Qatar has laid out the road to the World Cup for football fans aiming to drive to the global event. The country’s Ministry of Interior has confirmed entry procedures for 24-hour and five-day stays during the sporting event through the Abu Samra land border crossing with Saudi Arabia. The procedures will be in place from November 1 until December 23, covering the entirety of the tournament, which will be held from November 20 to December 18.
Although shuttle flights remain the most popular form of travel — with about 5,000 extra flights by flydubai and Qatar Airways scheduled between the UAE and Doha — many people are planning to spend hours making the 700-kilometre desert drive from Dubai and the 600km trek from Abu Dhabi.
The new travel rules offer several ways to enjoy the football festival in Qatar.
Cars with Qatari plates
Citizens, residents and GCC citizens who hold a Qatari ID card and have a car with Qatari plates can enter through the border as usual without needing a Hayya card, which will act as an entry visa for football fans during the event and is needed to secure match tickets.
Those attending one or more matches in 24 hours and do not require a hotel reservation must hold a one-day fan category Hayya card and pre-book a parking space through the Hayya platform before arrival.
Parking is free for the first 24 hours, with a charge of 1,000 Qatari riyals for a second day. Vehicles will be towed and another QR1,000 charge will be imposed if the car remains parked for more than 48 hours after entry.
Free buses will transport fans on the 2km route from the Abu Samra checkpoint to the Friends Meet and Greet Area in Al Qalayel. Public transport will also connect them with Doha Central Station in Al Messila, about 90km away.
Commercial vehicles looking to enter the country will be restricted during the tournament between 11pm and 6am to prioritise fan traffic. This will be in place from November 15 until December 22.