Doha, Sep 30 (EFE).- With less than two months to go before the ball starts rolling in Qatar’s Lusail as the 2022 World Cup gets underway, Efe has compiled a list of top tips to make your experience as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
First off, in order to enter the country you must secure a visa and Hayya card — a fan ID. Hayya cards are only issued once you present a match ticket and proof of accommodation reservation.
Nearly 2.5 million tickets have already been sold for World Cup matches. Fans can still snap up more on the Qatar 2022 website or FIFA’s portal.
All the World Cup stadiums are within a few kilometers of each other and are connected by public transport, so fans can aim to watch several matches in a day, a first in the history of the tournament and a source of pride for the organizers.
So far, the countries leading ticket purchases are the host Qatar, followed by the United States, England, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. Argentina and Brazil, two of the favorites to win, are among the 10 countries that have bought the most tickets for the tournament.
The Argentina-Mexico and Argentina-Saudi Arabia matches have already sold out as fans scramble to secure a spot to watch football legend Lionel Messi’s last World Cup.
“There are about 600,000 tickets left to sell. Many will go to Fifa, sponsors and some teams will request more tickets, but the rest will be put up for sale”, the CEO of the World Cup, Nasser Al-Khater, tells Efe.
2.- ACCOMMODATION: HOW TO BOOK AND WHICH AREA TO CHOOSE
In addition to the traditional online tourism platforms, the World Cup organizers and the Qatari government are offering myriad options for all budgets on a bespoke website.
All the stadiums are very close to each other, so choosing an area will depend on what sort of experience you are after.
Downtown Doha revolves around the vibrant Souq Waqif, a market where past and present meet and where you will be able to soak up the Qatari way of life.
Al Sadd, west of Doha’s old town, is the area preferred by expats. Here you will find mid-range accommodation, international and local shops, boutiques and restaurants.
If you want to be dazzled by Qatar’s futuristic skyline, West Bay is your spot. The Doha Corniche is bursting with international shops and mid-range, high-end and luxury facilities to suit all tastes and budgets.
Another very characteristic area is The Pearl, which boasts some of the capital’s top restaurants and hotel chains.
“From this portal that we launched in March 2022 you can reserve your ticket for the match, accommodation and request the ‘Hayya card’ that grants access to the country and the stadiums”, highlights Omar Al-Jaber, Executive Director of Accommodation for Qatar 2022.
– Hotels range from 1 to 5 stars, international and local chains, traditional hotels in Arab style and those with technology at their core. The possibilities are endless with locations in the city center, remote neighborhoods, the beach or the islands and lagoons.
– Two large cruise ships with almost 4,000 rooms and a capacity for 9,500 people are offering accommodation in Doha port, near the souk and the country’s two main museums, the National Museum of Qatar and the Museum of Islamic Art. Prices start at $179 dollars.
– Apartments and Villas are a good option for those seeking private accommodation at a range of different prices. These range from one to six bedroom homes with all kinds of amenities including free Wi-Fi, swimming pools, playgrounds for kids or a cleaning service every 3 days. According to Al-Jaber this is the best option for families with children but also for groups of friends. Prices start at $84 for an apartment for 2 people.
– Fan Villages are perhaps the quirkiest option. Caravans, cabins and Arabian luxury camping facilities have been set up on the fringes and center of the city and are well connected to public transport links. This is the best option for those who want to soak up the World Cup atmosphere and enjoy it with other fans. Prices range from $110 for a caravan to $400 for traditional tents.