Qatar: Al Janoub Stadium

The Dhow-boat-inspired Al Janoub Stadium is the second stadium inaugurated since Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Designed by the Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid, this neo-futuristic stadium boasts an elegant and well-designed curvilinear roof similar to the sails of the Dhow boat. Spectators would feel like they are on a ship inside the stadium. The roof is retractable, providing shelter for the spectators and players once it’s the summer season in the country.

Location: Al Wakrah, QatarCapacity: 40,000
Built in: 2014Localteam: Al Wakrah Sport Club

Qatar’s Postmodernist and Neo-Futurist Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium

Located in the heart of Al Wakrah, Qatar, the Al Janoub Stadium is one of the eight stadiums that will host this year’s World Cup. It’s the second stadium to open its doors after it was announced that Qatar would be hosting the 2022 World Cup.  The well-known Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid designed the stadium in collaboration with AECOM.

The design of this postmodern stadium was inspired by the sails of the traditional Dhow boats. Dhow boats were used by fishermen and pearl divers in the region. This was to commemorate Al Wakrah’s past livelihood. The sails were reflected through the design of the roof, giving spectators an experience where they were on a ship.

The retractable roof provides shade, especially during Qatar’s hottest season. PTFE fabric and cables were used as the roof’s materials with 230 meters of extended arches. Despite the expected hot climate during World Cup2022, Al Janoub Stadium boasts of providing a well-cooled venue. The cooling system provides 18°C in the Spectator Area and 20°C in the field. This addresses the concern regarding the weathering conditions in Qatar during the event. The designers made sure that the spectators and players in the stadium were able to enjoy the event despite Qatar’s summer months.

Al Janoub Stadium Matches & Teams Playing

  • Group D: France vs. Australia on November 22, 2022
  • Group G: Switzerland vs. Cameroon on November 24, 2022
  • Group D: Tunisia vs. Australia on November 26, 2022
  • Group D: Australia vs. Denmark on November 30, 2022
  • Group H: Ghana vs. Uruguay on December 2, 2022
  • Round 16 on December 5, 2022

The 8 World Cup 2022 stadiums

Brief History

Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar was previously called the Al-Wakrah Stadium since it is located in Al Wakrah, Qatar. Since Qatar was announced to host the World Cup 2022, preparations for the stadium have been made. This included the construction of the Al Janoub Stadium. The Stadium is said to have a 40,000 seating capacity for the World Cup 2022.

It was officially inaugurated in May 2019 while it hosted the match between Al Sadd SC and Al-Duhail SC for the Amir Cup final. They played in front of 38,678 people, and the Al Janoub stadium was considered the second stadium completed after the Khalifa International Stadium.

Apart from the Amir Cup final, the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup semi-finals were held in the Al Janoub Stadium. The Al Janoub Stadium also hosted the AFC Champions League Final in December 2020. In 2021, it hosted six matches of the FIFA Arab Cup.

Al Janoub Stadium for World Cup 2022

Al Janoub Stadium was prepared to have a 40,000 seating capacity. This was made to meet the FIFA organization’s requirements for stadiums. Being one of the venues for the World Cup 2022, the Al Janoub Stadium will host the quarter-final matches and group matches of the tournament. This includes six group matches and one round of 16 matches.

For those planning to travel to Al Janoub Stadium, the Al Wakra Metro Station via the Red Line is the closest station to the stadium. The opening hours of the tournament are from 6 AM to 3 AM on Saturday to Thursday and 9 AM to 3 AM on Friday.

Stadium Express Buses are also available, considered the fastest way to reach the stadium. Buses are expected to start running 4 hours before the kick-off match. The last bus will depart from the bus hub an hour before kick-off.

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Controversies Surrounding the Stadium in Qatar

One of the main issues ever since Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup 2022 was the hot weather during the tournament. Although stadiums in Qatar claimed this was not an issue, spectators who could witness the venue themselves thought otherwise. For example, Lusail Stadium was said to have poor cooling systems and spectators. However, Qatar’s Al Janoub Stadium has proven to provide cool temperatures inside the stadium despite the hot weathering conditions of the country.

Another issue was how the country received criticism from human rights organizations due to violating the human rights of their migrant workers. Many workers raised their concerns regarding the unfair work treatment but were met by either threats or concerns that weren’t addressed. Human Rights Organizations continue to raise this concern. However, there seems to be little to no action regarding this matter. Other countries also are against the inhumane working conditions of migrant workers and are vocal about it.

Al Janoub Stadium after World Cup 2022

The stadium was reconstructed to have a 40,000-seating capacity. Apart from that, facilities like swimming pools, shopping centers, and more were constructed to cater to the spectators who will be witnessing the tournament. Proposed renovations for the stadium were already discussed once the World Cup 2022 was over.

Renovations would include reducing the seating capacity to 20,000. Excess chairs will be donated to developing countries that are planning to develop sporting infrastructure. The stadium will also become the home of the Al-Wakrah Sports Club. The Al Janoub Stadium in Qatar will continue to host its local football matches. At the same time, it will aslo be a multipurpose building surrounded by amenities like wedding venues, markets, and more.