With the USMNT returning to the World Cup, fans will be wondering how to get to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.
For many it is a foreign land, and that includes FIFA. This is the first time the tournament has been held in the Middle East and only the second trip to Asia. Of course, the previous time was practically across the continent in 2002. That year, a collaboration between South Korea and Japan hosted the World Cup.
Due to a number of conflicts in the region, American fans may question the safety of travel to Qatar. Data published by Global Finance Magazine ranked Qatar as the third safest country in the world. Iceland and the United Arab Emirates were the first and second countries on this list.
Where is Qatar?
Traveling to Qatar is a unique experience for many Americans. This is partly because Qatar is on the other side of the world.
Qatar is by far the smallest country to host the World Cup. In fact, it’s smaller than every US state except Delaware and Rhode Island. The tiny nation on the western side of the Persian Gulf is connected by land to Saudi Arabia. Its population is just under three million, the majority of them living in or around Doha, the capital.
Despite the small size, 32 countries will be represented in the 65 matches of the 2022 World Cup. The small nature of the country has an added advantage. There are only eight stadiums in use, the fewest for a World Cup in history. Additionally, each stadium is easily switchable for fans and teams during the tournament.
Qatar World Cup Stadiums
The eight stadiums used are separated by no more than 46 miles. Most of it comes from Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. The other stadiums are in the greater Doha area.
|Stadium||Hosted Games||Duration of use|
|Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium||6||Nov. 21 to Dec. 3|
|Al Bayt Stadium||9||Nov. 21 to Dec. 14|
|Al Janoub Stadium||7||Nov. 22 to Dec. 7|
|Al Thumama Stadium||8||Nov. 21 to Dec. 10|
|Education City Stadium||8||Nov. 22 to Dec. 9|
|Khalifa International Stadium||8||Nov. 21 to Dec. 17|
|Stadium 974||7||Nov. 22 to Dec. 5|
|Lusail Stadium||ten||Nov. 22 to Dec. 18|
Lusail Stadium, which hosts the most matches of the eight venues, hosts the final on December 18. Another interesting note is stadium 974. This stadium is built from recycled shipping containers. It will be completely deconstructed after the World Cup to be reused in another country.
These lavish stadiums each have an interesting look, despite the controversy surrounding their construction.
Qatar Travel Restrictions
When traveling on a US tourist passport, the government of Qatar does not require a prior visa. You can obtain a free visa waiver upon arrival, subject to certain circumstances. To obtain a free visa waiver, you must have:
- A valid passport with a minimum validity of 6 months, AND
- A confirmed outward or return ticket.
The waiver is valid for thirty days from the date of issue and entitles the holder to spend up to thirty days in Qatar.
A US citizen will need an approved Hay’ya Card (Fan ID) application number to enter stadiums and even to enter the country. Fans must apply once they have paid for their tickets.
If you need to bring controlled/prescription medication into Qatar, the medication must be in its original packaging and you must have your original prescription with you.
Qatar COVID-19 travel requirements
Everyone will need to download the Ehteraz app to their phone. Using this app, fans need to upload all information related to their stay and vaccination status. Only vaccinated fans are allowed at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Masks are mandatory in all public places.
Passengers traveling to Qatar should check the Qatar Travel and Return Policy website for the latest requirements or Qatar Airways COVID-19 updates.
FIFA World Cup Travel Packages
Qatar Airways, the country’s official airline, offers a host of packages including flights, accommodation and match tickets.
World Cup travel packages run from the first week of the tournament through to the final.
FIFA also offers several packages for the tournament; however, flights, accommodation and tickets will all need to be purchased separately for the final in Qatar.
Find your flight
Qatar Airways connects more than 160 destinations worldwide to Doha (Capital of Qatar). In fact, direct flights from the United States originate from 12 cities. These are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (O’Hare), Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York (JFK), Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC (Dulles).
Qatar Airways flight status usually lists Hamad International Airport as the point of entry. It’s just east of Doha, bordering the Persian Gulf. You can book Qatar Airways from these 12 cities on over 100 weekly flights. Qatar Airways ticket prices from the United States range from $1,900 to $2,800, depending on the airport of departure.
Of course, other airlines are available. For direct flights from New York, American, Finnair, Turkish and Royal Jordanian all offer direct flights to Doha.
How to get around in Qatar
The maximum distance between any of the eight stadiums is 45 miles. In addition to the proximity of the stadiums, public transport is free on match days.
For sites in and around Doha, there is a powerful metro system. The metro network has stops from the airport to the capital and connections to several stadiums. For those looking for a more privatized way to get around, Uber is an option. However, these prices could be higher, especially with the amount of people looking to move around the country.
An alternative for those who like to drive is a simple bus to get around the sites and around the city.
Where to stay in Qatar
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy expects 1.5 million visitors during the World Cup.
In 2019, Qatar had only 35,000 hotel rooms. However, the Qatari government says it is adding more to cope with the influx of tourists.
The busiest days to travel are expected to be November 27-28. This is when the group stage ends. Expect some 275,000 fans nationwide.
The Qatar 2022 website has an accommodation portal which is the best place to start your accommodation search. The website offers listings of hotels, apartments and villas or aboard two large cruise ships docked in Doha for the duration of the tournament. It’s also possible to stay in ‘fan villages’, which the site describes as ‘a variety of laid-back campsites and chalet-style accommodations for avid fans’.
Get game tickets
The Qatar 2022 World Cup offers four types of tickets. Individual Match Tickets (IMT) are tickets for a specific match. Next, Supporter Tickets (ST) are tickets for each group stage match of a specific nation. Another option is Conditional Supporter Tickets (CSTs), which are essentially an ST for the second round. If the team the buyer is supporting is eliminated, they receive a refund for all matches the team does not qualify for. Finally, there is a series of tickets for four stadiums. This option offers 14 different packages which guarantee four matches in four different stadiums during the group stage of the World Cup.
Prices range from $70 to $220 for individual tickets for group matches and increase until the knockout stage.
Tickets for the championship final will cost between $600 and $1,600.
How to get to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup: Learn more about Qatar
The official language of Qatar is Arabic. However, English is also widely spoken throughout the small nation. Moreover, English is common in all FIFA competitions.
The currency of Qatar is the Qatari riyal. As of May 2022, US$1 equals 3.64 Qatari riyals.
There are five “venues” that host World Cup matches. Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Lusail and Doha all have locations. Of course, they are all close to each other.
Al Wakrah, south of Doha, is home to Al Janoub Stadium. It is only 51 minutes drive from Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
Doha will be the main stopover for football fans traveling to the tournament.
Culture and dress code
Qatar has restrictions on filming and taking photos, so make sure you have permission.
Neither natives nor visitors may make vulgar remarks, gestures or use inappropriate language in public places.
Public displays of affection or intimacy between any couple can lead to arrest.
Religion is a sensitive issue in Qatar; treat any discussion of religion with care and caution.
It is illegal to drink alcohol or be drunk in public in Qatar. During the World Cup, alcohol will be available in designated areas, such as licensed hotel restaurants and special “fan zones”. It is important to remember that public intoxication can result in jail time.
Respect local dress codes and cover your shoulders and knees. Women traveling to the country for the World Cup should wear long skirts and long dresses and avoid tank tops. Men should wear shorts that hit just below the knee (or wear light pants).
How to get to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup: things to do in Qatar
Along with watching the best in the world compete, there are plenty of business opportunities in Qatar. Here are some examples :
- The National Museum, which tells the story of Qatar from the beginning to its oil wealth.
- Islamic Art Museum
- Shopping malls in Doha
- Souq Waqifone of the most famous markets in Qatar, similar to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.
- Book a trip up and down the sand dunes or try sandboarding
Because it is already dark before 7:00 p.m., Qataris start their day early.
Most office jobs end between 2 and 3 p.m. and the nightlife starts early.
Matches will be played at 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time. Therefore, major tourist sites and fan parties will be filled not only with foreign fans, but also with local fans.
Friday between 11:00am and 1:00pm is the main prayer time of the week, so almost everything closes then.
The 2022 World Cup will take place during Qatar’s winter season. The reason being that the scorching desert heat is not exactly compatible with 90 minute football matches. The milder temperatures are more favorable for gamers and tourists visiting the country.
Average daytime highs in November and December in Qatar range from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit. There is also minimal rainfall.
The stadiums will be air-conditioned using solar-powered ventilation and cooling systems designed to ensure the comfort of spectators.
How to get to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup: any questions?
Please let us know if you have any questions on how to travel to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. Let us know in the comments section below.