AL KHOR, Qatar — It’s hard to convey how strange it is to come upon Al Bayt Stadium, an enormous stylized tent decorated with black stripes, for the first time. It was created for the World Cup as a Al Bayt, the centerpiece, pays homage to traditional nomadic dwellings. a Park with manicured lawns, located 22 miles north from Doha. as if from nowhere and seems at once apt and incongruous, spectacular and otherworldly — an oasis in Or maybe it’s just the desert? a mirage.

Al Bayt, one of seven new stadiums that were built for the 2012 Olympics, was completed just last year. World Cup in Doha, Qatar’s capital, is located in the vicinity. (An eighth is a An old stadium has been refurbished. Each one is more amazing and more surprising than the last. Each adds to the constant sense of cognitive dissonance which pervades this area. World Cup.

Qatar spent a Reports indicate that $220 billion was spent preparing for the tournament. This includes new buildings, new neighborhoods, and even new homes. an entirely new city. To exist now is to be here in a Bubble of high unreality a Place in Which everything is newer or better, and that exists, at the moment, only in Refer to yourself.

Al Bayt can be reached by bus in just over an hour on match days. You can easily get to all the other stadiums via the underground metro system or by connecting with it using free buses. a commuters’ World CupThe event was more similar to an Olympics than other tournaments. Russia in For 2018, some fans were forced to travel almost 1,000 miles from Moscow to Yekaterinburg. a very few matches. In Brazil four years earlier, the trip from Manaus to Pôrto Alegre was more than twice as far.

Here you can see all the stadiums in a single day.

You will find yourself on the green line if you take the train west, passing the Qatar National Library (architect Rem Koolhaas). in Education City, a This 2,900-acre campus includes schools, research centres, incubators, and other facilities. Walk a Just a short distance further along the path, you will see the 40,000-seat. Education City StadiumThe looming like a Spaceships from a Superior civilization, whose inhabitants are a taste for bling. It changes color throughout the day. as The sun moves across the sky, and at night, thousands of diodes create disco-style lights that streak across the sky.

Another metro line runs alongside the vibrant Stadium 974. Its name is a nod to the (impossible to verify) number of shipping containers said to be used to build it and also Qatar’s international dialing code. It is original and funny, and will be demolished at the conclusion of the tournament. (Are World Cup matches more fun if they’re played in An arena that appears to have been constructed with Legos Discuss.)

It’s fun to think of the things the stadiums look like. Khalifa International Stadium a Dramatically swooping upper lip that brings to mind a Möbius strip. (Next to it) a A striking spear-shaped building, thrusting into the sky. This was what my colleagues thought it might be. a Control tower a Telecommunications hub “something to do with falconry” But it turns out that this is the truth a hotel.)

The pinkish, gently undulating roof at Al Janoub Stadium is meant to evoke The “wind-filled sails of Qatar’s traditional dhow boats,” According to the World Cup Guide, but instead is well-known for creating the same kind of feeling as the flower paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe. (“It’s really embarrassing,” the stadium’s architect, Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016, said When the first mention of the comparison was made. “What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous.”)

Take the green metro line to the Mall of Qatar. There you’re faced with two equal and opposing forces. The other side is the mall itself, a a vast temple of entertainment and retail. Girdled in front of your face in The evening ended by a The imposing glowing royal blue band is made of light. Ahmad bin Ali StadiumThe known as Because of the barren landscape beyond, it is known as the Gateway to the Desert. Not everyone is. a fan: Architectural Review described it as “a vast object planted in the desert by the whirlwind of cash that swirls around FIFA.”

This is the problem or one of them with the mere thought of Qatar World CupThe majesty is intertwined and the folly. The exploiting of migrant labourers used to build its bespoke arenas.in ornamental and grass trees in These are the places where they don’t grow. The sense that infrastructure is rich. in Detail and high-quality design are meant to meet future needs, not satisfy one. in The present, the feeling that it is always too hot or too cold outside; the decorative water fountains in one of the driest places on Earth — all these things are hard to process.

I took the metro from my home to the Free Zone station last night. I was relieved to see that the metro had stopped at the Free Zone station. a Transfer bus to and from a Long walk. I turned the corner to view the stunning Al Thumama Stadium. Twinkling like it was on fire. a The dramatic contrast against the dark night sky is the diamond and silver Crown.

“It’s my favorite stadium,” Abdulrahman al-Mana a Qatari, who was at the venue, but whose regular job it is in urban planning. He is 24 years old and attended Cornell on tuition paid by his government. He is proud of Qatar, and proud of the stadium designed by the Qatari architect. Ibrahim Jaidah This evokes the gahfiya – the traditional woven cap worn underneath the ghutras (or head scarves) by Arab men.

Al-Mana passionately spoke out about the stadiums. in Many cases can be reduced in After the World Cup Then, it can be repurposed as Parks and landscaping surround community and sport centers. “A big component of this is making sure there is a legacy for the future,” He stated.

I thought about the words he spoke. as I took the metro in the other direction to the Lusail Iconic Stadium, at 88,000-plus seats the largest of Qatar’s stadiums, and the site of the World Cup Dec. 18: Final It’s a Shiny bauble a Structure, a strikingly beautiful and massive golden vessel that seems to absorb and reflect light simultaneously.

The stadium can be found at one end of Lusail a city-in-progress 14 mi from central Doha. Although the city was never founded in Anything that is a close replica of its current form as Recent as It was constructed 20 years ago to house 450,000 people. as a Hub for tourism, commerce and entertainment. Sure, it’s gorgeous, said an Azerbaijani man working at the tournament who did not want to give his name, but if I really wanted to see something, I should check out the four futuristic towers towering over the new city, glowing purple in It was quite far. He wasn’t sure what the towers were for — maybe they were only decorative — but suggested it was well worth my time: There is a He stated that there was a large shark in the area.

Qatar is known to be passionate about collecting animals — the country just got two giant pandas from China, and it reportedly plans to build a park exclusively for giraffes in Lusail — and so it seemed plausible that it would install a shark tank in The middle of a vanity-project city.

Even though there aren’t many people living there yet, Lusail was overflowing with people enjoying its unique sensory overload. The ground was cool, thanks to the cooling breeze. in Part to a The stadium is surrounded by a huge cooling plant that spews steam. The stadium was filled with inspirational music. Light beams danced in the sky. Women dressed as On stilts, giant red flowers were strutting around. Somebody was playing Arabic music. a saxophone. Al-Jazeera Perfumes lined up the streets. a Cafe called “Cup of Joe” And, for some reason a Chuck E. Cheese – The length of a Block in the city.

The thoroughfare seemed unabated. The towers The four Foster + Partners-designed office building at the far end were the future homes of the Qatar National Bank (QNAB) and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). The shark suspended from cables between buildings and glowing and twinkling with light, looks like a The disco ball was fake.