The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be ground breaking in a number of ways when the first ball is kicked at the Al Bayt Stadium on Nov. 21.
Being held in the Middle East — as part of FIFA’s pledge to host a major tournament in the region — Qatar 2022 will bring the biggest international football showpiece to the Arab world for the first time.
However, the decision to grant a World Cup to Qatar has not been without criticism, with the major structural change of switching to an end-of-year competition generating plenty of controversy.
Tournament organizers, backed by world governing body FIFA, confirmed early on in the hosting process that a traditional June-July tournament would not be possible.
Are the World Cup stadiums air-conditioned?
One of the major adaptations that Qatari officials have had to make is to ensure that all eight stadiums involved in the competition will be air-conditioned.
Despite concerns over the ability of coolant machines to substantially bring down the temperature in open-air stadiums, each venue has been equipped with specially designed cooling units.
The technology has been developed along with Qatar University, using solar energy to power fans that pull in outside air and cool it.
Dr Saud Abdulaziz Abdul Ghani, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Qatar University and nicknamed “Dr Cool”, has spearheaded the project and will be part of the efforts to ensure a full roll out at all eight venues in time for the opening game.
In an interview with FIFA.com, Dr Saul revealed: “We are not just cooling the air, we’re cleaning it.
“We’re purifying the air for spectators. For example, people who have allergies won’t have problems inside our stadiums as we have the cleanest and purest air in there is.
“Pre-cooled air comes in through grills built into the stands and large nozzles alongside the pitch. Using the air circulation technique, cooled air is then drawn back, re-cooled, filtered and pushed out where it is needed.”