Doha FIFA Fan Zone
Morocco's supporters celebrate after their team won the Qatar 2022 World Cup round 16 football match between Morocco and Spain, at the FIFA fan zone in Doha, on December 6, 2022. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Want to experience the football fever in Qatar but don’t have a match ticket? The good news is that if you are a GCC resident, you can now visit Qatar even if you don’t have a Hayya card.

From Tuesday, December 6, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) citizens and residents can enter Qatar without registering on the Hayya portal, according to an announcement made by Qatar’s Ministry of Interior.

While you may not be able to watch the match at the stadium without a ticket, visiting Qatar will allow you to join in on the celebrations at the dedicated fan zones and watch the matches in live screening areas.

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What is the Hayya Card?
According to FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the Hayya card is a Fan ID, which is a personalised document that is issued to fans attending FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 matches. Both a Hayya card and applicable match tickets are required to access the stadium on match day.

However, earlier this month, Qatar had introduced the ‘Hayya card for non-ticket holders’, which allowed international fans to visit Qatar and participate in the festivities. On December 6, an announcement was made giving GCC residents and citizens the chance to enter Qatar, without applying for the Hayya card for non-ticket holders.

Three ways to enter Qatar

According to Qatar’s Ministry of Interior, citizens and residents of GCC countries can enter the country in three ways:

1. Airports

Qatar News Agency (QNA) announced that GCC residents and citizens will be able to enter Qatar without the Hayya card for non-ticket holders as of December 6, 2022.

2. Buses

If you are taking a bus to Qatar, you will be able to cross through the land border, through the Abu Samra checkpoint.

Once you have passed through customs and immigrations, you can choose one of the following options for your onward journey:

• Take the free bus from the terminal to Al Messila Metro Station in Doha.

• If someone is meeting you, you can take the free shuttle bus to the Al Qalayel family and friends pick-up area, which is 2 kilometres away from the Abu Samra land border terminal.

There is also free parking allocated for visitors.

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3. Private vehicles

According to QNA, you will be able to cross through the land border in your private vehicle from Thursday, December 8.

However, you will need to apply for a permit through Qatar’s Ministry of Interior website - at least 12 hours before you start your trip. There is no additional fee for applying for the entry permit.