Qatar World Cup 2022 will be the first ever World Cup to be held in the Arab world. | Credit: Rhett Lewis via Unsplash
With Malaysia’s borders reopened, football fans can now look forward to watching the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, from November 21 to December 18. Even with a spate of recent controversies, it is highly likely that the Qatar World Cup 2022 will end up as the hottest event of the year anyway.
So, have the FIFA World Cup qualifiers 2022 already been decided? Yes! This year’s FIFA World Cup 2022 will feature 32 teams for the last time before the field expands to 48 teams for the 2026 World Cup. Out of all the 31 teams that’ll be joining the host nation Qatar at the tournament, 28 of them have already been decided, leaving only Wales vs Scotland or Ukraine, Australia or UAE vs Peru, and Costa Rica vs New Zealand.
With the date for the FIFA World Cup 2022 getting closer, now is the time for you to start planning your trip to support your favourite country (or countries) in the heated Qatar World Cup stadiums. The pandemic might have left us all a little unprepared for such a major event, so we’ve come up with a FIFA World Cup 2022 travel guide to tell you everything you need to know!
Qatar Travel requirements and Restrictions
A vision of modernity in an exotic location, Qatar holds great appeal for travellers. | Credit: GooseB via Pixabay
Like many other countries that have reopened their borders, Qatar requires travellers to submit a negative pre-travel PCR result obtained in less than 48 hours before the departure time from your country.
There is no quarantine or isolation required nor do you need to show proof of a negative rapid antigen test after you’ve arrived in Qatar, if you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19. For non-vaccinated visitors, good news! You are still allowed into the country, but a quarantine of five days in a hotel is needed. So, if you’ve yet to get your vaccine, you may want to book your flights and accommodation five days earlier before your desired FIFA World Cup match date.
How to get Qatar World Cup 2022 Tickets
The Khalifa International Stadium has been Qatar’s principal football stadium since 1976. | Credit: G Travels via flickr
Like always, the best way to acquire FIFA World Cup 2022 tickets is through the official FIFA website, where you’ll need to register for an account on FIFA’s ticket portal. As of now, over 800,000 tickets have been sold for the Qatar World Cup 2022 across the initial phase which ended on March 29, and the second round which ended on April 29.
Lucky for us, FIFA has announced a third and final round of ticket sales that will be held later this year, but the official date is yet to be announced. All we know is that the date for the ticket sales will be a lot closer to the starting date of the World Cup.
“There will always be tickets on re-sale, right?” We wouldn’t recommend you to do it. The only legit way for you to purchase a ticket is through FIFA’s official ticket portal. Any tickets purchased elsewhere will risk being considered as counterfeit and cancelled by FIFA with no refund. Though it’s still possible to get your hands on a re-sale ticket, you’ll have to have the tickets’ ownerships officially transferred to you with FIFA’s written permission.
Flights to Qatar
In the World Airline Awards, Qatar Airways has ranked number one for a total of six times. | Credit: Jan Rosolino via Pixabay
This year’s Qatar World Cup stadiums will be held in four of their major cities, namely Doha, Al Wakrah, Al Khor, and Al Rayyan. However, before you book your flight for Hamad International Airport in November, you’ll have to get a Hayya Card, an all-purpose identification card for the World Cup travellers. The Hayya Card will not only act as your visa to enter Qatar, but it must also be presented with your ticket before you get into the stadium on match days.
As for your flight to Qatar, we suggest that you start planning and buying your tickets early, as travel trends show a likely price hike for flights worldwide due to a sudden high demand and low supply of airline seats.
You might also want to consider renting a car to travel from city to city if you’re watching multiple matches that’ll play in different stadiums across the country. Generally, the cost of car rental per day is estimated to be around USD 127. Nevertheless, the price will vary from dealership to dealership.
Accommodations in Qatar
The magnificent skyscrapers of the Al Dafna district represents Doha’s rapid development. | Credit: Radoslaw Prekurat via Unsplash
Moving on to the topic of accommodations—with only 130,000 rooms available, could Qatar’s accommodation industry meet the demand of the expected 1.5 million visitors? Maybe. Currently, Qatar is preparing more apartment complexes to house FIFA World Cup fans.
The Qatar World Cup 2022 website also has an accommodation portal that features the best place to stay for your FIFA World Cup trip. The listings of accommodation include hotels, villas, and apartments. To our surprise, there are even cruise ships docked at Doha during the tournament in preparation to meet such high demands. However, due to the surge in FIFA World Cup tourists coming to Qatar, the price of a room may cost you from USD 84 to USD 920 a night, depending on the type of room and their availability.
So, football fans, choose wisely, book early. You don’t want to miss this opportunity of a lifetime!