Doha, Qatar – The first World Cup to be held in the Middle East has kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony inside Al Bayt Stadium, a facility designed to resemble a traditional Bedouin tent.
The 30-minute show featured performances by international and local actors, singers and dancers, including Hollywood star Morgan Freeman, K-pop sensation Jungkook of South Korean superband BTS and Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi.
It culminated with a dazzling fireworks display that lit up the sky above the stadium, 44km (27 miles) north of Qatar’s capital, Doha.
The ceremony was centred around the theme of unity and inclusivity.
“From Qatar, from the Arab world, I welcome everyone to the World Cup 2022,” Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said.
“How lovely it is that people can put aside what divides them to celebrate their diversity and what brings them together,” he said.
“Let this tournament be full of inspiring days of goodness and hope and welcome everyone to the world in Doha.”