The countdown is on…

Football fever is almost upon us, and fans of ‘the beautiful game’ are gearing up for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, taking place in Doha. From November 20 to December 18, 2022, fans from across the world will descend on the Middle East to cheer on their home team.

Whether you’re planning to travel to Qatar from the UAE or further afield, here’s everything you need to know about travelling to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Hayya Card

A Hayya card, otherwise known as a Fan ID, is a personalised document that is issued by FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and will be required by every single person attending any of the matches. Both a Hayya card and applicable match ticket are required to access the stadium on match day. Only one Hayya card is required per person for the duration of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

All match ticket holders (and anyone entering Qatar between November to January regardless) must apply for a Hayya Card here. Be sure to download the Hayya app, where your card will be available following approval.

It will serve as your entry permit (not visa) into Qatar, stadium access (with a valid ticket), and free public transport on the metro and the bus.

Visas

Citizens of over 95 countries are eligible for visa-free entry into the State of Qatar. You can check your eligibility here.

For visitors coming to Dubai for the World Cup, the UAE has announced a new multiple-entry visa for Hayya Card holders, which costs Dhs100 and is valid for 90 days.

Saudi Arabia will also allow Hayya Card holders for Qatar World Cup to visit kingdom, who can enter multiple times within 60 days during the tournament season, which runs from November 1, 2022 to January 23, 2023. Travellers will be permitted to enter Saudi Arabia up to 10 days before the start of the tournament, provided that they obtain an electronic visa through Saudi Arabia’s unified national platform. Medical insurance will also be required.

Travelling to Doha by air

During the World Cup, 30 return flights per day will take off from Dubai for Doha with flydubai, while Air Arabia will put on 14 daily flights between Sharjah and Doha in addition to their thrice daily services. The so called ‘shuttle flights’ are now available to book via flydubai.com and airarabia.com. With flydubai, return fares are priced from Dhs948 for economy and Dhs3,665 for business, while you can expect to pay Dhs1,100 for a return flight with Air Arabia.

Return Match Day shuttle flights with flydubai include a hand baggage allowance, a snack on board and complimentary ground transportation between the airport in Doha and the stadiums. The Air Arabia flights come with a 10kg carry-on baggage allowance.

Travelling to Qatar by road

Driving to Qatar from the UAE is a suitable alternative for those who don’t wish to fly. The trip from Dubai is roughly 600 kilometres and should take between six and seven hours, border control dependant. There are two borders you’ll need to cross through: UAE to Saudi Arabia (Ghuwaifat) and Saudi Arabia to Qatar (Salwat), however the route itself is fairly simple.

You’ll need your Hayya Card, as well as a valid visa to both Saudi Arabia and Qatar, plus GGC-wide insurance for your vehicle.

According to The National, the rules for driving to Qatar have changed. Anyone travelling to the country by car must park on the Saudi side of the Abu Samra land border which adjoins Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and take a free shuttle bus into Doha.

Covid requirements

Residents of the UAE are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result certificate from a test taken at most 48 hours before their departure to Qatar, unless they are fully vaccinated with Covaxin, Sinopharm, Sinovac or Sputnik V at least 14 days and at most 6 months before arrival. Anyone with a match ticket must be able to show that they are fully vaccinated, this can be shown via the Al Hosn app.

Please note these rules are subject to change at any time, travellers are reminded to check the latest requirements before their trip.