How to travel to Qatar without a World Cup 2022 ticket

Authorities have changed the rules to allow some fans to visit during the tournament

Non-ticket holders will be able to visit the country during the World Cup.
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With five weeks to go until the sporting spectacle kicks off, excitement is building for Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022.

As well as welcoming fans who managed to score match tickets for the tournament, World Cups also typically draw legions of non-ticketed fans who travel for the footballing festivities and the celebratory atmosphere. This year, it looked like that wasn't going to be an option.

Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy had previously said international visitors would be prohibited from travelling to the country unless they had a match ticket.

This week, that rule changed.

Here's everything you need to know.

Can anyone travel to Qatar during the World Cup?

Qatar is opening its borders to some fans without tickets. AFP

Travellers can fly to Qatar if they have a ticket for a match or are visiting under the Hayya with Me (1+3) policy. This allows those travelling to Doha with a ticket for at least one football match to invite up to three non-ticketed friends or family to join them.

People visiting under the scheme will still need an official ticket if they wish to attend any World Cup fixtures during their stay.

How do I apply for approval to visit Qatar during the tournament?

All international travellers need to apply for their own Hayya card.

If you don't have a match ticket, you'll need a voucher code from the main ticket holder to complete the online application.

Do I have to pay to enter Qatar during the World Cup?

Yes, there is a fee for the Hayya card. Applications cost Dh504 ($137) per person, and this is applicable to everyone aged 12 and over.

Match-day ticket holders can invite up to three friends or family to travel to Qatar during the World Cup. Photo: Road to 2022 / Facebook / Mohammed Dabbous

Can children travel to Qatar for the World Cup?

Children are welcome to travel to Qatar during the tournament, with no fees for those under 12. AFP

Non-ticketed travellers can be of any age, so long as they have their own passport. Children under 18 can be added as a dependent to an existing Hayya card; application fees are applicable, but there's no fee to add children under 12.

Can I take a shuttle flight to Qatar if I don't have a match-day ticket

Etihad Airways, Emirates, flydubai, Saudia and other airlines will offer hundreds of shuttle flights to Qatar during the world cup. Getty Images

Travellers planning to visit Qatar for less than a 24-hour period on the hundreds of shuttle flights operating daily from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Oman and cities across Saudi Arabia still need a Hayya card.

Non-ticketed travellers are welcome to travel on these shuttle flights, but will also need a pre-approved Hayya card to enter the country.

What can I see and do in Qatar during the World Cup?

David Beckham tours Qatar's non-footballing attractions as part of a campaign with Qatar Tourism. Photo: Qatar Tourism

In addition to the 64 matches being played during the event, visitors without match-day tickets can enjoy a festive atmosphere.

More than 100 artists will play at three music festivals, fan villages will host parties and cultural attractions such as Katara Cultural Village, the National Museum of Qatar and the Museum of Islamic Art will be open for visitors.

All travellers who have an approved Hayya card will also have free access to Qatar's public transport during their stay, whether or not they are attending football matches, which will make sightseeing easier.

Are hotels still available to book in Qatar for the World Cup?

The Centara Hotel in Doha is gearing up to host fans during the Qatar World Cup. AFP

With around five weeks to go until the world’s biggest football tournament kicks off in Qatar, the final countdown is on.

Many hotels are fully booked for the tournament, but accommodation is still available and can be reserved via the official Accommodation Agency website. Travellers can also book accommodation direct with hotels, travel agents or holiday letting sites.

Earlier this week, World Cup organisers added a third cruise ship to accommodate fans visiting during the tournament. The MSC Opera will add an extra thousand extra cabins to the accommodation options in Doha.

A cluster of luxury hotels is also gearing up to open before the tournament kicks off, including several five-star properties and Qatar's first all-inclusive concept.

What’s the best way to watch matches if I don’t have a ticket?

Fans who don't have tickets to enter stadiums can watch the action at fan zones and other establishments in Qatar. AFP

Travellers who do not have a ticket for the matches can still catch the action in Qatar and there will be big screens showing the games at fan zones throughout the city.

The Fifa Fan Festival will take place at Al Bidda Park and Qetai-Fan Beach Fest, about 10 minutes from the Lusail stadium, will also show the live action, alongside concerts, food and drink outlets and other entertainment.

Al Maha Arena in Lusail is another spot to see the games on the big screen and several hotels, bars and restaurants will show the matches.

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Updated: October 14, 2022, 12:31 PM
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