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Qatar 2022: travel tips for World Cup fans

The biggest football tournament on the planet is due to kick off on November 21, 2022 in the Gulf State of Qatar.

These are the top travel questions and answers for fans hoping to see one or more matches.

What is the plan?

After the 2018 soccer tournament was held in the world’s largest country, Russia, the host of the 2022 World Cup is tiny Qatar: an inch of land barely half the size of Wales surpassing by the Arabian Peninsula in the Gulf.

Unlike previous hosts of the world tournament, Qatar has no footballing tradition. It also has extreme temperatures, which is why the normal June / July calendar – designed to coincide with the football season in countries in the northern hemisphere – has been moved to November / December.

The opener – and Qatar’s first-ever World Cup match – will kick off at 10:00 a.m. local time (7:00 a.m. GMT) on November 21, 2022 at Al Bayt Stadium, one of eight venues.

Many people have expressed concern over the treatment of migrant workers involved in the construction of facilities, with Amnesty International claiming that workers from Bangladesh, India and Nepal have been abused and exploited.

Just remind me who’s qualified so far?

England will certainly be among the 32 finalists, with many usual suspects including Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Croatia, supporters of France and, as a country host, Qatar – who had never qualified for the World Cup. Cup Finals.

Scotland and Wales are seeded in the playoffs for places in the final, but face stiff competition that includes Italy, Portugal and Russia.

How can I get there and how much does it cost?

Direct flights will certainly operate from London and Manchester, and will likely be supplemented by departures from Birmingham, Edinburgh and possibly Cardiff. They will land in Doha, one of the major Gulf hubs.

A year from now, it’s impossible to say how much the fares will be, as tickets won’t go on sale for a few weeks. But with fans from around the world converging on Doha and a limited supply of flights, fares are expected to rise.

Fares towards the end of the tournament could increase due to demand from normal people – not football fans – traveling long-haul through Doha for Christmas.

Even now, prices for non-stop flights at the end of next year are high. A test booking for a return flight Manchester-Doha in economy class in early November 2022 is priced at £ 737.

It seems expensive. Alternatives?

Cheaper routes will likely be available via Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai – Etihad, Gulf Air and Emirates will compete for fan money. But because a lot of fans will stay out of Qatar and only fly away for matches, it will put pressure on prices.

What about a place to stay?

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Inheritance, which is the Qatari body that organizes the tournament (rather than an invention of the BBC comedy W1A), expects 1.5 million visitors during the World Cup.

In 2019, Qatar had 35,000 hotel rooms, but the Qatari government is announcing that it is adding 105 new hotels and furnished apartments, and that there will be more than 100,000. To put the number in context, however , it will always be less than the city of Sochi – one of the twelve venues of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Some supporters will be able to camp in the desert, in what is called “Fan Village desert camping”, while others will find cabins aboard cruise ships docked in Qatar for the event.

Since FIFA officials, media and sponsors will occupy a good part, many fans will likely end up staying in neighboring countries.

What are the choices outside of Qatar?

Dubai has the most hotel rooms, with Abu Dhabi not far behind. But to save money, I recommend Bahrain – especially if a ferry connection is re-established across the short sea crossing to Qatar – or Saudi Arabia, which has a land border, but the options of accommodations near the border are limited.

How to get tickets?

The world’s football governing body, Fifa, sells the tickets.

Well-heeled fans are invited to “plan your 2022 FIFA World Cup experience by following the team of your choice.”

Securing a seat at each of England’s group matches, as well as the round of 16 and quarter-finals, costs $ 11,250 (£ 8,334).

Alternatively, you can try your luck when tickets go on sale in January. Another tranche of tickets will be released after the final draw on April 1.

The match ticket will appear on the Hay’ya card (which means ‘let’s go’, and the equivalent of Fan ID in Russia 2018) – which will also include permission to be in Qatar and serve as a pass for free public transport. There could also be documentation for Covid, depending on the global situation a year from now.

Will I be able to have a drink?

Yes. The Supreme Committee said: “Alcohol is not part of Qatari culture and may not be available everywhere, but it will be available in designated areas.

“Fifa will work with Q22, as it does with all host countries of the Fifa World Cup ™, to find a solution that satisfies all concerned.”

Alcohol is currently available in hotels and will be served in fan areas during the tournament.

It is illegal to drink alcohol in public – or to be drunk – with the Foreign Ministry warning that drunkenness “could result in a prison sentence of up to six months and / or a fine. up to QAR 3,000 (over £ 600).

Anyone staying in Saudi Arabia will not be able to drink in the kingdom.

Is there a dress code?

Yes, according to the Qatar Tourism Authority. He says: “Visitors (men and women) are expected to show respect for the local culture by not revealing too much clothing in public.

“It is generally recommended that both men and women make sure their shoulders and knees are covered.

What about the behavior?

The tourism organization says, “Showing affection and intimacy in public is frowned upon.

“Qatari women will not shake hands with men, and many men will not shake a woman’s hand as a sign of respect.”

The Foreign Ministry warns: “Homosexual behavior is illegal in Qatar. Article 296 of the Qatari legal code provides for a prison sentence of one to three years for “having led, incited or seduced a man by committing sodomy in any way.”

How can I get around?

Easily. The maximum distance between any of the eight stadiums is 45 miles (75 km), and all public transport will be free on match days for fans. The Doha Metro has a flat rate of QAR2 (£ 0.40), with an all-day pass costing QAR (£ 1.20).

Is there a lot to keep me busy?

The main cultural attraction is the stunning new National Museum, telling the story of Qatar from prehistoric times to the untold wealth of oil. The Museum of Islamic Art is also worth a visit. Both are spectacular structures close to the waterfront, with captivating exhibits.

Doha’s rapprochement with a historic center, based around Souq Waqif, is nice enough, but not a patch on the markets of other Arab places such as Muscat, Bahrain, and Dubai.

Isn’t there a lot of tension between Qatar and its neighbors?

Yes. In July 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates severed military and diplomatic ties with Qatar, alleging the country supported extremist groups – a charge the Qatari government denied.

The blockade is now over.

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