Al Janoub Stadium: Guide to Qatar World Cup stadiums

By Innocent Benjamin

Here is a full guide to the Al Janoub or Al Wakrah Stadium, one of the World Cup venues in Qatar 2022.

Al Janoub Stadium specifications

Alias

Al Wakrah Stadium

Location

near Al Wakrah Sports Complex, Al Wakrah, Qatar

Coordinates

Architect

Zaha Hadid

Structural engineer

Zaha Hadid

Opening

May 16, 2019

Capacity

40,000

Surface

Natural grass

Inaugural event

Al Sadd vs Al Duhail

Total project area

586,600 square meters

Consultant:

KEO and AECOM

World Cup 2022 Stadium schedule

  • Tue 22 Nov 10:00
  • Thu 24 Nov 10:00
  • Sat 26 Nov 10:00
  • Mon 28 Nov 10:00
  • Wed 30 Nov 15:00
  • Fri 02 Dec 15:00
  • Mon 05 Dec 15:00

(All times in GMT)

Al Janoub is one of eight stadiums slated to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and was designed by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. It is located near the former fishing city of Al-Wakra, and is inspired by the wooden boats (Lengat) that dot the waters of Qatar and the pearls that are an integral part of its economy. 

The stadium will be used as a destination that will open its doors to the local community after the tournament.

The Al Wakrah Stadium (Al Wakrah) was officially completed in 2019, becoming the first of the new Qatar stadiums to be completed. It is located in the city of Wakrah, about 10 miles south of Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Construction began in March 2013 in Wakrah, which is considered the second largest city in Qatar, with a population of over 80,000.

In May 2019, the stadium hosted its first ever event: the Qatar Emirates Cup Final (Amir Cup Final). Local authorities reported that 38,678 spectators witnessed this wonderful "opening ceremony. 

Al Janoub Stadium inaugural ceremony: Emir Cup final

Like other cities in Qatar, Wakrah has a tropical desert climate, with the highest temperature in summer reaching more than 40°C, which has become a design challenge.

To this end, the architect cooperated with the German structural engineering company, Schlaich Bergermann Partner, to design a retractable roof structure made of PTFE engineering plastics, which can cool the audience area to 18°C ​​and the stadium area to 20°C. 

This is possible through air vents located under the seats to allow air to flow at speeds as low as 1 meter per second. In addition, more than 100 ventilation units distributed between the upper and lower stands will be used to cool the stadium grounds.

The source of cooling air in the stadium's floor air conditioning system comes from cooled water supplied by the in-line district cooling system of the stadium's power center and the surrounding area.

This means the stadium can be used all year round and begs the question why the World Cup wasn't hosted in the off-season window.

Al Janoub Stadium has a typical desert climate

Due to the modular structure, the stadium will become the home of Al-Wakrah Sport Club after the World Cup. The personnel capacity in the stadium will be reduced to 20,000, and the extra seats will be donated to overseas sports projects.

Al Janoub Stadium was built in one of Qatar's oldest neighborhoods, so it is relevant that the 40,000-seat stadium was inspired by the sails of traditional wooden boats (langat) used by fishermen and pearl divers. 

Also, the curvilinear roof evokes Al Wakra's history in seafaring by using curved beams that carry the hull-like roof, providing shade and shelter.

Al Janoub Stadium won the Sustainability Classification “A*” from the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS). In line with the vision of sustainability for the FIFA World Cup 2022™, the standard seating in the stadium allows half of the seats to be dismantled and gifted to any country that lacks a sports infrastructure. 

Many facilities are being developed around Al Janoub Stadium with a focus on legacy, including bike paths, horseback riding and jogging tracks, restaurants, gyms and parks.

Al Janoub Stadium was inspired by Al Wakrah water vessels

What distinguishes Al Janoub Stadium, which is 23 km south from the center of the capital, Doha, is a 92-meter retractable roof, and this feature allows to reduce the intensity of sunlight and shade the entire stadium. 

In addition, this design also protects the structure from the inside against harsh weather factors, which will contribute to raising the efficiency of the system cooling inside.

The roof of the stadium consists of a huge piece of steel 92 meters long, 378 tons in weight, which rises about 50 meters above the stadium grounds.

The most important feature of the Al Janoub stadium roof is that it can be folded in approximately 30 minutes, using strong wires covered with titanium, which is known for its durability.

As typical of international stadiums, the stadium includes several rooms, the most important of which is a jacuzzi, a place to warm up the players, a large conference room, and others.

The stadium will host seven matches in the 2022 World Cup up to the quarter-finals. After the world cup, the stadium will also become the new headquarters of Al Wakra Sports Club.

Did you know?

The design of Al Janoub Stadium is inspired by the sails of traditional wooden boats (Lengat).

The architect’s design was inspired by the traditional dhows that can be seen in the city’s harbour, and is intended to highlight the traditional industries of the area, including fishing and pearling.

How to get to Al Janoub Stadium

  • The Al Janoub Stadium can be reached by private car or taxi.
  • Nearest metro station to this edifice is Al Wakra via M132 MetroLink Bus

It is worth mentioning that Qatar will witness the closest match between the hosting stadiums in modern World Cup history, because all stadiums are close to each other, and the longest distance between them is not more than 75 kilometers.

This means that fans and players only need to travel through one airport. They can live in the same lodging place during the entire competition and do not need to take domestic flights or change training facilities as in previous competitions. 

Qatar World Cup 2022: Summary

A few months after the end of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the world turned its attention to Qatar, which is preparing to host a major football tournament in 2022.

This small Gulf country will become the first country in the Arab world to host the World Cup, kicking off in winter to break the tradition and avoid the summer heat.

The FIFA president welcomed Qatar’s progress in infrastructure during a visit to its capital Doha after the 2018 World Cup. They were inspecting eight stadiums and several training venues, which will be used for a month-long match.

"The World Cup in Russia is the best ever, and the World Cup in 2022 must be better," said FIFA President, Giovanni Infantino, during his October 2018 visit to the desert nation.

"I think this World Cup is very important, not only for Qatar, but for the entire region. This region is passionate about football and has invested a lot of money in the game."

Qatar defeated rivals Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States in 2010 to obtain the right to host.

It plans to open the door to football fans and teams around the world, allowing the latter to participate in the largest sporting event since the 2006 Asian Games.

Qatar human rights violation allegations

Nevertheless, the Gulf country is increasingly being scrutinized for the treatment of its migrant workers.

Dutch players protest Qatar human rights violations

 In February, the Guardian revealed that more than 6,500 migrant workers involved in Qatar's World Cup stadiums constructions from South Asia had died in Qatar in the past decade, 70 percent of which have not been properly investigated or explained.

However, the United Nations International Labor Organization rejected all complaints against Qatar after the draft of the new bill, which provides a minimum wage and legal protection for foreign workers approved by the government in 2017.

Before coming to Qatar, thousands of workers paid for the recruitment fees, and contractors participating in the World Cup project have agreed to reimburse them for more than 14.4 million U.S. dollars.

German national team players protest Qatar human rights violation

Several national teams including Germany, Netherlands and Erling Haaland’s Norway have led protests against the country's human rights violation history. Scandinavian nation, Denmark, who have qualified for the 2022 World Cup have also vowed to protest at the event in Qatar.

All World Cup 2022 stadiums

For the 2022 event, eight state-of-the-art stadiums with advanced open-air cooling technology will be the flagship venues. Six of those stadiums were built new for the tournament while two were extensively renovated and expanded. 

Here are all 8 Fifa world cup 2022 venues:

  1. Khalifa International Stadium
  2. Al Janoub Stadium
  3. Lussail Iconic Stadium
  4. Al Bayt Stadium
  5. Education City Stadium
  6. Al Thumama Stadium
  7. Stadium 974
  8. Ahmed bin Ali Stadium