Qatar is preparing for the official start of the 2022 World Cup on Sunday, with fans and residents feeling the excitement.
From Doha’s Souq Waqif to the water-filled arenas and spectacular views of the city’s streets, the country is buzzing with football’s premier event, which is expected to attract more than 1.2 million visitors to Qatar.
Qatar has changed dramatically since winning the bid to host the 2022 World Cup a decade ago. The tournament will be played in eight stadiums, with some fans staying on cruise ships and in desert locations, while at least three hotels are floating in Doha.
Anticipation was running high on Thursday night as fans, many wearing the jerseys of their favorite teams, flocked to tourist attractions across Doha and Lusail.
The organizers of the International Committee have advised fans to prepare in advance when traveling to the match, as the Doha Metro is expected to be busier than usual with many people from around the world.
Olympic athlete and FIFA World Cup ambassador, Mutaz Barshim, said the event provides a unique opportunity to unite people through football. “The World Cup will have a big impact on our people by showing our culture to the world and helping people make friends and build networks,” he told Qatar’s organizing committee.