Over 1.2 million fans have been expected in Qatar throughout the 29 days of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as the attendance has seen groundbreaking numbers at the eight venues that are hosting the first-ever edition of the world football flagship competition in the Middle East.
All the 32 countries that took part in the event had their own share of fans in the stadiums during the matches, but vast swathes of them have been attending the FIFA Fan Festivals, tailor-made experiences dedicated for fans to enjoy both the matches at the FIFA World Cup and the Qatari culture.
On the eve of the opening of Qatar 2022, on 19 November, the FIFA Fan Festival in Al Bidda Park was launched, with a concert from the renowned Colombian artist, Maluma, who is also one of the co-singers of the official FIFA Fan Festival anthem, Tukoh Taha.
“This place will be the heart of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. We are proud that you are here. The world is united in Doha for this World Cup and this is thanks to you. This is where you will celebrate every night between now and the 18th of December,” said the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino during the opening.
In just 13 days, the FIFA Fan Festival proved to be a huge hit among the fans, which could see every game from the Qatar 2022 tournament live on giant screens, enjoy performances from world-famous artists, and feature a range of food and beverage options to cater for every need.
Situated within walking distance of the waterfront Qatar’s capital, Doha, with a 145,000 square meter and 40,000 capacity, the FIFA Fan Festival at Al Bidda Park has welcomed an average of 70,000 visitors per day.
The Festival is open every day, from 4pm to 2am, catering for every fan – from avid or casual football enthusiasts to lovers of music, food and culture – with its unique football and entertainment programme featuring local and international artists such as Diplo, Kizz Daniel, Nora Fatehi, Trinidad Cardona and Calvin Harris.
And just after the group phase at Qatar 2022 was completed, FIFA announced that the Fan Festival hosted exactly 1,000,000 fans, a huge number that underlines the popularity of the competition throughout the world and especially in the host country, Qatar.
To celebrate one million visitors at the venue, FIFA has given away two tickets to the FIFA World Cup Final at Lusail Stadium on Sunday, 18 December, as local Haytham Mothar was the lucky fan to become the 1,000,000th person to enter the FIFA Fan Festival.
“I still cannot believe that I am so lucky to be the one millionth guest at the FIFA Fan Festival. Sara and I were coming here to have a good time and shortly after I was standing on the main stage in front of thousands of people with a football signed by Cafu and Ronald de Boer, and with tickets to the Final. It is just unbelievable!” shared a thrilled Haytham, according to the FIFA official website.
The Egyptian-born Qatari local will take his best friend, Sara, to the big final, which will conclude this superb edition of the FIFA World Cup, which went out without a hitch in the past weeks.
“The FIFA Fan Festival represents everything that is unique, memorable and special about Qatar’s FIFA World Cup. Every day during the tournament, thousands of fans from across the globe will gather here to meet and enjoy top-class football – all in a stunning setting which features the beautiful Doha Corniche as the backdrop,” concluded Hassan Al Thawadi, the Secretary General, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy of Qatar.