Mid-2017 likely opening date for Khalifa Stadium

As the 2022 World Cup event draws closer, the fully refurbished Khalifa International Stadium (KIS) is expected to be the first to open by the end of 2017

The first venue to open will be Khalifa International Stadium at the end of 2017.
The first venue to open will be Khalifa International Stadium at the end of 2017.

The fully refurbished Khalifa International Stadium (KIS) is expected to open by the end of Q2 2017.

Nasser Al Khater, assistant secretary- general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) said on Qatar TV: “We are moving as per our schedule to complete all projects related to the World Cup 2022 on time.”

He outlined how KIS will be the first stadium of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be ready, set for opening in the first quarter of this year, followed by Al Khor and Al Wakrah stadiums which slated for completion by end of 2018.

Al Khater added that Al Rayyan and Qatar Foundation stadiums will open in 2019 while the remaining stadiums will also be ready by the end of 2020.

The final number of stadiums however has not been confirmed and he added: “Now we are focusing on eight stadiums that would host the world Cup 2022 but final decision regarding the number of stadiums will be taken in May this year.”

Hosting a World Cup event has a number of benefits, both for the short and the long-term.

“We expect about a million or a million-and-a-half visitors and spectators during Qatar 2022 which is more than visitors hosted by other countries in the past. The previous host countries of FIFA World-Cup received about 500,000 to 600,000 visitors,” Al Khater said.

With factors like having Qatar Airways with supported by other regional airlines like Emirates will help to attract more visitors during the event.

While FIFA requires 60,000 hotel rooms and “we promised to provide about 90,000 rooms including hotel rooms and apartments, rooms in Cruise ships”, he added.

Some buildings and compounds will also be turned into fan accommodation and villages for spectators will be built, as well as the possibility of fan camps in the desert.

“We expect to achieve the target by 2022,” Al Khater assured.

Also, post 2022 FIFA World Cup, the facilities will be repurposed, with some stadiums turned into clubs for the residents of the respective localities, while others will cater to the surrounding communities in various ways.

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