Doha, Qatar – The first World Cup to be held in the Middle East has kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony at 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 from South Korean superband BTS and Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi.

It culminated in a dazzling fireworks display that lit up the sky over the stadium, 44 km (27 mi) north of Qatar’s capital, Doha.

The ceremony was all about unity and inclusiveness.

“From Qatar, from the Arab world, I welcome everyone to the 2022 World Cup,” said the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

“How beautiful it is that people can put aside what separates 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 in the world to Doha.”

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