Al Janoub Stadium
|Location||Al Wakrah, Qatar|
|Owner||Qatar Football Association|
|Field size||105 x 68 m|
|Opened||16 May 2019|
|Main contractors||Midmac Contracting Co.
Six Construct QatarPorr Qatar Construction
|Al-Wakrah Sports Club|
Al Janoub Stadium, formerly known as Al Wakrah Stadium (Arabic: ملعب الوكرة), is a football stadium in Al-Wakrah, Qatar that was inaugurated on 16 May 2019. This is the second among the eight stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, after the renovation of Khalifa International Stadium. Al Janoub Stadium was previously used in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, also hosted by Qatar. It was designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid together with the firm AECOM.
The stadium features a curvilinear postmodernist and neo-futurist design. The appearance of the roof was inspired by the sails of traditional Dhow boats, used by pearl divers from the region, weaving through currents of the Persian Gulf.
The stadium includes a football stadium as well as an athletics track. It will be the official seat of the football club Al-Wakrah SC, where matches for the Qatar Stars League will be held. The capacity of the stadium is 40,000, which is expected to reduce in half to 20,000 after the World Cup.
Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup in 2010. It would become the first Muslim-majority country and the first country in the Middle East to host the World Cup. Qatar previously did not have the sporting capability for the Cup, and as such 8 new stadiums are expected to be built to prepare for the Cup.
The stadium was inaugurated on 16 May 2019, during the Amir Cup final between Al Sadd SC and Al-Duhail SC played in front of an audience of 38,678 people. This match was attended by the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The stadium was designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, and her architectural firm, Zaha Hadid Architects. Zaha Hadid Architects stated that “The stadium was designed in conjunction with a new precinct so that it sits at the heart of an urban extension of the city, creating community-based activities in and around the stadium on non-event days.”
According to the designers, it was inspired by the sails of traditional Dhow boats, used by pearl divers from the region, weaving through currents of the Persian Gulf. The curvilinear roof and exterior references Al Wakrah's history of seafaring, additionally giving spectators the feeling on being on a ship. Bowed beams hold up the roof, resembling a ship's hull. The building is meant to resemble upturned dhow hulls arranged in a huddle to provide shade and shelter. The roof of the stadium is retractable, and is made from pleated PTFE fabric and cables, with the roof arches being 230 meters long. The design has been humorously compared to a vagina, to Hadid's displeasure.
The cooling system prevents the stadium's users from overheating, due to Qatar's hot and arid climate. It is capable of cooling the spectator areas to 18°C and the field of play to 20°C. According to Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), "detailed micro-climate analysis informed the arena's shape, with aerodynamics and optimal shading from the roof ,which incorporates a minimal amount of glass, making a significant contribution to temperature control."
The sports complex includes a multipurpose room, with swimming pools and spas and a shopping center with green roofs. The entrance to the stadium will be on a wooded square.
A school, wedding hall, cycling, horse riding and running tracks, restaurants, marketplaces and gyms within the vicinity are planned to be built to accompany Al Janoub Stadium.
After the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Al Janoub Stadium will become the Al-Wakrah Sports Club’s home, instead of the current Saoud bin Abdulrahman Stadium after reducing the seating capacity to half, from 40,000 to 20,000 and will be used for Qatar Stars League matches. Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy has claimed that the remaining half of the stadium's seats will be donated to developing countries in need of sporting infrastructure.
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