Qatar 2022: travel advice for World Cup fans

Football fans are advised to plan ahead and follow the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's travel advice for the Qatar 2022 World Cup

The Qatar World Cup 2022 kicks off in Al Khor, Qatar on Sunday 20 November. If you're planning to travel to Qatar to watch any games in person, the UK government has launched a travel-aware campaign with useful advice for travelling fans.

British travellers will need to register for a Fan ID card called Hayya to enter the country for any purpose from 1 November. You'll need to get one of these cards even if you're not planning on attending a World Cup match, although the card will permit you to stay in Qatar until 23 January 2023.

COVID-19

You must download Qatar's contact tracing app, Etheraz, and have it installed and working on your smartphone whenenever you're out in public. From 1 September 2022, the wearing of face masks in closed public spaces is not compulsory, except in healthcare facilities and on public transport. You should be prepared for your travel plans to change at short notice due to COVID-19, and make sure you have appropriate travel insurance.

Accommodation

You must arrange your accommodation before you travel to Qatar. Your accommodation will be checked and validated when you apply for your Hayya Card and you won't be able to enter the country without it. If you're staying with friends or family, they will need to register their accommodation on the Hayya portal website.

Laws and customs

Qatari laws and customs are very different to those in the UK. The British government recommends you remain aware and in control of your actions at all times to make sure you're not being offensive or doing something that might not be illegal in the UK.

Alcohol and drugs

Alcohol is only available to visitors at licenced hotels and in certain fan zone sites during the tournament. You won't be able to buy alcohol in any shops or airports, and it's an offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in public. Qatar has a zero tolerance approach to drugs and there can be severe penalties for possession of tiny amounts.

LGBT

It's illegal to be homosexual in Qatar. Private life is largely respected, but any public acts of intimacy - regardless of gender, sexual orientation or intent - can be considered offensive.

Travelling around

Your Hayya card will give you free access to busses, metros and trams on match days. The stadiums being used for World Cup matches are all within a compact area so you shouldn't have to travel great distances, but public transport routes will be very busy during the tournament so make sure you allow plenty of time to travel.

Money

The currency in Qatar is the Qatari riyal. British travellers can take up to 50,000 riyals into Qatar without declaring it (about £12,000 worth). UK credit and debit cards are widely accepted in larger stores but smaller stores and Souqs generally use cash. You can find the best exchange rates on our Qatari riyal comparison page.

Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager at Compare Holiday Money.

Published on 26 October 2022
Qar, Qatari Riyals, World Cup 2022

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