Walking through the desert, nomads, wandering in the extreme climate of the Arab region, often came across a welcome sight, that of Bayt Al Sha’ar. The black-and-white striped tent on the horizon meant an invitation to enjoy the hospitality of the tent’s owner, whether known or not to the traveller.

Al Khor is about to get a majestic Bayt Al Sha’ar of its own, one that will invite football fans from near and far to celebrate the beautiful game.

Brushing aside any questions that may have been raised on the 2022 World Cup in recent past, Qatar is surging ahead in its preparation for the mega event, revealing the designs for Al Bayt Stadium at Al Khor Sports Club yesterday.

The 60,000-seat stadium, which is a proposed semi-final venue for the 2022 World Cup, is the second stadium, after the Al Wakrah Stadium, which is being constructed from scratch for the football extravaganza.

The stadium design is based on Bayt Al Sha’ar, a black-and-white tent used traditionally by nomadic people in Qatar and the region.

“The launch of Al Bayt Stadium and precinct will honour Qatar’s past while fully embracing the country’s global future. The launch of the design for our second proposed stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is another milestone of progress, demonstrating our deep commitment to delivering an amazing experience in 2022 and beyond,” Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) secretary general Hassan al-Thawadi said on the occasion. “The progress we have made so far also confirms our deep commitment to providing breathtaking experience during the year 2022 and beyond.”

The first lot of work on the stadium has started with further lots to begin by mid-July.

Aspire Zone Foundation president Hilal al-Kuwari said, “We have committed to deliver the stadium by the end of 2018 and we will positively do so.”

Dar al-Handasa served as design consultant for the stadium while Projacs serves as the project manager.

Adding on the design of the venue, he said, “Just as Bayt Al Sha’ar continues to remain central to family life in Qatar today, the precinct surrounding Al Bayt Stadium – which will include space for local businesses and restaurants as well as landscaped paths for the community for exercise – will become a focal point of community life long after the 2022 FIFA World Cup has concluded.”

The new stadium has a modular design, which includes an upper tier of removable seats. After the World Cup, the tier will be removed and the capacity of the stadium will be reduced to 32,000 seats. In consultation with FIFA and the global football community, the removed seats will be reconfigured and donated to other countries to leave a legacy for international football development.

The facility will comply with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) ratings, and will use green building materials and energy efficiency measures. Renewable energy will also be generated within the stadium and the surrounding precinct.

A decision on the fate of the current Al Khor stadium has not been taken yet. In this regard, al-Thawadi said, “We are still studying the possible options. The future usage of the current stadium will be decided upon consultation with Al Khor Sports Club and the community.”

The stadium precinct will also host two practice pitches apart from a commercial centre and a branch of Aspetar, the sports medicine hospital.

“The commercial centre will be instrumental in the maintenance of the facility financially,” al-Kuwari said.

Also present at the ceremony was Minister of Justice, HE Dr Hassan Lahdan Saqr al-Mohannadi.

Following yesterday’s morning design-revealing ceremony, two majlises were held at the Al Thakhira Youth Club where local residents discussed and debated the future vision for Al Khor with representatives from the SC and other local organisations.