium, which offers fans 40,000 seats, is the first stadium of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. This sports edifice is the national stadium of Qatar.
In preparation for the 2022 World Cup, Khalifa International Stadium has been completely refurbished, becoming the first of the eight stadiums to be ready to host the tournament.
The development of the stadium included changing its external facade, adding about 12,000 seats to increase its capacity, in addition to providing it with energy-saving lighting systems.
The digital lighting and the modern interface added a new lustre to the stadium. The stadium, which includes wide dual arches and relatively covered stands, is the centrepiece of Aspire Zone.
The stadium’s readiness was announced in May 2017, when it hosted the 45th Amir Cup final.
It is now ready to be a part of the largest football event ever in the world, the Qatar 2022 World Cup, where it will host eight matches, including the third-place playoff.
One of the most prominent stadiums built specifically for the World Cup is Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor City, which will host the opening match of the tournament between Qatar and Ecuador on November 20.
Al Bayt Stadium is fashioned to replicate the bayt al shaar, the tents historically used by the nomadic people of Qatar throughout history. Al Bayt is a distinguished stadium not only at the level of development and technology, but also at the level of design.
The canopy that serves as the stadium roof, inspired by the true shape of the tent structure, will cast its shadow on the pitch, which will contribute to enhancing the work of air-cooling technologies throughout the stadium.
Sustainability was given great importance during the construction of Al Bayt Stadium, with the seats in the upper part of the stands designed to be dismantled after the end of the World Cup Qatar 2022, reducing the number of seats to about 32,000, while the rest will be donated to other countries.
Sustainability also dominates the area around Al Bayt Stadium, where parks and green spaces are an important part of the design plan, to give families in the city of Al Khor a space to enjoy the outdoors.
After the World Cup, the stadium will be repurposed to serve the community, with a 5-star hotel, shopping mall, gymnasium and multi-purpose hall.
Aspetar, a leading sports medicine hospital in Qatar, will open a facility near the stadium.
Al Bayt Stadium was officially inaugurated with a huge artistic and football festival on November 30, 2021, when it hosted the FIFA Arab Cup group stage match between hosts Qatar and Bahrain.
The third most prominent venue of the 2022 World Cup is Lusail Stadium, the largest stadium in the World Cup in terms of capacity, with a capacity for 80,000 people.
It is located in Lusail City, which includes a marina, commercial areas, an entertainment centre, homes, commercial centres, golf courses, schools, medical centres, and mosques.
It is a sustainable city that accommodates about 200,000 residents and features a stadium that raises the standards of sports fields to unprecedented levels.
The stadium is located about 15km north of Doha and is connected to the capital by the Metro.
Fans will be able to reach the matches via upgraded roads, the Doha Metro, or the Lusail City light transport service.
This sporting edifice is considered the jewel of the World Cup stadiums, as it will be the focus of the world’s attention when it hosts the final on December 18, which coincides with the celebration of Qatar National Day.
The stadium is a futuristic icon distinguished by its size and splendour of unique engineering touches, and was built to harmoniously blend with its surroundings.
Lusail Stadium was designed around the dance of light and shadows as seen in the traditional fanar lanterns. After the tournament, Lusail Stadium will be transformed into a community centre with schools, shops, cafes, sports facilities and health clinics as part of Qatar’s commitment to sustainable development.
Most of its 80,000 seats will be dismantled and donated to sporting projects, transferring the legacy of this stadium, as well as part of the history of the FIFA World Cup, to other locations around the world.
Next is Stadium 974.
It is the stadium in the history of the World Cup that can be completely dismantled, as it was built using 974 shipping containers; this number is the international dialling code for Qatar.
The idea behind the Stadium 974 project aims to draw the world’s attention to the commitment of the Qatar government to always put sustainability in mind when thinking about major projects.
Once the stadium is dismantled, the site will eventually become a stylish waterfront entertainment district with restaurants, shopping options and more.
Stadium 974 sets new standards in building and reusing sustainable facilities.
The stadium, which can accommodate 40,000 fans, is a milestone in the design and construction of stadiums, built using certified shipping containers and building units made of recycled steel, reducing the amount of waste generated from the manufacture of components used in construction, in addition to reducing waste on the job site.
Stadium 974 is located on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, near Hamad International Airport (HIA), and features a charming view of the West Bay area of Doha across the Gulf waters, and the nearby Doha Port.
The stadium hosted its first official match on November 30 during the 2021 Arab Cup, and will host seven matches during the World Cup.
Stadium 974’s commitment to sustainability standards during the design and construction stages have been recognised with sustainability certificates.
The fifth venue of the World Cup is Al Janoub Stadium, located in the southern city of Al Wakra, with a capacity of 40,000.
It was designed as a nod to the dhow, the pearl fishing boats which are one of the most iconic symbols of the Qatari region.
As one of Qatar’s oldest continuously inhabited areas, Al Wakra has a long history as a centre for pearl diving and fishing.
Al Janoub Stadium is equipped with advanced cooling technology, and features a retractable roof, allowing a reduction in the intensity of sunlight and providing shade to the entire stadium.
The stadium is also part of a wider sports complex, with cycling and horse trails, shops, restaurants and sports clubs.
Al Janoub Stadium was inaugurated on May 16, 2019, coinciding with the 47th Amir Cup final.
It will host the World Cup matches from the group stage and the round of 16. After the World Cup, the stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 20,000, with the additional seats donated to other sporting projects around the world. The stadium will also be ready to embrace the excitement and enthusiasm of Qatar Stars League matches.
The sixth stadium for the World Cup Qatar 2022 is Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium located in the Umm Al Afaei area, one of the oldest Qatari cities and the home of Al Rayyan Sports Club.
The importance of the design of the dune-like stadium is that it is an architectural masterpiece symbolising Qatari culture, heritage, and traditions, and combines the past and the future.
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, with a 40,000 capacity, was inaugurated on December 10, 2020, coinciding with hosting the 48th Amir Cup final. It is scheduled to witness seven matches until the round of 16 during the Qatar 2022, and after the end of the tournament, Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium will become the headquarters of Al Rayyan Sports Club.
The capacity of the stadium after the tournament will be reduced to 20,000 seats, thanks to the detachable seats of the upper stands, which would be reused in the development of sports projects and facilities in Qatar and the world.
The seventh stadium is Al Thumama, located in the southern part of Doha, a few minutes from Hamad International Airport, which will accommodate 40,000 fans.
Al Thumama Stadium is a distinct Arab architectural icon, as it is inspired by the traditional gahfiya (the cap worn under the ghutra and egal) in the Arab world.
This design was chosen because it is a cultural commonality among Arabs in the Arab world, expressing the depth of Arab civilisation and the intertwined cultural-historical legacy of the Arab countries.
It was designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim al-Jaidah.
The stadium was inaugurated in October 2021 during the hosting of the Amir Cup final, and will host eight matches during the World Cup.
After the event, the stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 20,000 seats with the excess seating gifted to developing nations around the world.
Finally, the eighth venue of the World Cup – Education City Stadium, where football meets science and knowledge.
The stadium is located in the midst of several world-class university campuses at Qatar’s global centre of excellence, Education City.
The stadium can seat up to 40,000 spectators, and it takes the form of a jagged diamond that sparkle as the sun moves across the sky.
The stadium was announced ready for the World Cup on June 15, 2020, through a virtual event, in consideration of the challenges posed by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The stadium will host eight matches during the World Cup, from the group stage to the quarter-finals.
Following the World Cup, the sports edifice will turn into a sports and entertainment destination that meets the needs and aspirations of all Education City affiliates.
Following the FIFA World Cup, the stadium’s capacity will be halved, and 20,000 seats will be donated to build stadiums in developing countries.
It is noteworthy that all eight stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar have obtained the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) certificate, including three stadiums that have earned recognition in the four-star category, while the other stadiums have been awarded in the five-star category.

* Hayya Card – gateway to the ultimate fan experience
In a bid to achieve a successful and comfortable World Cup hosting for visitors and football fans, the Organising Committee introduced the Hayya Card.
This means that all local and international fans who intend to attend the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matches have to apply for the digital Hayya Card as an entry permit to the country and stadiums, along with match tickets.
To apply for, obtain and use the card, any fan intending to attend the Qatar World Cup 2022 must visit the Hayya portal to apply for the card in accordance with the required conditions.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has opened a couple of Hayya Card service centres, which explain the many services to be provided by the card, including access to public transportation such as the Doha Metro, public buses and trams as well as the buses that transport people to attend matches.
The facilities at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) and Ali bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena provide face-to-face support for fans with Hayya Card enquiries. Fans are also able to print a physical Hayya Card at the venue, though applicants should note this is not mandatory.
The centres operate throughout the week – from 10am-10pm, Saturday to Thursday, and on Fridays from 2pm-10pm.
To apply for Hayya Card, please visit Qatar2022.qa or download the Hayya to Qatar 2022 app (available for iOS, Android and Huawei).
Fans are required to have valid ticket numbers, their personal data and copies of their passports or QID, as well as uploading information on the place of residence.

* Exceptional fan experience anticipated
In a safe country with pleasant winter weather, fans will definitely enjoy an amazing fan experience from watching matches at stadiums and visiting tourist destinations and natural landmarks to learn about Qatar’s culture and traditions.
Qatar has many tourist and cultural attractions, including the Doha Corniche, The Pearl Island, Souq Waqif, Aspire Park, the Museum of Islamic Art, Katara – the Cultural Village, the courtyards of the Sheikh Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Centre, the Qatar National Library, Katara Opera House, and Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.
Added to these attractions is the experience of safari trips in the Qatari desert.
Fans will have a lot of fun at the FIFA Fan Festival 2022 at Al Bidda Park, while enjoying live broadcasts of all matches on giant screens in the open air. The festival also has musical and cultural shows and various delicious foods. In addition, fan zones will be held in Al Khor City, the Industrial Area and other places. Fans will be able to enjoy various games and activities on Al Maha Island in Lusail City, including ice skating and circus shows, concerts, shows and performances relevant to visitors of all ages.
For music lovers, they will have a special experience during the Arcadia Spectacular Music Festival, which will be held near the Ras Bu Fontas Metro station, and will host up to 15,000 people.
Another musical event, hosted by MDLbeast, will be held in the city of Al Wakra, and it is expected to attract 5,000 fans.
The 5,000sq m Al Bidda Park will host 170 hours of live broadcast of world cup matches and 100 hours of live music by international and regional stars.
During the group stage, the shows will be held from 10am to 2am, and from 3pm to 2am during the knock-out stages, right up to the final.
During the days when no matches are played, the events will be held from 5pm to 2am.
Fans can also enjoy a range of entertainment shows to be held in the vicinity of the eight World Cup stadiums.
The programme includes more than 6,000 shows and performances in 21 locations, and the list of shows includes artistic performances, handicrafts, heritage, fashion, design, performing arts, music and film screening.
The SC has issued a 54-page fan guide containing details of the venues and timetables of the events associated with the tournament.
Titled Your matches, events, celebrations and residence in Qatar, the fan guide shows that the tournament’s activities will be full of enthusiastic atmosphere, exceptional and dazzling experiences with the participation of famous stars, international shows, amazing destinations, heritage markets and much more awaiting the fans in Qatar during the World Cup.

* Advanced network to facilitate mobility, transportation
Qatar has implemented an advanced network to facilitate movement and transportation and provide safe, smooth and easy-to-reach transportation services for all fans and all groups participating in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and its accompanying events.
The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has completed the implementation of a network of highways and main streets that facilitate access to all stadiums, training and accommodation venues for the tournament, in addition to the most important places in the country, fans’ gathering areas and Metro stations. Some 207 bridges and 100 intersections and 143 tunnels have been built, and the most prominent of the roads are Al Majd, Al Khor, Lusail, G-Ring and Sabah Al Ahmad Corridor.

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Ashghal has also implemented 1,180 directional panels to facilitate access to stadiums and many facilities related to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and the roads are monitored through Ashghal’s Road Network Control Centre in co-ordination with the tournament’s control room.
More than 6mn sq m of parking spaces has been provided to service the championship’s buses and utility vehicles (Park & Ride).
Ashghal has built 2,131km of pedestrian and bicycle paths on highways in the country and connected them to all the hosting stadiums.
The Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail) has also completed its preparations to receive fans.
There will be a direct connection from Doha Metro stations with five World Cup stadiums, while the other three stadiums will be served with buses from different stations.
The Metro network includes 37 stations, and a fleet of 110 trains and 18 trams, with working hours of 6am-3am (Saturday to Thursday) and from 9am-3am on Fridays. The interval between two services will be reduced from five minutes to 165 seconds, allowing for an increase in the capacity of the three Metro lines. The Park & Ride service will be available at 13 stations, in addition to 18,200 parking spaces, and the Doha Metro is expected to transport 30-50% of fans heading to the stadiums.
Hayya Card and ticket holders will be able to travel by the Metro and tram free of charge during the tournament, from November 10 to December 23. For non-Hayya card holders, trip cards and weekly tickets will be available at all stations.
Mowasalat Company (Karwa) has announced the operation of more than 2,300 buses operating throughout the day and distributed on more than 80 roads (tracks).
The championship buses provide rapid transport service from Metro stations, and Park & Ride service, the rapid transfer service for stadiums between five bus complexes (Souq Waqif, Fan Festival sites, West Bay, Umm Bishr, Barwa Madinatna and Barwa Barahat Al Janoub) and the eight stadiums, in addition to transportation services to and from accommodation and transportation to and from the HIA and Doha International Airport (DIA).
A total of 3,000 taxis (Karwa), 11,500 cars through the Uber application, and 3,500 cars through Careem will be ready to serve fans of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and will be stationed at the HIA, the DIA and some vital places in state such as Ashghal Towers, Al Bidda Metro station, Qatar Sports Club, Souq Waqif, Museum of Islamic Art Park and floating hotels.
Considering the traffic movement plan that is currently being tested on Fridays in the evening until October 28, vehicles with general transport and private (black) transport plates will be diverted away from Central Doha.
It is scheduled to apply this system during the World Cup every day, and people who only own one car, in addition to public transport vehicles and emergency services vehicles, are excluded from this procedure.
Corniche Street will be designated for pedestrians from November 1 to December 19, in preparation for hosting a variety of activities for fans.
Vehicles will be diverted away from the Corniche to provide a safe environment for pedestrians crossing to the Corniche area.
Transportation services for people with disabilities will also be available.