Global sporting events, such as the Fifa World Cup are as much about sports as about tourism, politics and economic clout.
Needless to say, host countries leave no stone unturned to make the event a grand success on a mega scale, always eager to outdo the previous edition of the game.
For this edition, Qatar, the host country of the FIFA World Cup 2022 tournament, has done something that has possibly never been done by any host country before, either for the Olympics or the Fifa World Cup, the two most watched mega sports event on this planet.
Normally, a fan would need a visa to visit the host country to cheer his/her team to World Cup glory.
But this time, Qatar is not issuing any visa to anyone visiting the desert country during the duration of the tournament.
For the entire duration of the Fifa World Cup, Qatar is issuing what it calls is a Hayya Card, which will work as a visa as well.
The Hayya Card
Any individual visiting Qatar during the World Cup will have to mandatorily get a Hayya Card, including for children aged below 18 years. However, such children need to add their parents or guardian’s name in their individual Hayya application in order to get the card.
Says Nishan Pitti, CEO and co-founder, EaseMyTrip, an online travel aggregator: “All foreigners travelling to Qatar from November 1, 2022, will be required to acquire a Hayya Card to enter the country, even if they are not attending the Fifa World Cup. No other standard visit/travel/visa-free permits will be issued during this period, and Hayya will be considered the entry permit.”
Cost Of Hayya Card
You do not have to pay a single penny for the Hayya Card if you hold a valid ticket to any of the World Cup matches. Others without a valid Fifa World Cup match ticket will have to pay the usual fees.
So, football fans with valid tickets will have the Hayya Card for absolutely free
The Hayya Card allows holders to stay in Qatar even beyond the tournament dates. The Hayya Card will be valid till January 23, 2023.
Those who are already in Qatar on a visit visa and plan to further stay for the World Cup must visit the nearest service centre to change their permit status and get a Hayya Card if their visit Visa is either expiring in November or December.
In case they do not renew their visa through the Hayya application and get the Hayya Card, they will be subject to penalties.
Pitti adds that Indians could secure a visa on arrival for 30 days maximum from the date of issuance during either a single trip, or on multiple trips. This visa could further be extended for 60 days, too.
Things To Know About Hayya
It takes about five days to get a Hayya Card issued.
Hayya Card will be available as a pdf copy, digital app based copy, and one can also print the pdf copy for use.
The Hayya App can be downloaded both on Android/ iOS devices.
The official support lines for Hayya is email: email@example.com, or call:+974-4441-2022 (international number).
Hayya Card holders will get free bus and metro ride services in Qatar, apart from also getting partner discount offers on a range of other services.
Hayya Card requirements include validation of accommodation, which can either be sourced from the official Qatar accommodation (https://www.qatar2022.qa/book/en/) website or any authorised third party options, for instance, if someone is staying with their local Qatari friends.
There is a policy called ‘Hayya with Me’. This policy is also known as ‘1+3’ policy and it essentially means that international approved Hayya Card holders can share up to three voucher codes for non-ticketed family members or their friends to apply for Hayya Card. This service will, however, entail a fee of QAR 500 (Rs 11,200).
If someone is going to see only one World Cup match for a day and does not intend to book a ticket for doing so, then that person must apply for a ‘Matchday’ visit Hayya type on the portal. This will allow them to stay in Qatar for up to 24 hours from the time of entry without registering a valid accommodation.
Read more about the Fifa World Cup 2022 budget plans here. https://outlookmoney.com/magazine/story/fifa-2022-an-budget-1166