Doha, Qatar – The first World Cup to be held in the Middle East began with the opening ceremony inside the Al Bayt Stadium, a venue designed to resemble a Bedouin tent.
The 30-minute show featured performances by international and local actors, singers and dancers, including Hollywood star Morgan Freeman, South Korean K-pop sensation Jungkook of BTS and Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi.
It culminated in a spectacular fireworks display that lit up the sky above the stadium, 44km (27 miles) north of Qatar’s capital, Doha.
The event was about the theme of unity and inclusion.
“From Qatar, to the Arab world, I welcome everyone to the World Cup 2022,” said the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
“How wonderful that people can put aside what divides them to celebrate their diversity and what brings them together,” she said.
“May the tournament be filled with inspiring days of positivity and hope and welcome everyone in the world to Doha.”