Free ride, expensive beer but keep shoulders covered: A guide for FIFA World Cup 2022 fans visiting Qatar
FIFA World Cup 2022: With an existing population of 3 million, Qatar will be hosting around 1.2 million fans for the tournament. Here is a guide for fans visiting Qatar for the football showpiece event.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is finally set to begin, with hosts Qatar facing Ecuador in the opener on November 20, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. Qatar will be expected to host around 1.5 million fans during the World Cup matches, with the final scheduled for December 18. Qatar is the smallest country ever to host a World Cup and it has an existing population of 3 million, and around 1.2 million fans are expected to attend the tournament. The final will be held at the Lusail Stadium.
Visiting fans will be gunning for the likes of Lionel Messi’s Argentina and Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal. The duo are probably in their final World Cups and are expected to retire soon.
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Here is a guide to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022-
Covid-19 regulations: Visiting fans are not required to get a COVID-19 test before flying to Qatar. But fans who test Covid-19 positive in Qatar will need to isolate and follow measures in accordance with Qatar laws. On arrival, a COVID-19 test or quarantine is not required. Also, masks are compulsory.
EHTERAZ contact-tracing application: Qatar's official contract-tracing application is Ehteraz. Fans will need to download the mobile app and activate it. Also, pre-entry online registration needs to be done through www.ehteraz.gov.qa atleast three days before arrival. Meanwhile, fans with Hayya Cards will be excluded from pre-entry registration.
Hayya card: Fans will need to apply for Hayya card. It is an official fan ID which provides free public transport around Doha and is also an entry visa. They can collect a physical copy of their digital Hayya card also.
Entry restrictions: Entry to Qatar is restricted till December 23 to only citizens, residents and holders of the World Cup Hayya card.
Accommodation: Fans have booked accommodation in more than 90,000 rooms, apartments, tents, villas and portacabins in Qatar. The organisers revealed that around 25,000 rooms are still available. For around 728.20 Qatari Riyal (INR 16336.31), a fan can rent a portacabin. Many fans are also flying in and out of Qatar for the matches, with many staying in Dubai. Three cruise ships will also provide more than 5,000 rooms.
How to travel to stadiums: Hayya card holders have been given free travel on public transport. This includes the metro, tram, public buses and tournament bus services.
How to get tickets: Tickets are available in FIFA's ticket portal. Fans will need to create an account to purchase tickets. Also third-party websites are also selling tickets. Tickets are as high as 5854.73 Qatari Riyal (INR 131331.07) and as low as 200.23 Qatari Riyal (INR 4492.05).
Clothing: Removing shirts in stadiums is not allowed. Excessive revealing clothing is advised to be avoided. Also, swimwear is permitted in hotels, beaches and swimming pools. “Attitudes towards dressing in Qatar are relaxed, but visitors (men as well as women) are expected to show respect for the local culture by avoiding excessively revealing clothes in public. It is generally recommended for men and women to ensure their shoulders and knees are covered,” read a statement issued by Qatar Tourism on their website.
Alcohol and beer prices: Visitors are not allowed to bring alcohol into the country. It will be served in licensed restaurants and fan zones. The legal drinking age is 21 and also an original photo id is required. Only Budweiser beers will be served in the fan zones with it costing 50 Qatari Riyals (INR 1121.46).
Taxis: Taxis in Qatar can be booked in advance at hotels, restaurants and malls. Otherwise, they are found in the street too.
Match screenings: Matches are going to be screened at the Qetaifan Island North, Al Maha Island, and at the Fans Village Cabins Free Zone in Doha.
Currency: All major credit cards are accepted and also atms are widely available.
Weather: The temperature is expected to be as low as 14 degrees Celsius and as high as 25 degrees Celsius.