9 guidelines to consider before heading to the 2022 FIFA World Cup

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Towards the 2022 FIFA World Cup? We’ve got everything you need to know before you fly in this guide.

For the first time, an Arab country, Qatar, hosts the biggest football event in the world. The highly anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held from November 21 to December 18 at eight state-of-the-art stadiums across the country. These are Lusail, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Rayyan Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Al Wakrah, Khalifa International Stadium, Education City Stadium and Ras Abu Aboud Stadium.

Hamad International Airport in Doha is expected to receive a constant flow of visitors from all over the world with more than 1,300 flights per day for at least a month for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

As this is one of the biggest post-pandemic events, visitors may have a lot of apprehension regarding visas, travel, lodging, COVID-19 restrictions and overall planning for this sports trip. And so, we have what you need.

Take note of these 9 guidelines before heading to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Image credit: Florian Wehde/Unsplash

Necessary documents

Two of the most important documents one needs are a Hayya card and a visa. A Hayya card serves as both a fan ID and a match entry permit and is required to be carried with the match ticket. This card is mandatory for international visitors and residents. A Hayya card must be on the person when entering the country for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The best part of a Hayya card is that visitors are entitled to free travel on match day.

Indian citizens can apply for a visa on arrival which is valid for one month after issuance and can be extended for another month. Medical insurance is mandatory to enter the country for matches.

How to reach

FIFA World Cup 2022
Image Credit: Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon/ CC BY-SA 4.0/ via Wikimedia Commons

Qatar as a FIFA destination is one of the most accessible venues from India because Qatar Airlines has countless flights from Delhi and Mumbai. Moreover, they also have World Cup Packages which allow visitors to plan everything at once and save money.

The package offers round trip from Doha to India, hotel booking with meal options and fixed stadium seating so one can travel stress-free with everything pre-booked .

You can book your tickets with Qatar Airways or opt for more economical tickets from other airlines such as Etihad Airways in case you are ok with a layover of more than three hours in Abu Dhabi.

Book your plane tickets here.

Where to stay

Ritz-Carlton Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Image credit: Ritz Carlton, Doha

There are hotel packages to suit all needs so visitors don’t have to worry about accommodation. One of the most touristic places in the world, Qatar offers various options including luxury accommodation as well as budget hotel stay for football fans.

Prepare to be pampered with soothing wellness treatments, private beaches and an array of dining options at various luxury stays in Doha, including the Ritz-Carlton Sharq Village and the Four Seasons. Experience traditional Arabian hospitality combined with luxury at its finest in these hotels.

There are also other good-value accommodations, including curve hotel, Doha Capital Center and Four points by Sheraton. You can choose to stay at any location during your stay in Doha to watch your favorite teams play.

The best part about these hotels is that they are well connected and not far from the eight stadiums.

Book your stay at the Ritz Carlton Sharq Village, Doha here.

How to travel in and around Qatar

Qatar Metro Station
Image credit: Hatem Boukhit/Unsplash

This is good news for all travelers as Doha has a well-connected, cheap and accessible public transport system, despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, where citizens are more accustomed to drive their fancy private vehicles.

A reusable travel card is available for around INR 215 (10 Riyal) and has metros connecting all major stadiums with special access from Hamad International Airport. In case the metro is not practical on a specific route, you can always opt for a tram service. The cost of metro and tram starts from INR 44 (2 Qatari Riyals) approximately.

For fitness enthusiasts, functional cycle paths are also available. As Qatar is relatively warm, so weather permitting, you can surely take a spin and catch the unmistakably trendy cityscape lined with beautiful green avenues on the wheels. Cycles can be rented for a nominal fee for this pursuit.

What to see

Travel, Qatar
Image credit: Rowen Smith/Unsplash

Qatar has a coastline of over 560 kilometers, so those who love sun, surf and sand will be delighted. Visitors can relax on the many public and private beaches and take part in many activities including camel rides, Safari in a desert or kitesurfing. Nature lovers will find their little paradise at Fuwairit Beach which is also a hatching ground for rare hawksbill turtles. And if you are interested in fishing, you can visit the UNESCO-recognized site of the Inland Sea or Khor Al-Adaid, located in the southeast of Qatar.

Art lovers are sure to marvel at the Museum of Islamic Art which is a fusion of Arabic fine art with a touch of French sensibility, as it is designed by Parisian architect IM Pei who has an award Pritzker to his credit.

You can choose to stock up on fragrant spices and other authentic Middle Eastern delicacies at the exotic market called Souq Waqif.

Where to eat

Qatar Kebab
Image credit: Suad Kamardeen/Unsplash

Lip-smacking shawarmas, traditional Qatari dishes such as machboos, luqaimat, ghuzi, thareedAmerican sandwiches and cheeseburgers, and even South Indian cuisine – Qatar will not disappoint you with its choices and will not only tickle your taste buds but fill your heart with happiness.

Don’t miss Katara Cultural Village if you want to try some authentic Qatari cuisine. Also add Shay Al Shomous to your list. Marmara Istanbul Restaurant and Biryani Corner are two of the other great places to have a healthy meal and one of the best biriyani one can have.

Petra Restaurant is great for quick bites, as is Chai Halib if you want a Turkish coffee and a light something to go with it. You can head straight to Bharat Vasanta Bhawan for South Indian delicacies if you are a vegetarian or a foodie.

Pandemic restrictions

All passengers are required to present a negative RT-PCR test performed within 48 hours of arrival in Doha. It is also necessary that all adults have a double vaccination certificate. Children under 12 do not need to be vaccinated but should have a rapid antigen test at a certified clinic within a day of arrival.

Currently, no quarantine is required for international passengers, but it is best to check the official website of the Minister of Public Health for the current state. Do not forget to register here before travelling.

Tickets

FIFA World Cup tickers are generally available on a first-come, first-served basis. According to its official website, ticket sales for phase two have ended. However, fans should not be discouraged as last minute sales for this tournament will be open. Visit the Official page for more details.

Match schedule

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be marked by a match between Senegal and the Netherlands (group A) at the Al Thumama stadium on the afternoon of November 21. Other matches will take place between the local team of Qatar and Ecuador (group A), and between England and Iran (group B) as well as between the United States and Wales/Scotland /Ukraine (group B) in different stages.

One of the shortest FIFA World Cups ever, the final match is scheduled for December 18 at the historic Lusail Stadium marking the end of this event.

Get the full match schedule here and plan your visit accordingly.

(Main image credit: Radoslaw Prekurat/Unsplash; Feature image credit: Florian Wehde/Unsplash)

This article was first published on Travel + Leisure India

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