The best football stadiums in Qatar are as much works of art as they are innovative arenas. Football is the most popular sport in Qatar, and residents have been flocking to their beloved Khalifa International Stadium since it was inaugurated in 1976. To gear up for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, 7 new stadiums were constructed while Khalifa underwent extensive renovation. Divided across the nation, they’re all less than an hour from the capital of Doha.

In a World Cup first, the stadiums feature climate control to combat the sweltering Qatari summer heat, as well as state-of-the-art technology to ensure every game is the best it can be. Read on to learn about Qatar’s most famous football stadiums.

What are the best football stadiums in Qatar?

  • 1

    Lusail Iconic Stadium

    The largest stadium in Qatar

    Lusail Iconic Stadium
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    Lusail Iconic Stadium hosted both the opening and final games of the 2022 World Cup. Designed by British architects Foster + Partners, the impressive structure mirrors intricate Arab art and is a stunning venue, even before you step inside.

    Visitors benefit not only from incredible views of the pitch but also from a solar cooling system. The arena is devoted to sustainability, hoping to downsize its capacity from almost 90,000 to 40,000 and contribute to community projects. We recommend booking a tour to view this stadium in all its glory. You’ll find the Lusail Iconic Stadium in the innovative Lusail City, to the north of Doha, and it’s easily reached by a direct metro from the capital.

    Location: Lusail, Qatar

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    photo by Palácio do Planalto (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • 2

    Khalifa International Stadium

    The nation’s pride

    Khalifa International Stadium

    The only Qatar football World Cup stadium that wasn’t built from scratch, Khalifa International is the most iconic arena in the nation of Qatar. After a massive renovation, the ground reopened in 2017 and, with a 40,000 capacity, it hosted games up to the quarter-final stage. With advanced cooling technologies keeping both players and fans at the ideal temperature, the stadium’s modernity is also represented by the iconic dual arch external structure.

    Khalifa International Stadium sits at the heart of Doha’s Aspire Zone, an area of technological development and innovation that acted as a major centre for fans throughout the 2022 World Cup.

    Location: Al Waab St, Doha, Qatar

    Phone: +974 4475 2022

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  • 3

    Al-Bayt Stadium

    Eye-catching bayt al sha'ar design

    Al-Bayt Stadium
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    Al-Bayt Stadium, in the city of Al-Khor, was a semi-final host at the 2022 World Cup. The arena features a striking design that reflects the tents used by the Bedouin people, a nomadic group living across the country for centuries. The stadium’s unique retractable roof is a particular highlight, providing all-weather shelter.

    The 60,000-seater stadium is set within a wider complex featuring a shopping centre, hospital, restaurants and more. You’ll love exploring the surrounding parkland and nearby oasis too, especially if you’ve children in tow who are eager for a playground. For a truly memorable stay in Qatar, why not stay in one of the stadium’s luxury 5-star hotel rooms with jaw-dropping views of the pitch?

    Location: Al-Khor, Qatar

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  • 4

    Al-Janoub Stadium

    Outstanding national landmark

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    Al-Janoub Stadium is a truly striking arena that has a capacity of around 40,000. It was designed by the late, globally renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid in her signature curved style. This stylish Qatar stadium was inspired by the hulls of pearl fishing boats that have long operated across the Arabian Peninsula. This is something further reflected in the use of traditional materials and even timber in the construction of the arena.

    There’s not just football to be found either, as the pitch can easily be reconfigured for athletics and rugby. Now the proud home of Al-Wakrah SC, Al-Janoub Stadium complex also features parks, swimming pools and spas, making it a prime destination for holiday-makers.

    Location: Al-Wakrah, Qatar

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  • 5

    Education City Stadium

    Nicknamed the “Diamond in the Desert”

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    Named after its location on the campus of Qatar’s leading university, Education City Stadium is a 40,000-seater arena that hosted various matches in the 2022 Qatar World Cup. One of the world’s most sustainable stadiums, its mesmerising façade features complex geometric patterns that appear to glitter as the sun moves across the sky. At night, the stadium is aglow with brightly coloured lights, making for a beautiful photo.

    Serving students and faculties of the surrounding academic community, Education City Stadium is located 7 km from downtown Doha and is easily reached by tram or metro. The whole area is filled with green spaces, a golf course and even a state-of-the-art shopping centre.

    Location: Al Rayyan, Qatar

    Phone: +974 4475 2022

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  • 6

    Al-Rayyan Stadium

    Found at the edge of the desert

    Al-Rayyan Stadium
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    Situated on the site of and built from the rubble of the old Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, the ultra-modern Al-Rayyan Stadium is now home to the Al-Rayyan Sports Club and numerous sporting facilities. What’s most remarkable about the arena is the exterior’s translucent screens obscured by metallic mesh that project news, adverts, sports updates and more.

    Visiting the stadium and reliving its World Cup memories is a perfect afternoon activity when in Qatar, especially when combined with a trip to the nearby Mall of Qatar. One of Qatar’s most traditional and historic cities, Al-Rayyan acts as a gateway to the desert and gives a glimpse into the country’s deep cultural roots.

    Location: Al Rayyan, Qatar

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  • 7

    Al-Thumama Stadium

    An effortless blend of art and practicality

    Al-Thumama Stadium
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    Located just 12 km from central Doha, the 40,000-seater Al-Thumama Stadium is both visually appealing and expertly functional. The interesting, lace-like design of this arena is inspired by the taqiya, the traditional woven cap worn by Arab males.

    After hosting World Cup matches, the Al-Thumama Stadium became a community sporting hub, so be sure to stop by for volleyball, basketball and swimming. As with many of the stadiums built for the 2022 World Cup, Al-Thumama cut its capacity in half after the tournament and donated more than 20,000 seats to help promote football and stadia in developing nations. The stadium can be reached on a purpose-built metro line from Doha.

    Location: Doha, Qatar

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    photo by Md Nahid Islam Sumon (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

  • 8

    Jassim bin Hamad Stadium

    Internationally acclaimed sporting arena

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    The Jassim bin Hamad Stadium might not have featured in the 2022 World Cup but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of our list of best football stadiums in Qatar. Beyond being a respectable stadium with a history of hosting iconic international and local games, it’s also a sporting complex that has become a community staple. 

    It’s the home of the Qatar Stars league team and catching one of their games will surely be a highlight during your trip to Qatar. Take a moment to marvel at the unusual dhow boat-inspired structure that pays homage to the country’s nautical heritage. Don’t forget your camera. 

    Location: Al Nadi St, Al Rayyan, Qatar

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James Connolly | Guest Writer