A simple guide to the AFC Asian Cup 2023 stadiums

A quick look at the nine stadiums that will host the 2023 Asian Cup matches in Qatar.

View of Lusail Stadium. [Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera}
Lusail Stadium will host the opening match and the final of the AFC Asian Cup [File: Faras Ghani/Al Jazeera}

Qatar is hosting the AFC Asian Cup 2023 for the third time, and the continental tournament will be spread across nine stadiums in the FIFA World Cup 2022 host nation.

Football fans will watch 24 teams compete for the trophy with the first match taking place on January 12 at Lusail Stadium. Seven World Cup stadiums and two other football stadiums are being used for the event.

Here is a look at the venues:

1. Lusail Stadium

Capacity: 88,000
Inauguration: September 2022
Location: Lusail City

Lusail Stadium is the biggest tournament venue for the Asian Cup and will host the opening ceremony, the first match – being played between Lebanon and Qatar – and the final of the tournament on February 10.

Built in Lusail, a planned city for 200,000 people 15km (9 miles) north of central Doha, the stadium saw Lionel Messi lift Argentina’s third World Cup trophy a little over a year ago.

Lionel Messi holds the World Cup aloft after his side's victory over France | Argentina v France
Lionel Messi holds the World Cup trophy aloft after Argentina’s victory over France in the World Cup final on December 18, 2022, in Lusail Stadium [File: Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

2. Ahmad bin Ali Stadium

Capacity: 45,032
Inauguration: December 2020
Location: Al Rayyan

Ahmad bin Ali Stadium is named after a former emir of Qatar and will host seven matches of the tournament, including a quarterfinal and a semifinal.

The stadium’s design is meant to reflect a tent in the desert. It was built on the site of an old stadium, more than 90 percent of which was reused or recycled. The venue was inaugurated on December 18, 2020, for the final of the Amir Cup, a Qatari men’s football tournament.

Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium ahead of FIFA World Cup Qatar
The Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]


3. Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium

Capacity: 10,000
Inauguration: February 2013
Location: Doha

Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium is located in Duhail, a district of Doha. It will host six group stage matches and one round of 16 knockout game.

Unlike most of the other venues, it did not host any World Cup matches, but it has witnessed several domestic cup finals as well as the final for the AFC under-23 tournament in 2016. It is also considered home to the Qatar Stars League’s Al-Duhail team.

4. Jassim bin Hamad Stadium

Capacity: 13,030
Inauguration: 2010 (renovated)
Location: Al Rayyan

Jassim bin Hamad Stadium was first inaugurated in 1975 and went through renovations in 2004 and 2010. In the 2014-2015 football season, the venue witnessed the Italian Supercoppa between Napoli and Juventus.

At the Asian Cup, the venue will host six group stage matches and one round of 16 knockout game. In 2011, it also hosted matches for the AFC Asian Cup, including a quarterfinal.

jassim bin hamad stadium
The Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Al Sadd, home to Qatar’s most successul football club Al Sadd SC[File: Christof Koepsel/Getty Images]

5. Khalifa International Stadium

Capacity: 45,857
Inauguration: May 2017
Location: Doha

Khalifa International Stadium was the first tournament-ready venue for Qatar 2022. For the Asian Cup, it will host six matches, including a round of 16 clash.

Built in 1976, it is one of Qatar’s oldest stadiums and went through upgrades after Qatar won the World Cup bid. Its seating capacity was increased from 20,000 to more than 45,000.


Khalifa international
The Khalifa International Stadium [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

6. Education City Stadium

Capacity: 44,667
Inauguration: June 2020
Location: Education City

Education City Stadium was inaugurated in June 2020 during a virtual event that paid tribute to front-line healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will host matches up to and including the quarterfinals.

The venue is situated among university campuses just to the west of Doha and is reachable by metro.

Education city
The Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan[File: Handout]

7. Al Janoub Stadium

Capacity: 44,325
Inauguration: May 2019
Location: Al Wakrah

Al Janoub Stadium will host matches up to and including a quarterfinal during the Asian Cup. It was the first Qatar 2022 tournament venue to be built from scratch and has played host to important matches such as the 2020 AFC Champions League final and six matches of the FIFA Arab Cup 2021.

Located south of Doha in the city of Al Wakrah, the stadium’s design was inspired by traditional boats used for pearl diving and fishing. It was designed by the late, renowned architect Zaha Hadid.

Al Janoub Stadium [Handout]
The Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah[File: Handout]

8. Al Bayt Stadium

Capacity: 68,895
Inauguration: November 2021
Location: Al Khor

Al Bayt Stadium is set to host four matches during the Asian Cup – two group stages, one round of 16 and a quarterfinal. At the World Cup, the stadium witnessed the semifinal between France and Morocco and the opening game between Qatar and Ecuador.

It is constructed in the form of a Bedouin tent and situated on Qatar’s northeastern coast about 35km (22 miles) from Doha.

Morocco v France, FIFA World Cup 2022 Semi Final, December 14, Al Bayt Stadium [Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
In 2022, Morocco became the first Arab and the first African team to reach the World Cup semifinals, but their title hopes were dashed by France at Al Bayt Stadium [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

9. Al Thumama Stadium

Capacity: 44,400
Inauguration: October 2021
Location: Doha

Al Thumama Stadium is set to host matches up to and including the semifinals. In 2022, it hosted eight World Cup matches, including the quarterfinal in which Morocco defeated Portugal.

Situated south of central Doha close to Hamad International Airport, the stadium is built in the form of a gahfiya, the traditional cap worn by men across the Middle East.

Al Thumama Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Al Thumama Stadium [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies