Exactly a year to the day since its inauguration, Khalifa International Stadium has once again put on a spectacular show, as it played host to the 2018 Amir Cup final.
For the second year in a row, more than 45,000 fans from across Qatar attended the event, as Al Duhail Sports Club secured the prestigious trophy with a 2-1 victory over Al Rayyan Sports Club.
On 19 May 2017 Khalifa International Stadium became the first proposed 2022 FIFA World Cup™ stadium to open, and SC Ambassador Xavi Hernández the first man to lift a trophy in the refurbished venue – as his Al Sadd Sports Club side defeated Al Rayyan Sports Club. And as in 2017, HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was again in attendance to witness the 2018 showpiece – at one of Qatar’s most iconic stadiums.
Expanded to offer a net capacity of 40,000 spectators for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, the stadium has undergone extensive renovation works since it was first opened in 1976. Khalifa International Stadium already had an illustrious hosting history, having previously welcomed the Asian Games, the Gulf Cup and the AFC Asian Cup, among others. Following the refurbishment, it now boasts ultra-modern facilities and hospitality options – fit to host the world’s greatest players.
The refurbishments included an installation of revolutionary cooling technology promised during Qatar’s successful bid, which again kept the pitch at 20°C and the stands at 23°C while using 40 percent less energy than traditional cooling methods. The innovative cooling system is a state-of-the-art sustainable cooling system for outdoor environments.
Other new features at the stadium include the installation of a larger roof over the entire spectator area, with an intricate net of German and Italian-made steel tension cables weighing 4,000 tonnes holding 92 panels in place. The stadium will also be the first FIFA World Cup™ venue and the first stadium in the region to be lit by LED lighting, which is both more sustainable and more versatile than traditional lighting.
Located in Aspire Zone, Khalifa International Stadium already offers a range of nearby leisure amenities. During the FIFA World Cup™, however, fans will also be able to travel to and from the historic venue via a dedicated metro station on Qatar’s national metro project, QRail.
Once completed, Qatar’s tournament infrastructure will keep journey times between all FIFA World Cup™ stadiums and accommodation locations below one hour, enabling fans to watch more than one live match per day for the first time in FIFA World Cup™ history.
Khalifa International Stadium Project Manager at Aspire Zone Foundation, Eng. Mansoor Al-Muhannadi, said: “On behalf of everyone associated with the project at Khalifa International Stadium, we were delighted to welcome – once again – HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for the 2018 Amir Cup final.
“Khalifa is one of Qatar’s most recognisable, historic and iconic sporting venues, and it is therefore fitting it became the first proposed 2022 FIFA World Cup stadium to officially open.
Commenting on this prestigious event hosted at Khalifa International Stadium, Eng. Mohemed Ahmed, the SC’s Project Manager, said: “Not only this stadium’s achievements we can be proud of I am delighted to see the progress being made across all venues.
“I have witnessed first-hand the remarkable progress being made at each of the other seven sites – and I look forward to experiencing many more nights like we have at Khalifa, as the other world-class stadiums open ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
He continued: “Khalifa too has many exciting milestone moments to look forward to like the opening of the magnificent 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum and its hosting of the 2019 IAAF World Athletic Championships. Another event, I am certain, which will be an overwhelming success – and one that will become part of our story on this historic hosting journey.”
By SC Staff