In two years Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, showcasing some of the best sporting talent and state of the art facilities the world has to offer – including a new arena thought up by Kiwis.
A brand new stadium in Al Khor on the coast, cost almost $2 billion alone to build for the tournament, but with it will come with some Kiwi flair thanks a team of Canterbury designers.
Green space and water are rare commodities in the Middle East’s desert but Al Bayt Stadium will have 22 million square metres of it thanks to Glasson Huxtable Landscape Architects in Christchurch.
Mark Huxtable told 1 NEWS the design celebrates Qatar.
“The design that we came up with including the planting, the soft scape and hardscape and patterns were really about enhancing the indigenous character,” Huxtable said.
“It’s about providing an authentic Qatar experience for visitors which is why this is the opening venue - because it has that authenticity about it.”
It's a collaboration spanning the best part of six years, working to an estimated $800 million budget.
The stadium also includes a number of tracks for camels and horses, biking, walking and BMX. There’s also exercise areas, basketball courts, football fields and all of it will be floodlit.
And that’s before you mention the lakes, a beach and eateries.
Fellow designer Chris Glasson admitted it’s a stadium Kiwis could probably only dream of currently.
“It’s a great dream, isn’t it and if we had something like this, it would be quite spectacular. Nothing is impossible,” Glasson said.
“But I guess it related to the FIFA World Cup attracting millions and a centre stage for the world for a period of time.”
Still, not bad for a couple of Kiwis.