The King Fahd International Stadium, which translates to “The Pearl” in Arabic. It is a multi-purpose stadium located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The stadium is known for its football facility.
The stadium has a capacity of 67,000 and also has one of the largest stadium roofs in the world. The stadium was built at a cost of $510 million.
To add a personal touch to the stadium, a royal balcony was constructed in the honor of the majesty from which his Majesty King Fahd could observe the sport.
The stadium has not still become the home stadium for any of the clubs, even though there is presence of three clubs in Riyadh itself.
The stadium was built in 1987, and is among one of the first stadiums to be covered with a membrane. It also hit a new record, as it instantly became the venue with the world’s largest roof.
The humongous cover is supported by 24 tall pylons and due to the dynamic shape and design, it bears a close resemblance to a Bedouin tent. The 24 columns are arranged in a perfect circle which encompasses a 247-meter diameter.
The huge umbrella keeps the sun off the seats and concourse slabs, and provides shade in the hot weather.
The stadium has also been included in the EA Sports football video games FIFA 13, FIFA 14, FIFA 15, FIFA 16 and FIFA 17.
The stadium was one of the main venues for matches of the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1989, including the final match between Portugal and Nigeria, in which Portugal emerged as the champions.
The stadium also has the distinction of being one of the key venues during the FIFA Confederations Cup which took place three times in Saudi Arabia (1992, 1995, 1997).
The stadium has also hosted the Asian Club Championship in 2000.
Saudi Arabia has been surrounded by some major controversies regarding the unlawful treatment of women in the country. Women were not allowed into the stadium even with their families to witness the game.
As a part of Saudi Vision 2030, during the celebration of the 87th anniversary of the Saudi King Fahd in 2017, Saudi women for the first time were allowed into the King Fahd International Stadium.
There were several thousand families who entered the stadium, through a separate gate. They cheered and smiled, proudly brought out their peace signs and proudly waved the green Saudi flags, which marked a win-win situation for women rights in the country.