DestinationsOnly accredited fans are allowed into the country, while luxury hotels rush to accommodate VIP guests.

Qatar red-cards visitors who are not in Doha for World Cup

Qatar tells travellers to avoid Doha unless they have official fan ID.
Qatar tells travellers to avoid Doha unless they have official fan ID. Photo Credit: Adobe/GIROMIN Studio

Qatar is shutting its borders – land, sea and air – during the FIFA World Cup tournament later this year. Anyone wanting to visit the nation for reasons other than the World Cup soccer will be unable to enter.

Only football fans with a Hayya Card — a government-issued fan ID — will be allowed into the country, although Qatari nationals, residents, GCC citizens having a Qatari ID card, and anybody with a personal or work visa, will be unaffected by the lockdown.

FIFA has sold 2.45 million of the three million available tickets for the 20 November to 18 December tournament and to cope with the influx of visitors, Old Doha International Airport will reopen ahead of the World Cup.

Qatar says 130,000 rooms will be available during the tournament, split between hotels, apartments, cruise ships and tents.

As the time to kick-off ticks down, thousands of workers are racing to finish off the luxury hotels that will accommodate FIFA officials and their guests.

A spokesperson for the Accor group, which will operate the Fairmont and Raffles hotels in the new Katara Towers, told the Gulf News both properties would be ready for “FIFA guests” during the World Cup and then officially open after the tournament.

For those soccer fans unable to get into Qatar, neighbour Dubai is planning fan zones around the city with live World Cup matches being broadcast on huge screens.

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