Qatar cuts office and school hours to reduce World Cup traffic jams

Only 20 per cent of government staff will be in their offices from November 1 until December 19

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Qatar is to reduce school hours and working hours for employees in government offices to ease traffic congestion before and during the World Cup.

A government official said after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that only 20 per cent of government staff would be expected in offices from November 1 until December 19, and that they would only work four hours a day, reported AFP.

From November 1 to November 17, school hours will be reduced. Pupils will be in school from 7am to midday, and on holiday from November 18 until December 22.

The main Corniche road along Doha's seafront will be closed to all cars from November 1, said officials.

A key fan zone is being built alongside the route.

The World Cup will be the biggest global event since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and Doha will be flooded with more than 1.5 million football supporters from all over the world.

During the tournament, only fans with tickets will be allowed into Qatar.

The country has reopened the old Doha International Airport to ease pressure from airline traffic before the tournament begins.

The airport had been in semi-retirement since it was replaced in 2014 by Hamad International Airport, a major global hub that has grown alongside national airline Qatar Airways.

Organisers announced earlier this year that several Gulf airlines, from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, would run more than 100 daily shuttle flights into Doha airport during the tournament.

Passengers on those flights will go through immigration checks on departure to reduce delays in Doha. They will be asked to return the same day, after watching their match.

The World Cup kicks off on November 20, with the final on December 18.

Updated: October 06, 2022, 6:22 AM