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Qatar 2022: travel advice for World Cup fans

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The largest soccer event on the planet is because of start on 21 November 2022 within the Gulf state of Qatar.

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These are the important thing journey questions and solutions for followers hoping to see a number of of the matches.

What’s the plan?

After the 2018 soccer event was held on this planet’s greatest nation, Russia, the host of the World Cup 2022 is tiny Qatar: a thumb of territory barely half the scale of Wales protruding from the Arabian peninsula into the Gulf.

Not like earlier hosts of the worldwide event, Qatar has no footballing custom. It additionally has excessive temperatures, which is why the conventional June/July timing – designed to dovetail with the soccer season in northern hemisphere nations – has been moved to November/December.

The opening match – and Qatar’s first-ever World Cup recreation – kicks off at 10am native time (7am GMT) on 21 November 2022 on the Al Bayt Stadium, one among eight venues.

Many individuals have expressed concern in regards to the therapy of migrant employees concerned in constructing services, with Amnesty Worldwide saying workers from Bangladesh, India and Nepal have been abused and exploited.

Simply remind me who’s certified up to now?

England will certainly be among the many remaining 32, together with loads of the same old suspects together with Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Croatia, the holders France and, as host nation, Qatar – who beforehand have by no means certified for the World Cup Finals.

Scotland and Wales are seeded within the play-offs for locations within the finals, however face robust competitors that features Italy, Portugal and Russia.

How do I get there, and the way a lot will it value?

Direct flights will definitely function from London and Manchester, and are more likely to be augmented with departures from Birmingham, Edinburgh and presumably Cardiff. They are going to contact down at Doha – one of many huge Gulf hubs.

A yr out it’s unimaginable to say how a lot fares will likely be, as a result of tickets don’t go on sale for one more few weeks. However with followers from everywhere in the world converging on Doha, and a restricted provide of flights, fares are more likely to surge.

Fares in the direction of the tip of the event might improve due to demand for regular individuals – not soccer followers – flying long-haul through Doha for Christmas.

Even now, fares for nonstop flights late subsequent yr are excessive. A take a look at reserving for an economic system class Manchester-Doha return flight early in November 2022 is priced at £737.

That sounds costly. Any options?

Cheaper routes are more likely to be obtainable through Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai – Etihad, Gulf Air and Emirates will likely be competing for followers’ cash. However as a result of a lot of supporters will likely be staying outdoors Qatar and simply flying in for matches, that may put strain on costs.

What about someplace to remain?

The Supreme Committee for Supply & Legacy, which is the Qatari physique organising the event (fairly than an invention of the BBC comedy W1A), expects 1.5 million guests throughout the World Cup.

In 2019, Qatar had 35,000 resort rooms – however the Qatari authorities says it’s including 105 new accommodations and serviced flats, and says there will likely be greater than 100,000. To place the quantity in context, although, that may nonetheless be fewer than town of Sochi – simply one of many dozen venues for the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Some supporters will be capable of camp within the desert, in what’s referred to as “Fan Village desert tenting” whereas others will discover cabins aboard cruise ships moored in Qatar for the occasion.

On condition that FIFA officers, media and sponsors will take up a superb proportion, many followers are more likely to find yourself staying in close by nations.

What are the alternatives outdoors Qatar?

Dubai has probably the most resort rooms, with Abu Dhabi not far behind. However to save lots of money I like to recommend Bahrain – significantly if a ferry hyperlink is re-established throughout the quick sea crossing to Qatar – or Saudi Arabia, which has a land frontier, however lodging choices wherever close to the border are restricted.

How do I get tickets?

The world governing physique for soccer, Fifa, is promoting the tickets.

Properly-heeled followers are invited to “curate your Fifa World Cup 2022 expertise by following the group of your selection”.

To ensure a seat at every of England’s group matches, plus the spherical of 16 and quarter-final, prices $11,250 (£8,334).

Alternatively it is possible for you to to attempt your luck when tickets go on sale in January. One other tranche of tickets will likely be launched after the ultimate draw on 1 April.

The match ticket will seem on the Hay’ya Card (which means “let’s go”, and equal to the Fan ID in Russia 2018) – which may also incorporate permission to be in Qatar, and act as a move without cost public transport. There might be even be documentation for Covid, relying on the worldwide scenario a yr from now.

Will I be capable of get a drink?

Sure. The Supreme Committee says: “Alcohol just isn’t a part of Qatari tradition, and will not be obtainable all over the place, however it is going to be obtainable in designated areas.

“Fifa will work with Q22, because it does with all Fifa World Cup™ host nations, to discover a resolution that satisfies everybody involved.”

Alcohol is at the moment obtainable in accommodations, and will likely be served at fan zones throughout the event.

It’s unlawful to drink alcohol in public – or be drunk – with the Overseas Workplace warning drunkeness “may lead to a jail sentence of as much as six months and/or a superb as much as QAR3,000 (over £600).

Anybody staying in Saudi Arabia won’t be able to drink within the kingdom.

Is there a costume code?

Sure, in keeping with the Qatar Tourism Authority. It says: “Guests (males in addition to ladies) are anticipated to indicate respect for native tradition by avoiding excessively revealing clothes in public.

“It’s usually really useful for women and men to make sure their shoulders and knees are coated.

What about behaviour?

The tourism physique says: “Exhibiting overt affection and intimacy in public is frowned upon.

“Qatari women will not shake palms with males, and plenty of males won’t shake a girl’s hand as a gesture of respect.”

The Overseas Workplace warns: “Gay behaviour is unlawful in Qatar.” Article 296 of the Qatari authorized code stipulates imprisonment of between one and three years for “main, instigating or seducing a male by in any strategy to commit sodomy”.

How do I get round?

Simply. The utmost distance between any of the eight stadiums is 45 miles (75km), and all public transport will likely be free on match days to followers. The Doha Metro has a flat fare of QAR2 (£0.40), with an all-day move costing QAR (£1.20).

Is there a lot to maintain me occupied?

The primary cultural attraction is the gorgeous new Nationwide Museum, telling the Qatar story from pre-history to untold wealth from oil. Additionally value a go to is the Museum of Islamic Artwork. Each are spectacular buildings near the waterfront, with engrossing reveals.

Doha’s approximation to a historic centre, primarily based across the Waqif souk, is nice sufficient, however not a patch on the markets in different Arabian places similar to Muscat, Bahrain and Dubai.

Isn’t there a good bit of rigidity between Qatar and its neighbours?

Sure. In July 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates lower army and diplomatic ties with Qatar, alleging the nation had been supporting extremist teams – a cost that the Qatari authorities denied.

The blockade has now ended.

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