As we turn our attention to the upcoming festive season, another major event is also approaching – the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
For two weeks, the most watched sporting event in the world will invade television screens.
The soccer tournament, which takes place every four years, has come under particularly intense scrutiny since Qatar won its bid in 2010 due to human rights and labor issues surrounding not only the event, but which are ongoing and which we covered in a previous article. for travelers considering a trip to the games.
Various reports, including from the New York Times and Amnesty International, indicate that 2 million migrant workers have endured “deplorable and dangerous conditions [working] conditions” at the hands of the Qatari authorities in preparation, which included the construction of seven new stadiums, an airport and various hotels. Human Rights Watch says at least “thousands of migrant workers” from neighboring countries, such as Nepal, died as a result. In June, the country’s organizing committee responded by saying it had improved working conditions, according to Reuters information.
Human Rights Watch, among other groups, has also exposed the persecution of LGBTQ+ people in Qatar and the restriction of women’s rights due to the country’s male guardianship system.
Nonetheless, the 2022 World Cup is expected to attract more than a million spectators to its 64 matches, with more than 3 billion spectators from around the world, according to FIFA, the international governing body for association football sponsoring the World Cup.
For those planning to attend in person, here are the entry requirements and other things you need to know about the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
When is the World Cup?
Although the World Cup usually takes place in the summer, this year’s tournament will take place from November 20 to December 20. 18 to spare spectators and athletes from the hot summer temperatures in Qatar.
The opener between Qatar and Ecuador will take place on November 20 at 7:00 p.m. GMT (2:00 p.m. EST), followed by the opening ceremonies the following day. The other 63 games played by the 32 qualified teams will be played over the next 28 days.
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Specifically, the group stage matches will be played in a series of 16 rounds from November 21 to December 21. 2. The quarter-finals will be played from December 3-6, followed by the semi-finals from December 9-10, the third-place matches from December 13-14, and the final match will be at 6:00 p.m. GMT (1:00 p.m. 00 EST) on December 21. 18.
Related: Accor to open a pair of luxury hotels in Qatar in time for the 2022 World Cup
Where will the World Cup matches take place?
With up to four daily matches during the group stage, teams will play matches in eight stadiums near the country’s capital, Doha, including the following venues:
- Al Bayt Stadium: Located in Al Khor, 35 km north of downtown Doha.
- Al Janoub Stadium: Located in Al Wakrah, 30 km south of downtown Doha.
- Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium: Located 20 km northwest of downtown Doha.
- Al Thumama Stadium: Located in Al Thumama, 11 km south of downtown Doha.
- Education City Stadium: Located 6 km west of downtown Doha.
- Khalifa International Stadium: Located 10 km west of downtown Doha.
- Lusail Stadium: Located in the city of Lusail, 16 km north of downtown Doha.
- Stadium 974: Located in Doha.
The furthest distance between stadiums is 34 miles, per Match Hospitality USA.
Qatar Entry Requirements
Map of Hayiya
As of November 1, Qatar dropped most entry requirements related to COVID-19, but all visitors must apply for a Hayya card online before entering Qatar. This applies to all visitors, whether or not you are attending the World Cup, but please note that it is compulsory to attend the matches.
Each match ticket holder must present their Hayya card to attend the matches.
Once you are approved for a Hayya card, you should receive a PDF copy of your entry permit by email. You can show this or your Hayya card through the Hayya to Qatar 2022 app to participate.
Other foreign nationals (with limited exceptions) not participating in the World Cup will be banned from entering Qatar from November 1 to December 1. 23, according to the Qatar Interior Ministry. There is a “1+3” policy which allows Hayya card holders to obtain vouchers for up to three friends or family members to enter Qatar, even if they do not hold tickets themselves of game.
The Hayya Card also provides users with free access to public transport during the Cup, according to the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 website.
Public transport, including the Doha Metro, will run daily until 3am on match days, but you should expect it to be very busy throughout the tournament. Other public transport options include trams, buses, public transport services and taxis.
All accommodation must be booked prior to arrival in Qatar through the country’s World Cup accommodation agency website.
For those planning to stay in Qatar for more than 24 hours, you must book a hotel before applying for the Hayya Card, as you will need to enter your accommodation information there. If you are staying elsewhere, such as with friends or family, you must register this accommodation as you would any other through the Hayya online portal.
If you are staying in Qatar for less than 24 hours, you do not need to book accommodation but must register travel details on the Hayya card.
Other things to know
Alcohol, drugs, dress code, etc.
Qatar is a relatively conservative country with somewhat restrictive laws regarding alcohol and clothing. All people, regardless of gender, are required to dress modestly, which means covering their shoulders and knees in public, including on public beaches.
Drugs of all kinds are banned in Qatar and can lead to jail time, fines and deportation according to the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
While the legal drinking age is 21, it is illegal to drink or be drunk in a public place. Alcohol is only available in licensed premises, including hotels, restaurants and bars. Alcohol will be available for purchase throughout the tournament in designated fan areas, which are mostly on the Corniche, a waterfront promenade along Doha Bay, according to The Telegraph. Beer will be available there between 6:30 p.m. and 1 a.m., as well as inside the stadium perimeter from three hours before kick-off until one hour after the end of the match (final whistle). , but it will not be available while the match is in progress. .
Even so, the government has warned World Cup participants to exercise caution when drinking, as a violation can result in up to six months in jail.
Homosexuality remains prohibited in Qatar by law, but Qatari officials have publicly confirmed that there will be no restrictions on booking or sharing accommodation, which includes unmarried friends or same-sex couples. .
At the end of the line
Whether you’re heading to Qatar to watch the World Cup in person or cheering from afar, there are unique issues and requirements to be aware of due to Qatar’s status as the host country.
In-person participants must apply for a Hayya card prior to arrival, in addition to booking accommodation. Although alcohol is permitted under specific guidelines, we recommend reviewing guidelines for tourists, including those issued by Visit Qatar, the US Department of State and the US Embassy in Qatar, and that LGBTQ+ participants exercise an extra level of caution given the country’s restrictive policies. .
Read more: The World Cup in Qatar is shrouded in controversy and human rights issues – here’s what to know