2022 World Cup city rises in the desert

Story highlights

Lusail is an ambitious planned city rising along the Persian Gulf in Qatar

Its infrastructure will be run by computers, making Lusail a "smart" city

A Lusail stadium is expected to host the final game of the 2022 World Cup

But FIFA is under pressure to move the event to another country

CNN  — 

If you’re trying to create the perfect 21st-century city, it helps to start with a blank slate. Even if that slate is a sweltering strip of sand.

That’s essentially what the government of Qatar and its developers are trying with Lusail, an ambitious planned city on 28 square miles of waterfront desert along the Persian Gulf. Now under construction, the compact city will contain a commercial district, a lagoon, four islands, two marinas, an upscale shopping mall, a hospital, a zoo, two golf courses and housing for some 250,000 people.

It also will feature an 86,000-seat soccer stadium, surrounded by a moat, that’s expected to host the final game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.