Qatar Foundation 2022: THE YEAR IN REVIEW


Welcoming the World

The music played, the songs were sung, and the atmosphere pulsed as hundreds of thousands of football fans converged on Education City, turning it into a sea of color, noise, and excitement as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ came to town.

From Morocco to Ghana to South Korea to Uruguay, supporters arrived in their droves for the eight matches staged at the Education City Stadium – and Qatar Foundation (QF) pulled out all the stops to ensure every single one of them had an experience to remember.

And alongside the Education City Fan Experience which entertained, energized, and educated fans, QF organized an array of events, festivals, and programs that offered something for all members of the local and global community to enjoy every day during the tournament – the result of years of planning to make Education City a FIFA World Cup™ venue that would leave a place in people’s memories, and hearts.

The waiting was over. For Qatar, the FIFA World Cup™ had finally arrived. And QF’s Education City was at the heart of the action.

QF’s plans for the World Cup work toward an important ambition for us – ensuring the tournament brings people together and leaves a lasting legacy of accessibility and empowerment for people from all walks of life.

His Excellency Hassan Al Thawadi
Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy

Around 350,000 fans attended the 8 World Cup matches at the Education City Stadium, with around 355,000 people visiting the Education City Fan Experience.


Something for Everyone

Created with fun and inclusivity in mind, the Education City Fan Experience gave supporters attending matches at the Education City Stadium a welcome that reflected the Arab tradition of hospitality and friendliness.

With activations fully accessible to all visitors, the Education City Fan Experience was designed according to a guiding motto: “Something for everyone” – and that meant everything from photo booths and sustainability sculptures to a head-the-ball competition and a wall with plants representing the tournament’s 32 nations.

Performances included singing, dancing, and male and female freestyle footballers, with the culture of Qatar and the nations playing at the Education City Stadium reflected in the entertainment. Arabic poetry and Palestinian art and music were showcased along the way to the stadium, alongside Arabic and English hip hop performances and a Qatari majlis, and a video by QF school students highlighting the customs and traditions of Qatar.

And Qatar’s traditional ardha was also being performed on every match day. as QF sought to open eyes and minds to the cultural heritage of the nation and the Arab world.

Through creating an inclusive fan experience, we are using sport as a powerful tool to foster social inclusion.

Brooke Reid
Manager of Engagement and Activation, QF

An Inclusive Celebration

At every stage and every step, the Education City Fan Experience reflected QF’s commitment to accessibility.

Sensory activations – including a freestanding music wall and tactile wall to help supporters with sensory regulation, and a wheelchair-accessible light tunnel providing a safe, quiet space for those struggling with overstimulation – were provided, alongside a mobile sensory trailer that acted as a refuge for fans with sensory issues.

Rest benches with wheelchair access were put in place, with golf carts helping fans with limited mobility get to and from the stadium and accessibility volunteers stationed at key points to guide and interact with fans of all abilities. And artists with disabilities were part of the matchday show - such as the Korean Traditional Music Orchestra for the Blind, whose members are all visually impaired – with music sign language interpreters on hand.

The inclusive, accessible nature of QF’s World Cup activations was based on stringent accessibility audits conducted ahead of the tournament – as they were for the Street Child World Cup 2022 and GOALS exhibition – to ensure every supporter felt safe, comfortable, and full of World Cup spirit.

1,000 volunteers were on duty on each Education City Stadium matchday, including 15 accessibility volunteers


Drawing a Crowd

It was difficult for people to take eyes off the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ action – and at Education City, thousands of eyes were fixed on its matches.

QF organized free family-friendly live screenings of 22 games at Oxygen Park, welcoming members of Qatar’s community and fans from around the world to soak up the World Cup atmosphere in one of Qatar’s most popular open green spaces.

The matches shown at QF included two of Qatar’s group games, the semi-finals and the thrilling final, with activities being arranged alongside the screenings to provide an extra layer of entertainment for families and visitors.

And nearby, QF’s Qur’anic Botanic Garden (QBG) hosted a series of fun and educational activities that invited people to help celebrate the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ in a way that illustrated the connection between sports and sustainability, including an environmental exhibition, a 3D hologram animation explaining verses from the Holy Qur’an, a chance to meet QBG’s Robot Guide, and a football-themed entertainment area.

More than 34,000 people attended World Cup screenings at Education City’s Oxygen Park


Youth Take the Lead

For the first time, an international school exchange program designed to help young people be catalysts for positive social change was held alongside a FIFA World Cup™ – with QF’s Education City as the venue.

As part of the fourth edition of the Generation Amazing Youth Festival, which kicked off three days before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ began in November, Goal 22 brought together more than 300 international students in Doha to learn football for development practices – exploring topics such as sports diplomacy, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, leadership, and mental health.

They represented each of the 32 nations competing in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, and, with Goal 22 continuing into 2023, their task will be to share what they have gained in their schools and communities to benefit others.

The Generation Amazing Youth Festival involved more than 30 partner organizations, including QF, and featured discussions focusing on, among others, women in sports, how sports can create a positive social impact, climate change, and inclusive leadership, alongside the All-In Tournament – a mini-World Cup.

Our aim is to help people develop crucial global citizenship skills while supporting capacity building through the power of football.

Nasser Al Khori
Executive Director, Generation Amazing

300+ students participated in the Goal 22 program


Nurturing Women Leaders

Aimed at equipping a new generation of women leaders with the skills to overcome societal hurdles and forge careers in football, a special edition of the Future Leaders in Football workshop came to QF ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

The five-day gathering – hosted by the Generation Amazing Foundation, QF, Qatar Football Association, the German Football Association, and the German Association for International Cooperation – saw participants from the Middle East, Africa, and Europe learn from leaders and impact-makers from and beyond Qatar, and tackle topics such as sport for development, gender empowerment, culture, sustainability, and ethics.

And women’s empowerment was also seen on the pitch, as the second edition of QF football tournament specifically for women and girls – in partnership with Generation Amazing, the Ministry of Sports and Youth, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and Qatar Football Association – got under way. The goal of the tournament, which concluded on National Sport Day 2023, is to contribute to the social legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

It has been a really joyful experience and a huge opportunity for us to work together and exchange knowledge.

Abrar Abdelrahman
Future Leaders in Football workshop participant

22 young females from 12 countries participated in the Future Leaders in Football workshop


Discovering Qatar

To help people with disabilities – whether they are residents or visitors – discover everything Qatar has to offer during and beyond the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – QF launched a special accessibility guide, Qatar for All.

Built entirely on personal experiences and recommendations from people with disabilities in Qatar, and made available in multiple versions that include text-only and braille, Qatar for All included more than 30 accessible attractions and experiences, making accessibility-specific information easily available so guests can get the most from their time in Qatar.

Respecting the fact that accessibility does not only relate to disability, the guide was designed to be used by everyone, including elderly people with limited mobility, families with young children, and those who prefer multi-sensory experiences. It can be accessed at

“We hope the increased awareness around accessibility catalyzed by the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will provide momentum to drive a culture of accessibility across the country, making it a permanent part of our social fabric,” said Mayan Zebeib, Chief Communications Officer, QF.

Qatar’s commitment to accessibility speaks to its readiness to truly welcome fans of all abilities to enjoy the very best of what the country has to offer.

Sheikha Hessa Al-Thani
Head of Marketing and Planning, Qatar Tourism

The Qatar for All accessibility guide has been viewed more than 24,000 times


Sporting Energy

When supporters arrived for matches at one FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ stadium, they were walking across a unique and innovative way of generating solar power – the brainchild of a staff member at a Qatar Foundation (QF) partner university.

Mohammad AlGammal, who works at Texas A&M University at Qatar, is the co-founder of SUNPave, one of the winners of the Challenge 22 initiative that set innovators the task of developing groundbreaking solutions and technologies that could contribute to the tournament.

And the patented walkable solar panels developed by SUNPave, and embedded in tiles. were tested in public for the first time within the ticketing areas at Al Thumama Stadium during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. The next step is for more of the panels, which capture the same amount of energy whether they are placed on the ground or on a wall, to be installed within QF’s Education City and across Qatar – and the aim being to help increase energy efficiency and sustainability in the region.

Conventional solar panels tend to take up a lot of space. But we don’t have that problem with our tiles.

Mohammad AlGammal
co-founder of SUNPave

The SUNPave panels trialled at Al Thumama Stadium covered an area of around 50sqm


Preserving the Environment

Sustainability was also the focus of plans by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, QF’s Earthna Center for a Sustainable Future, and Qatar University, announced in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, for a national program to conserve and restore Qatar’s coastal ecosystems by harnessing the collective power of mangrove forests, seagrass, and coral.

The MSC Foundation – part of MSC Group, whose cruise division unveiled its new LNG-propelled, sustainable cruise ship in Doha ahead of the tournament – has signaled its intent to provide grant funding for the program, which will aim to protect and nurture Qatar’s mangrove forests, which are vital to marine biodiversity and fisheries; combat coastal erosion; and open up eco-tourism opportunities.

MSC Group’s ties with Qatar were solidified through MSC Cruises providing cruise ship accommodation for World Cup fans, and the MSC Foundation’s support for the national marine restoration program will contribute to the sustainability legacy the tournament aims to create.

This national program is important in maintaining ecological balance and rehabilitating sensitive ecological ecosystems that have been threatened by human and industrial activities.

His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani
Minister of Environment and Climate Change

A Voice for Sustainability

And November also saw QF lend its voice to the global sustainability conversation, as a delegation from the organization showcased its efforts and expertise in addressing climate change at the COP27 conference in Egypt.

The work of QF member Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) in developing pathways for deep decarbonization in Qatar was spotlighted at the conference, together with the research center’s solutions to manage the impact of climate change on the quality of Qatar’s groundwater.

During COP27, QEERI also formed a knowledge- and technology-sharing partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency, while HBKU’s College of Public Policy provided delegates with insights into a book co-edited by one of its faculty that provides social, political, and environmental perspectives on sustainability in Qatar.

HBKU’s contribution to COP27 took place within the Qatar Pavilion at the conference, hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Our participation at COP27 was crucial for identifying new research partners, to strengthen international cooperation and knowledge-sharing for global impact.

Dr. Marc Vermeersch
Executive Director, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute