This is the Al Thumama Stadium, one of eight stadiums, which are built for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022. The stadium which was opened last week has a capacity of 40,000 seats. All the eight stadiums have different sources of inspiration and are based on different themes. Do you know what’s the inspiration of this stadium?
The design for Al Thumama Stadium was entrusted to Arab Engineering Bureau and its GCEO and Chief Architect Ibrahim Jaidah back in 2015. Being the first GCC architect to take on the design for the World Cup stadium, it is clearly difficult for Ibrahim M. Jaidah to hide his excitement and pride: “I was extremely enthusiastic when we were awarded the design for Al Thumama Stadium. Here, the aim was to create the design that would resonate not only with Qatar but with the whole region. In our culture, the gahfiya forms an important part of every young boy’s pathway to adulthood, and this rite of passage was fundamental inspiration for the design. I am honored to have been given an opportunity to work with such exceptional local team that represents Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy who have challenged me as an architect to create a landmark for our future generation.” Thus, the Concept is derived from a traditional head piece worn by men across the Middle East locally referred to as gahfiya. Gahfiya is worn by young boys before they would wear a full headgear and adult men wear it under their ghutras.
Gahfiya is a part of the traditional outfit worn by men all around the Arab world, which has different styles, colours and names, depending on the country and the culture it belongs to. In Qatar, the um nira gahfiya has been, throughout the years, one of the most widespread head coverings in the Qatari community.
“As with all of our venues, Al Thumama Stadium is targeting Global Sustainability Assessment System Trust (GSAS) 4-star certification for both design and construction. As part of this, the existing energy centre on the site has been refurbished and upgraded to meet the latest energy efficiency standards,” says Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.
The stadium’s green design ensures 40% more fresh water is saved when compared to a conventional stadium. Recycled water is used to irrigate green areas. The precinct features 50,000m2 of park area, with native vegetation and almost 400 trees covering 84% of the landscape.
Al Thumama features state-of-the-art cooling technology, which will allow the venue to host events throughout the year. Its precinct includes a number of sporting facilities, including cycling and running tracks, and extensive green spaces, for the benefit of the local community.
Al Thumama Stadium is the first FIFA World Cup™ stadium to be designed solely by Qatari nationals. After the tournament in 2022, 20,000 seats will be removed from the stadium and donated to development projects abroad. This space will then be transformed into an extraordinary 60-room hotel facing the pitch.