Saudi Arabia to approve visas for World Cup Qatar ticketholders: Ministry
Saudi Arabia will approve visas for World Cup Qatar 2022 ticketholders, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.
Spectators with the Hayya fan ID will be granted a visa allowing them to enter the Kingdom ten days before the start of the tournament, allowing them to stay for 60 days, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The visa will allow them to exit and re-enter the country during that period. Anyone applying for a visa must also obtain medical insurance before traveling to Saudi Arabia.
Football’s biggest tournament kicks off on November 20 with a match between Qatar and Ecuador at Doha’s al-Bayt Arena.
Qatar is bracing for a massive strain on its infrastructure due to the coming influx of visitors.
FIFA reported this month that more than 2.45 million tickets had been sold. This would mean that the country’s population of around 2.7 million will nearly double for the duration of the tournament.
It has been widely reported that the Gulf state is expected to struggle with housing the spectators, turning to neighboring countries to help provide hotel rooms.
Hoteliers in Dubai told Al Arabiya English last month that they were seeing a spike in bookings, with many expected to be at full capacity during the tournament.
Authorities reportedly struck deals with Iran in order to host some spectators on the Islamic Republic’s resort island Kish.
Fans will be able to hop on ‘shuttle flights’ between their hotels on the island and the stadiums in Qatar.
Organizers have also said they will house some of the spectators in “bedouin-style” tents in the desert.