'It's a perfect blend of tradition and modernity'
Al Thumama Stadium perfectly encapsulates the culture, heritage and forward-thinking nature of the Middle East, according to H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC).
Speaking to www.sc.qa as the sixth proposed 2022 FIFA World Cup™ stadium was launched, Al Thawadi said symbolism associated with the gahfiya-inspired design is multifaceted.
"It's a blend of our culture, our heritage and our commitment to the future," he explained. "The gahfiya also has a very old and traditional feel to it. As young children, before we wore the full headgear, we would just wear the gahfiya itself.
How Al Thumama Stadium will look in 2022
"So it has a connection to the past – especially when you're talking about the younger lives of the older generation. There's a very emotional tie to it.
"We've always been very careful to combine the past with the future, even when it comes to our designs. This is already showcased at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. The gahfiya is a continuation of that."
The stadium – which will host 40,000 fans in 2022 – was designed by prominent Qatari architect Ibrahim Al Jaidah, another element of the project the Secretary General said local people could be proud of.
"From the very beginning we always believed that this World Cup would be a catalyst, and a supporter, to blossom the industry," he continued. "Our vision during our bid was to always assist in developing local talent and local industry.
"Ibrahim Jaidah is very well known in the State of Qatar. The Ministry of Interior Qatar building is one example of that. That's why we believed he had the talent, the passion and the commitment for this project.
"It was essential for us to promote and shine the spotlight on such talent – and considering his track record and experience, he was well placed for us to be able to work with him, and utilise his talent in one of our stadiums."
"It's a blend of our culture, our heritage and our commitment to the future"
Although the sixth to be confirmed by the SC, Al Thumama Stadium is the first to be launched digitally – through a worldwide social media activation. This is something, Al Thawadi says, that is another positive.
"It allows us to reach a larger audience," he explained. "We've always said this is a World Cup for the Arab world, that's why it was very important for us that the Arab world celebrates and joins us in this launch.
"This launch is for everybody. It is everybody's launch; it is everybody's stadium."
Find out more about Al Thumama Stadium, including its design, sustainability commitment and what will happen to the precinct after 2022.