Dubai: With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 set to begin in just a couple of days, this is the best time to book your flight to Doha if you're travelling for one or more matches.
flydubai and Qatar Airways will be operating nearly 120 shuttle flights from Dubai World Central (DWC) airport every day, ferrying several hundred thousand football fans to Doha and back.
If you're one of these fans, here's what you should know before booking a shuttle flight.
Do not delay any longer
While the daily shuttle flights are much cheaper than regular flights to Doha, fares are increasing as the kick-off draws closer. While it is cheaper to stay in Dubai and fly in for a match, than staying in Doha, waiting any longer could mean drastic increases in fares as shuttle flights get booked up.
How long can I stay in Qatar?
The flydubai website states, "There is a maximum-stay restriction of 24 hours for all return Match Day Shuttle flights booked from Dubai to Doha." This is including the requirement to fly in at least four hours before kick-off for match that you intend to watch.
Can I edit my flight booking?
For the Match Day shuttle flights, flydubai has the option to change the date of travel with a change fare of $50 or Dh183.5 along with applicable difference in fare for the new date. The change can be done anytime before departure.
However, the ticket holder's name cannot be changed, so a confirmed ticket cannot be transferred to another person. No cancellations are allowed, so the tickets are non-refundable.
Qatar Airways has a date change fee of $30 (Dh110) and those tickets are also non-refundable and non-transferable.
No flights on kick-off day
There are no Match Day shuttle flights on November 20. Other regular flights will be operational.
Heading to DWC
You can park your car for free at DWC airport, which is located on the Emirates Road, Dubai South. If you're planning to use the Dubai Metro, the nearest station is the Ibn Battuta Metro Station.
Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will be running a dedicated bus route for the entire duration of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 from Ibn Battuta station to DWC and back. The buses will operate throughout the day, daily at 30-minute intervals. You can also head to DWC or Ibn Battuta station by taxi.
From DXB to DWC
There are no shuttle services between the two airports, so if you're planning a trip where you first land in DXB you will have to allocate time and make plans to get to DWC for your shuttle flight.
Once in Qatar
For passengers travelling from Dubai, all flydubai flights will land at Doha International Airport (DIA) while all Qatar Airways flights will land at Hamad International Airport (DOH).
The Hayya Card will provide access to free public transport in Qatar during the tournament, and until December 23. Booking a match day shuttle on either carrier also includes complimentary ground transportation between the airport in Doha and the stadiums.
Fans travelling on the shuttle flights must hold a valid match ticket and Hayya card to be accepted at check-in for the match day shuttle flights from DWC.