Al Thumama Stadium in the southern suburbs of Doha is named after a native tree that grows in the region. Its intricate design depicts the traditional woven cap gahfiya – a symbol of dignity and independence, and worn by boys through to adulthood. The stadium’s design also represents the country becoming a major force in the world’s sports scene and the heritage that has shaped its path to success.

Qatari architectural and engineering firm Arab Engineering Bureau created the concept and schematic design, led by chief architect, Ibrahim M Jaidah, one of the region’s most renowned architects. The venue’s distinctive design won the prestigious MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Award in 2018. Fans will first see the impressive stadium from the adjacent Hamad International Airport, as they admire the circular design and outstanding roof from the skies.

Al Thumama Stadium is the location for revolutionary prototype stadium the Showcase, a demonstration to FIFA of how Qatar is committed to innovation and sustainability, both in the tournament and in legacy mode. The Showcase will remain in place until 2022, showing such technologies as the solar-powered cooling systems. Looking to achieve Global Sustainability Assessment System 4-star certification, the design saves up to 40% more water than a conventional stadium. Recycled water will be used for the 50,000 sq m of park area, with native vegetation and 400 trees across 84% of the green areas.

The stadium was inaugurated on 22 October 2021 for The Amir’s Cup final. In legacy mode, the stadium’s seating capacity will be reduced from 40,000 to 20,000 to meet local needs, with the remaining infrastructure donated. Aspetar will have a clinic at the stadium, while the surrounding precinct will provide sports facilities alongside running and cycling tracks. A boutique hotel inside the stadium, a mosque, and retail units will complete the services offered to the community.