Al Waab St, Doha, Qatar
When it comes to any sporting events in Qatar, Khalifa International Stadium is always apart of it. This is no longer an exclusive football only venue but has become a multipurpose stadium and integrated in the Doha Sport City complex. The stadium which is also known as National stadium is situated on Al-Waab Street, Baaya Qatar and currently can hold over 45,000 fans. It is undoubtedly the first high profile football stadium in the country.
Khalifa International Stadium was first opened in 1976 and has been renovated twice, for the 2006 Asian Games and the upcoming World Cup 2022. Its last refurbishment ended in 2017 and naturally become the first ready one to stage international friendly games for Qatar national teams plus several preparatory tournaments. It has been rated four star from GSAS (Global Sustainability Assessment System) since 2017, which is the first among others too. It has world class facilities from swimming pools underneath the south stand, a spacious car park, top rated track and field other sporting facilities, mall, park, hotel to medicine facilities plus education and research centre. In addition, this venue also developed more environmental friendly in 2017 such as advanced cooling technology which enables the energy consumption reduction, plumbing technology and more eco-friendly lighting system.
The stadium which is named after the Qatar’s former Emir, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani has been hosting a number of events from regional to international ones, both on football or non football. The first sporting event ever held in Qatar National stadium was 1976 Arabian Gulf Cup. Then more tournaments have used this venue as the main one or supporting one such as 1992 Gulf Cup when Qatar for the first title followed by 2004 and 2019 edition. The first international multi sport events taking place in this stadium was 2006 Asian Games. Next, there was 2011 Pan Arab Games and 2019 World Athletic Championship. Some other notable competition held in Khalifa International are 2011 Asian Cup, including the quarter final, semi final and the final, the FIFA Club World Cup 2019, including the clash of Liverpool and Flamengo in the summit and several distinguished international friendly match between Brasil versus England and Argentina against Brasil in 2009 and 2010. In the ultimate tournament, World Cup 2022, this venue will be staging eight games, six matches at the group stage, one fixture in the round of 16 and another one in the third place play off.
As one of Qatar’s sporting landmarks, it is easy to access the stadium by taxi or car which only takes 20 minutes from Hamad International Airport. If one opts for public transport, taking Doha metro on the Gold line is the best choice and get off on Sport City metro station.