Qatar unveils design of sixth World Cup™ stadium shaped like an Arabian skull cap

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Arabian skull cap

Qatar will build a stadium shaped like an Arabian skull cap for the 2022 World Cup™, organizers announced on August 20, as the Gulf state moves ahead with preparations for the tournament.

Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium, designed by a Qatari architect in the shape of a traditional knitted “gahfiya”, or Arabian cap, will host 40,000 fans at a World Cup™ quarter-final match, the country’s 2022 organizing body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), said in a statement.

Al Thumama Stadium perfectly encapsulates the culture, heritage and forward-thinking nature of the Middle East, according to Hassan Al Thawadi, SC Secretary General. Al Thawadi said symbolism associated with the gahfiya-inspired design is multifaceted.

“It’s a blend of our culture, our heritage and our commitment to the future,” he explained. “The gahfiya also has a very old and traditional feel to it. As young children, before we wore the full headgear, we would just wear the gahfiya itself. So it has a connection to the past – especially when you’re talking about the younger lives of the older generation. There’s a very emotional tie to it,” he said.

“We’ve always been very careful to combine the past with the future, even when it comes to our designs. This is already showcased at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. The gahfiya is a continuation of that,” Al Thawadi added.

The venue is one of at least eight air-conditioned stadiums Qatar is building along with a new port and metro system as part of a $200 billion infrastructure upgrade.

One of the biggest concerns surrounding the World Cup™ in Qatar is the scorching heat that the players will have to deal with. Temperatures in the capital Doha during the summer months can range from around 40 degrees to a dangerously high 50 degrees. But the Al Thumama Stadium will have a cooling system that will bring the temperature down to 18 degrees.

The site will also feature a top of the range hotel, outdoor training pitches, basketball courts and an aquatic centre amongst others as they plan for life after the World Cup™.

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