Al-Janoub Stadium: Zaha Hadid Legacy in Qatar

Celebrating the Visionary Architect and Iconic Structure

The Al-Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah, Qatar, formerly known as Al-Wakrah Stadium, was inaugurated on May 16, 2019. After Khalifa International Stadium was updated for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this was the second of eight venues built in Qatar. The late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid (1950-2016) worked on the project alongside AECOM and Jain and Partners of Dubai to create the structure.

The stadium was designed using postmodern and neo-futurist curvilinear elements. Pearl divers from the area would sail their traditional Dhow boats through the eddies and currents of the Persian Gulf, and their sails inspired the roof’s design.

The stadium will host Al-Wakrah SC home games in the Qatar Stars League as the club’s official home field. The stadium can now only hold 20,000 people, down from its pre-World Cup 40,000. The stadium can be found around twenty-two kilometers south of Doha.

Celebrating the Visionary Architect and Iconic Structure
Celebrating the Visionary Architect and Iconic Structure

History of Al Janoub Stadium

In 2010, Qatar won the bid to play the host of the famous 2022 FIFA World Cup. If this country were to host the World Cup, it would make history as both the first Muslim and the first Middle Eastern nation to do so. Qatar lacked the necessary sporting infrastructure to host the Cup until its 8 new stadiums were constructed for the event.

After Khalifa International Stadium, this was the second stadium in the city to be constructed, and it was opened on May 16 with the 2019 Amir Cup final between Al Sadd SC and Al-Duhail SC. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir (and hence the head of state) of Qatar, attended this game.

A semi-final match of the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup was played there. Al Janoub Stadium hosted the 2020 AFC Champions League Final in December. Six matches from the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup were played at the venue.

Top-View of Al Janoub Stadium
Top-View of Al Janoub Stadium

The unique design and structure of Al Janoub Stadium

The designers claim they were influenced by the way the sails of historic Dhow boats swished in the Persian Gulf currents, which were utilized by local pearl divers. The building’s rounded top and façade are nods to Al Wakrah’s maritime heritage and give onlookers the impression that they are aboard a ship.

Like the hull of a ship, the roof is supported by bowed beams. This structure was designed to seem like a cluster of overturned dhow hulls that would normally be used to create a shaded area. Zaha Hadid called the criticism of the design’s resemblance to female genitalia “embarrassing” and “ridiculous.” The stadium’s 230-meter-long roof arches are supported by a retractable roof consisting of pleated PTFE fabric and wires.

View of Al Janoub Stadium
View of Al Janoub Stadium

Facilities of Al Janoub Stadium

Due to the extreme heat and dryness of Qatar, the stadium’s cooling system is essential. The temperature on the field may be kept at 20 degrees, while that in the stands can be kept at 18 degrees.

The sports complex features a multi-use room, complete with pools, spas, and a shopping center with vegetation growing on its rooftops. The stadium’s gates will open into a forested plaza.

In addition to Al Janoub Stadium, a nearby school, wedding hall, cycling, horse riding, and jogging tracks, restaurants, marketplaces, and gyms are in the works.

The precinct’s Al Janoub Park debuted in the winter of 2020. There are paths for biking and running, a playground, and other green places. A mosque and a school are just two of the future community staples that will accompany a market.

Interior of Al Janoub Stadium
Interior of Al Janoub Stadium


One of the stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, built by Zaha Hadid Architects in conjunction with engineering firm Aecom, has been opened in the seaside city of Al Wakrah, 20 kilometers south of Doha. It’s the first of the event-specific stadiums to be built from the ground up.

This fascinating stadium is one of Qatar’s main stadiums, and we shared a brief profile of it in this article. Share your thoughts with us through our social media.

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