Al Thumama Stadium: A Complete Guide

In a couple of days, Qatar will play host to sport’s biggest and most prestigious competition –  the FIFA World Cup.

With the 2022 edition of this eagerly anticipated tournament set to get underway, we thought it would be a good idea to preview each of the eight stadiums where games will be played.

Today, our focus is centered on the Al Thumama stadium.

So, let’s take a closer look at the sort of fan experience that this venue has to offer.


Who built Al Thumama Stadium?

This ground was designed by a Qatari architect called Ibrahim M. Jaidah.

It was officially inaugurated on the 22nd of October 2021 for the Amir Cup final between Al-Sadd and Al-Rayyan, this ground was the sixth of eight ready to host matches for the biggest tournament in the history of professional soccer.


Structural overview

The Al Thumama stadium is one of the newly constructed grounds built for the upcoming World Cup event in Qatar.

Design work began in 2017 and took four years to complete, owing to the high level of sophistication and labor involved in building such a massive structure.

At first glance, you will notice the stadium has a very distinct circular design.

Take a look at the picture below for a close up of this shape:

al thumama stadium - dome shape

It is said that the inspiration for such a circular design comes from a traditional woven cap –  called the “gahfiya” – that is typically worn by men and boys residing in the Middle East region.

Because the “gahfiya” is such an integral part of clothing for people living in this area, it’s quite fitting for it to be represented in the designs of one of the stadiums that Qatar will use to host an international tournament.

The people of Qatar take massive pride in this layer of traditional clothing as it represents a symbol of dignity and independence.

What’s more is that the stadium gets its name from a native tree that grows in the region.

Believe it or not, the Al Thumama tree is commonly found in Qatar!

So, the stadium upholds the roots of the surrounding locality in the truest sense of the word.


What is the seating capacity of the Al Thumama stadium?

Of course, the stadium hasn’t only been built with cultural significance and historical heritage in mind.

Functionality is a core part of why the venue was constructed.

And with that said, the tournament organizers would have wanted to ensure that they can fit as many fans into the stadium as is physically possible without compromising the safety and comfort of these spectators.

Therefore, for the upcoming World Cup this stadium has been fitted with 40,000 seats.

al thumama stadium - 40000 seat capacity

You can check out our comprehensive article on the stadiums being used for the Qatar World Cup to see how this capacity figure compares with the other venues.


How much did the Al Thumama stadium cost to build?

There are reports which indicate that this stadium took a huge sum of 342 million dollars to construct.

Figures in that ballpark are certainly nothing to sniff at, so we can commend Qatar’s organizing committee for seeing the stadium development project through to completion.

Here’s some short video footage showcasing the entire structure:


What will happen to the stadium after the 2022 Qatar World Cup?

After the tournament has concluded, the capacity of this venue will be reduced in half (i.e. to 20,000 seats).

The seats in question will be donated to various development projects around the world, which will be done to boost the infrastructure of other nations.

Logically, it makes sense for them to reduce the capacity after the international tournament because any local and regional sporting fixtures held at the venue beyond that point will likely attract smaller crowds.

Lowering the capacity ultimately ensures that the arena keeps a full house even with fewer visiting spectators in attendance, as the stadium will be able to maintain its energetic atmosphere as there would be little to no empty seats within the ground.

By removing the upper tier seating allocation, the stadium will be able to accommodate a sports clinic as well as a luxurious 60-room hotel for tourists and other visitors.


How can you get to Al Thumama stadium by Metro?

This venue is located in the south of Doha – Qatar’s capital – about seven kilometers from the Souq Waqif area.

Unfortunately for visitors, travelling to the stadium by metro can prove to be quite a challenge as it’s not in close proximity to any metro station.

You have the option of using the Free Zone Metro Station (Red Line) which has a shuttle bus service – service number S390.

This journey does take 20 minutes from the Metro Station and once at the drop-off point you will have to walk for another half hour or so to actually arrive at the stadium.

Alternatively, you could take a local taxi or a bus to get to the stadium.

If you decided to use a bus, then you can catch the number 10 bus departing from Al Ghanim Bus Station near Souq Waqif.

You should then alight at Al Thumama Bus Stop 7 which is almost at the end of the designated bus route.


Is parking available at the stadium?

For those of you who may decide to travel by car, there is good news.

There are parking spaces available in close proximity to the stadium.

Simply head over to Spectator Parking Lot A and leave your car there.

Although it’s important to note that this parking lot has a minimum walking time to the stadium of 25 minutes.

So, brace yourself for some brisk walking!

Car parks open four hours prior to match kickoff and close one and a half hours after the final whistle, so ensure that you arrive early because the spots do fill up quite quickly.


Which matches will the Al Thumama stadium host?

This stadium will entertain a total of seven matches throughout the entirety of the tournament.

What this comprises of is:

  • Five group stage games;
  • One round of 16 clash; and
  • One quarter final match

Here’s a table that quickly breaks this information down for you:

21st November 2022Senegal vs NetherlandsA
23rd November 2022Spain vs Costa RicaE
25th November 2022Qatar vs SenegalA
27th November 2022Belgium vs MoroccoF
29th November 2022Iran vs USAB
1st December 2022Canada vs MoroccoF
4th December 2022Round of 16Winner Group D vs Runner Up Group C
10th December 2022Quarter FinalN/A


Closing thoughts

That brings us to the end of this informative guide on the Al Thumama stadium.

Hopefully for World Cup travelers reading this you’ll have gained a lot of insight on the ins and outs of the ground, its cultural significance, as well as the logistics of getting to the venue.

Our parting shot to you is – have a great time watching the tournament!


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Samuel Waihenya
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