July 06, 2023

Eating Out Around Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

The FIFA 2022 World Cup Qatar was one of the highlights of Qatar's development as a sporting nation. Though the final whistle was blown on the tournament many moons ago, the sports facilities left behind will continue to be part of the country's evolution for a long time to come, especially the competition's stadiums.

While numerous of Qatar's World Cup stadiums will continue to delight sports fans by hosting matches and tournaments, the arenas will also serve as tourist attractions - after all; they are historic World Cup venues, as well as iconic architectural wonders. The stadiums and their precincts will also serve as modern hubs for the local community. In the months and years ahead, each venue will be repurposed to become a place for sports, leisure, entertainment and relaxation. Only 974 Stadium will cease to exist in its World Cup format. As the world's first fully demountable stadium, it will be dismantled and the area transformed into a waterfront destination for leisure and entertainment. Regardless of the alterations, each will continue attracting thousands of visitors each year, contributing to Qatar's growth.

With so many visitors, it's fortunate that each stadium has plenty of eateries in the surrounding areas to support their guests' sightseeing and downtime endeavours. So, for whatever reason, if you visit the 2022 tournament stadiums, if you're feeling hungry, you will find some great places to eat nearby!

Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium is located on the outskirts of Doha on the edge of the desert landscape, a fact that influenced the stadium and the surrounding precinct's design. The stadium's undulating facade that wraps around the building emulates the flow of a sand dune. Many of the surrounding structures and the complex's landscaping also mimic the shape of the desert dunes. The stadium is a great place to visit to see modern architecture against the stark background of wilderness.

Following on from the World Cup, the stadium's capacity will be reduced to 20,000 seats - home to Al Rayyan Sports Club, which hosts the Qatar Stars League football team Al Rayyan. Sport and leisure facilities, football, cricket and hockey pitches, tennis courts, tracks for cycling, walking, running and athletics, and an aquatics centre, will also be provided for local community use, promoting healthy lifestyles for all.

Surrounded by Qatar's desert, you might think that options for hungry visitors within the stadium's vicinity would be few and far between. However, next door to the football arena, also hugging the nearby desert scape, is the Mall of Qatar, the nation's largest mall and home to a substantial entertainment complex and an abundance of eateries. The Mall of Qatar offers over one hundred food and beverage outlets and is only a 10-minute walk from the stadium. So finding sustenance before or after a visit is easy. Here are our top three recommendations:

Basta 23

mage: Basta 23

Basta 23

The Mall of Qatar's Basta 23 is a Middle Eastern restaurant serving a range of hot and cold mezze, grilled meat and seafood dishes. Their retro interiors are inspired by traditional street architecture, transporting you to another era as you dine at this cosy restaurant. 

To start your meal, enjoy some delicious Mezze like Tabbouleh (a salad with bulgur, finely chopped parsley, tomatoes and mint), Fattoush (toasted pieces of local bread combined with mixed greens and tomatoes) and Hummus (mashed chickpeas with garlic, lemon juice, and tahini). Follow the first course up with any of the speciality grills like the Riech Basta (lamb chops), the Mashawi Moushakal (mixed grill) and Robyan Mashwi (grilled shrimp). Basta 23 also serves several vegetarian options on the menu, including the Cheese Samboosa (think samosa), Spicy Potatoes, and Biryani Ragou Khudar (a spiced rice dish with mixed vegetables, raisins, and cashew nuts). If you're looking for something sweet to finish your meal, you can't go wrong with their classic dessert - Cake Al Tamar (date cake with your choice of ice cream)!

Basta 23 is located on the Mall's First Floor in the Oasis section. The Oasis is a central atrium with a revolving centre stage on the Ground Floor, hosting live events, such as theatre performances, fashion shows and music events, which you can enjoy from the restaurant's seating above. The view of the centre stage, the dancing fountains around it and the tree-like columns surrounded by green creepers make Basta 23 a great place to relax and grab a bite to eat. Plus, the Mall has many shopping, leisure and entertainment options to keep you occupied long after eating or admiring the nearby stadium.

Location: Mall of Qatar, Ar-Rayyan

Hours: Saturday - Thursday: 11 am - 12 am

Friday: 1 am - 12 am

Contact: +974 5000 1866

Website: https://basta23.com/qatar-mall-of-qatar.php

Instagram: @basta.qatar


Image: Sazeli Qatar


Sazeli, an award-winning Turkish steakhouse in the Mall of Qatar, is worth visiting whether you visit the stadium nearby or otherwise. Sazeli offers an impressive selection of Turkish delicacies, but the main star of the show is meat, meat and more meat. Succulent steaks, lamb chops, mixed grills, aged beef and burgers - the best cuts grilled, roasted, flamed, pan-fried and braised are seasoned to perfection and served with a delicious range of sauces and side dishes. You can choose your cut of meat from their mouthwatering display at the butcher counter, have it prepared to your liking or order from their a la carte menu. Their rib-eye steak and lamb chops are both highly recommended dishes! 

Sazeli also serves Turkish breakfast (a spread of seemingly infinite delights) and a range of fresh salads and desserts -the delicious baklava is our favourite. There is also an excellent kids' menu, including steaks, burgers and meatballs. 

The restaurant features traditional décor with brick walls, wooden tables, and leather cushioned chairs to make you feel at home. Sazeli has seating indoors, as well as terrace seating outdoors. Service is top-notch, and the ambience is lively and fun! Like most steakhouses, be prepared to splurge a little here – the meals are not cheap, but they are worth it! Sazeli is the perfect place to unwind after shopping at the mall or touring Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.

Location: Mall of Qatar, Ar-Rayyan

Hours: Saturday - Thursday: 11 am - 12 am

Friday: 1 pm - 12 am

Contact: +974 5000 1833

Instagram: @sazeli_qatar

Maia Lounge

Maia Lounge

As the name suggests, Maia Lounge Coffee and Chocolate is a purveyor of chocolates, chocolate desserts, chocolate fondue and other chocolaty delights alongside a heady array of coffee. The venue is located on the Ground Floor of the Mall with a giant old-fashioned style coffee grinding machine in the front window and copper tubing running in every direction across the ceiling - a scene that wouldn't look out of place in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. 

When you're not tasting Maia's decadent handmade chocolates, cakes and desserts or drinking steaming cups of coffee, you could also try crepes, waffles, cakes, macarons and a host of desserts such as the San Sebastian cheesecake or the Alice (melted chocolate with whipped cream, sliced bananas, and strawberries). Or, if you're looking for savoury, they also have a great selection of light bites such as quiches, pastries, pizzas and pasta. They also have a fantastic selection of tasty beverages, including fresh juices, milkshakes, and a host of shisha options. 

You can sit inside on bright, cosy sofas or outside on the shaded terrace or one of the individual cabins for some privacy. Before you leave, check out the handmade chocolates in beautiful boxes and coffee paraphernalia for sale - ideal gifts or as a treat for yourself. Before or after a visit to Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Maia Lounge is a winner.

Location: Mall of Qatar, Ar-Rayyan

Hours: Sunday - Wednesday: 10 am - 10 pm

Saturday & Thursday: 10 am - 12 am

Friday: 1 pm - 12 am

Contact: +974 5000 2547

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maialounge.qa

Instagram: @maiachocolatesqatar

If you are taking the time to visit each of the 2022 World Cup stadiums (which we heartily recommend), keep hunger at bay while you sightsee by checking out the following recommendations for some top eateries in the vicinity of each venue:

Main image: Visit Qatar

Published: November 14, 2022
Last updated: July 06, 2023
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