Updated 16 September 2022
World Cup 2022 is happening in November in Doha this year, and it is clear that the craze for football has never been higher. Fans worldwide have been rushing to get their hands on match tickets and hotel accommodations to the extent that hotels in and around Doha have almost run out of room availability. This has got many fans worried about their prospects of attending this year’s mega-match.
But not to worry, because we’ve got you covered. Find out all alternative accommodations facilities outside Qatar that you can stay in during World Cup.
Multiple-entry visa for Hayya Card holders
With international fans basing their World Cup journey in neighboring countries, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have recently announced new multiple-entry visit visa schemes for international fans holding the Hayya Card. Details are as follows.
An announcement by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed a new multiple-entry visit visa to Saudi Arabia will be available for fans holding the Hayya Card.
Holders of the Hayya Card may apply for the new Saudi visa allowing for a 60-day stay in the Kingdom beginning 10 days before the tournament kicks off.
The UAE has also confirmed its new multiple-entry visa for Hayya Card holders. The Hayya Card-associated visa will allow international football fans multiple entries to the UAE over a 90-day period.
According to the Federal Authority For Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP), the fee for the visa has been set to AED 100 and can be extended for an additional 90 days. The new visa will grant entry to the UAE starting from 1 November 2022.
Please note that international fans from visa-exempt countries will not be required to apply for the new visa as the current arrangement already allows them to enter and stay in the UAE.
How to attend the FIFA world cup from outside of Qatar?
While Qatar shares land borders only with Saudi Arabia, there are several neighboring countries with close proximity to Doha, from where you can avail flights easily and get cheap hotels to stay at while enjoying the best amenities, effortlessly enjoying the football match to your fullest.
Hayya Card for fans staying in nearby countries
Day trip fans staying in nearby countries may obtain their Hayya Card without a hotel booking. All they need to do is provide their day trip details which typically involve shuttle flight bookings through the Hayya portal or Hayya app detailed below.
Here’s a list of countries easily accessible to Qatar.
On top of this list, we have Saudi Arabia for obvious reasons, the only country that shares borders with Qatar. No matter your country of origin, several air carriers operate regular flights to and from Saudi Arabian cities every day. From Saudi Arabia, you can easily avail transport options to Qatar and seamlessly enjoy the matches in Doha.
COVID-19 entry restrictions
All COVID‑19 restrictions for travel to Saudi Arabia have been lifted. Passengers are no longer required to hold a COVID‑19 vaccination certificate or a COVID‑19 test result to enter the country. Quarantine restrictions have also been lifted.
Here’s the flight schedule and airfares for flights from Saudi Arabia to Qatar in November by some prominent airlines.
Saudia operates direct flights to Doha only from Riyadh.
Riyadh to Doha: One direct flight available every week. Ticket prices starting from SAR 3,060 (USD 816).
Qatar Airways flies to Qatar from most cities in Saudi, but Riyadh is the closest to Doha, while flying from cities like Jeddah and Madinah may take upto 5 hours.
Riyadh to Doha: Two direct flights available every week. Ticket prices starting from SAR 1,427 (USD 380).
Flights from Riyadh to Doha wouldn’t take more than 1 hour 30 minutes.
Driving from Saudi to Qatar
While flights take only 1 hour 30 minutes to reach Doha from Saudi Arabia, airfares have been skyrocketing following the increased demand for flight tickets. Instead, driving to Doha is cheaper and enjoyable too, especially for those with a passion for driving. A road trip from the capital city of Riyadh to Doha will take about 6 hours.
Top budget hotels in Saudi Arabia
Boudl Al Munsiyah
The 3-star hotel Boudl Al Munsiyah is located in the northeast of Riyadh with close proximity to the King Khalid International Airport and easy access to all Riyadh’s tourist attractions and business centers. Enjoy a range of recreational amenities, including an indoor pool, a sauna, and a fitness center and get to enjoy Saudi hospitality and complete luxury at its best.
The Boudl Al Munsiyah offers elegantly designed suites consisting of a bedroom, a living room with a flat-screen tv, a kitchen, a shower, and complimentary toiletries. LCD televisions with satellite programming provide entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected.
Per night: 380 SAR (USD 82)
Intercity Hotel Riyadh Malaz
Intercity Hotel Riyadh Malaz is located in the center of the old business district in Riyadh. The hotel offers simple yet modern and fully air-conditioned accommodations, free WiFi, a fitness center, a rooftop swimming pool, an all-day dining restaurant, lobby lounge and cafe.
All rooms are stylish and equipped with a spacious wardrobe, attached bathroom, LED TVs with international and local channels, tea/coffee making, big working desks with high-speed internet, minibar, iron and board and electronic safe.
Per night: SAR 294 (USD 79)
Arjaan Altakhassusi Hotel Suites
Located in Riyadh in the Ar Riyad region, Arjaan Altakhassusi Hotel Suites provides accommodations with free WiFi and free private parking. All rooms feature a satellite flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchenette with a microwave and a private bathroom with a shower and slippers.
The King Khalid Grand Mosque is 3.1 miles from the condo hotel, while Al Faisaliah Tower is 3.6 miles away. The nearest airport is King Khalid Airport which is 27 miles from the hotel.
Per night: SAR 349 (USD 93)
United Arab Emirates
With its growing prominence as a hub of business, culture, and tourism, Dubai attracts a massive influx of visitors from all over. No matter where you depart from the UAE, be it Abu Dhabi or Dubai, you can easily get to Doha while enjoying everything the city has to offer.
COVID-19 entry restrictions
No testing and quarantine for vaccinated travellers.
There are several direct flights operated by Qatar Airways from Dubai to Doha every day.
Dubai to Doha: 3 direct flights on all days of the week. Ticket prices starting from 980 AED (USD 267).
Abu Dhabi to Doha: 3 direct flights on all days of the week. Ticket prices starting from 1450 AED (USD 395)
Etihad flies only from Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
Abu Dhabi to Doha: 6 direct flights on all days of the week. Ticket prices starting from 2970 AED (USD 809)
Direct flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Doha would take close to 1 hour 5 minutes.
Driving from the UAE to Qatar
Driving to Doha from the UAE is a lot cheaper than flying and may take upto 6-7 hours. With a little more time to shed on travelling and acquiring proper vehicle insurance and visa, you can easily drive your way to the World Cup this year.
UAE also has a special Football Park Fan Zone at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will have Michelin-starred eateries, butler, and a concierge for supporters. On September 15, the tickets for these go on sale. On the platform of the Gate Avenue, a sizable screen will be used for fans to view the games.
Top budget hotels in the UAE
Holiday Inn Express Dubai-Jumeirah
A warm welcome awaits you behind the striking geometric façade of the Holiday Inn Express Dubai Jumeirah, 20 minutes by taxi from Dubai Airport. The location overlooking Port Rashid Docks is just 3 km from the World Trade Centre and a short complimentary shuttle ride from Jumeirah Beach.
Kick-start your day with a complimentary hot buffet breakfast in the vibrant Great Room and stay connected with complimentary wireless internet in the spacious Lobby or in-room Internet.
Per night: 202 AED (USD 55)
Premier Inn Dragon Mart
Located near International City, Premier Inn Dragon Mart is a stone’s throw from Dragon Mart retail complex- a shopping paradise where you can find everything on your list, from kitchen sinks to mobile phones and everything! After a long day shopping, guests can retreat to Premier Inn Dragon Mart to share a meal at Nuevo Restaurant or catch up with friends at Mr. Toad’s Pub and Kitchen.
Check out their fully equipped gym to help you stay fit whilst travelling. The 304-room hotel is just 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport, with easy access to Downtown Dubai, Mirdif City Centre, and Meydan Racecourse, all a short ride away.
Per night: 280 AED (USD 76)
Lavender Hotel Deira
Centrally located in the heart of Dubai’s business district in Deira, Lavender Hotel Deira is merely 15 minutes from the Dubai International Airport via Dubai Metro stations at Union or Rigga Street. It is also within walking distance from the Al Ghurair Shopping mall and Al Nasser square, the traditional shopping area.
Lavender is a non-alcoholic family hotel, efficiently backed by decades of experience in personalized service. With 117 prestigious rooms, a meeting room equipped with conference facilities and a selection of internationally themed outlets, the hotel will meet and exceed the demands of both business and leisure travelers.
Per night: 202 AED (USD 55)
Another country located close to Qatar is Oman, the Middle Eastern country that has always been a popular place for travellers to soak themselves in a little culture and luxury.
COVID-19 entry restrictions
Non-citizen travelers aged 18 and above traveling to Oman are required to present a vaccination certificate indicating that they have received at least two doses of the approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before traveling. No testing or quarantine required.
Qatar Airways is the only airline that has scheduled direct flights from Muscat to Doha for the month of November. Here’s the flight schedule and airfares.
Muscat to Doha: Upto 4 direct flights on all days of the week. Ticket prices starting from 142 OMR (USD 368)
Direct flights from Muscat to Doha would take around 1 hour 40 minutes.
Top budget hotels in Oman
Al Maha International Hotel
The Al Maha International Hotel is conveniently located 10 minutes away from Seeb International Airport in Al Ghubra Area. The rooms are beautifully appointed and particularly designed to meet the needs of business and leisure travelers.
Each room is tastefully designed, and the room amenities include telephone lines and WiFi connectivity. Bathrooms are equipped with a full range of personal amenities and hairdryers. Doors are controlled by an electronic key system for the added security of hotel guests.
Per night: 12 OMR (USD 31)
Al Murooj Hotel Apartments
Al Murooj Hotel Apartments Muscat is just a 25-minute walk from the huge contemporary Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which offers 30 spacious rooms. Additionally, you’ll find a free private car park and a restaurant and 24-hour reception and shuttle service.
The rooms at the hotel feature an air conditioner, wireless Internet and TV. The bright rooms feature wood floors. The café Ciasto Cafe is around 650 meters away, and Al Azaiba, the local bus station, is just 500 meters away.
Per night: 13 OMR (USD 34)
Al Shorouq Hotel Apartments
Make yourself at home in one of the 44 air-conditioned rooms featuring LCD televisions at the Al Shorouq Hotel Apartments. The memory foam bed comes with premium bedding.
The hotel also offers complimentary wireless internet access that keeps you connected and satellite programming for your entertainment.
Per night: 15 OMR (USD 39)
Kuwait, the bustling gulf metropolis with towering skyscrapers, rich with culture and energised by modern wealth is yet another viable option for FIFA fans looking to attend the match as the country is less than 2 hours away by air.
COVID-19 entry restrictions
Kuwait has relaxed most of the COVID-19 related entry restrictions from 1 May 2022 and has lifted the quarantine, testing and vaccination requirements for arrivals.
Here’s the flight schedule and airfares for flights from Kuwait to Qatar in November by some prominent airlines.
As always, Qatar Airways operates daily direct flights to Doha.
Kuwait to Doha: Upto 3 direct flights on all days of the week. Ticket prices starting from 111 KWD (USD 363)
Kuwait’s national air carrier flies multiple flights to Doha every day.
Kuwait to Doha: Upto 3 direct flights on all days of the week. Ticket prices starting from 196 KWD (USD 640)
Flights from Kuwait to Doha wouldn’t take more than 1 hour 25 minutes.
Top budget hotels in Kuwait
Wahaj Hotel Apartment 2
Wahaj Hotel Apartment 2 combines warm hospitality with a lovely ambiance to make your stay in Kuwait unforgettable. Facilities like 24-hour room service, free WiFi in all rooms, 24-hour security, grocery deliveries, and a laundromat are readily available for you to enjoy.
Some well-appointed guestrooms feature television LCD/plasma screen, wireless (complimentary) internet access, non-smoking rooms, air conditioning, and heating. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities.
Per night: KWD 20 (USD 65)
Make yourself at home in Wahaj. The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi in all rooms, each thoughtfully designed with its own artworks and decor. These include a restaurant, cafe, bar, ballroom, function rooms, and swimming pool. Being one of the most notable hotels in the metro, families and all guests will appreciate the centrally located hotel and easy connectivity.
The hotel places you in the heart of the city, with shopping options, restaurants and lounges within easy reach and a fast route to the Kuwait International Airport.
Per night: KWD 21 (USD 69)
Kuwait Palace Hotel
Set in Kuwait in the Salmiya region, the Kuwait Palace Hotel provides great accommodation with access to a fitness room. Free WiFi is also provided. All rooms here are air-conditioned and feature a flat-screen TV, a living room with a sofa, a well-equipped kitchenette, a private bathroom with a bath, complimentary toiletries, and a hairdryer.
Guests can also enjoy the outdoor pool on the roof. The Al-Bustan Mall is just 200 meters from the hotel. The nearest airport is Kuwait International Airport, 15 km from the property.
Per night: KWD 20 (USD 65)
Just a short flight away from Qatar, Iraq is another viable alternative option for those unable to fly directly to Qatar due to accommodation constraints.
COVID-19 entry restrictions
All passengers 12 years old and above (Iraqi or non-Iraqi) traveling to/from Iraq must have a vaccination certificate indicating that the passenger has received at least one dose of the (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine or of 2 COVID 19 vaccine doses for the rest of the types. COVID 19 vaccination certificates without QR or IQ codes will be accepted for travel
Exemptions from the vaccination requirement:
- Children below 12 years old
- Medical cases with relevant approvals from authorities – this category of passengers must provide the appropriate medical certificate for their condition and take a COVID‑19 PCR test not more than 72 hours before departure.
Here’s the flight schedule and airfares for flights from Iraq to Qatar in November.
As of now, only Qatar Airways operates direct flights to Doha from Baghdad and Basra, which both take less than 2 hours.
Baghdad to Doha: Two direct flights available every week. Ticket prices starting from IQD 540,200 (USD 370)
Basra to Doha: Two direct flights available every week. Ticket prices starting from IQD 540,200 (USD 370)
Flights from Basra to Doha wouldn’t take more than 1 hour 30 minutes while travelling from Baghdad to Doha will take you 2 hours.
Top budget hotels in Iraq
Quaint Hotel Erbil
The humble yet adequate lodging at Erbil, the Quaint Hotel Erbil features well-lit rooms with free Wifi and an on-site restaurant with great food choices.
The private bathrooms are fitted with showers and bathtubs, and most rooms have a flat-screen LCD TV. The hotel also offers car hire in addition to the free private parking available on site.
Per night: IQD 87,600 (USD 60)
Inter Hotel is ideally located for both business and leisure guests in Baghdad, barely 20 miles away from the Baghdad International Airport. The property offers a wide range of amenities and perks to ensure you have a great time.
All rooms and suites feature a modern and an elegant décor. Each room offers a flat-screen TV and a mini-bar. The suite includes a living room with a dining table.
Per night: IQD 86,121 (USD 59)
Located just 3 miles from downtown Erbil and Erbil Castle, Fareeq Hotel offers simply furnished accommodations with free Wi-Fi. Erbil International Airport is just 15 minutes drive away from the hotel.
Rooms at Fareeq Hotel provide a flat-screen satellite TV, air conditioning and a minibar. The rooms also feature a shower and private bathrooms and come with a hairdryer and a bathrobe.
Per night: IQD 80,300 (USD 55)
Daily shuttle flights to Doha
To assist the transportation needs of people who will be staying out of the country while attending the FIFA match in Doha, several airlines have already announced everyday flights between countries and special shuttle services.
Flydubai has begun shuttle service flight bookings between Dubai and Doha in November. Qatar Airways has announced partnerships with several gulf airlines, including flydubai to operate everyday shuttle flights from and to Doha.
Qatar Airways has announced partnerships with Gulf carriers to set up match-day shuttle flights between Doha and major Middle Eastern cities for fans to attend games and depart Doha the same day.
Introducing the Match Day Shuttle for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM. We can't wait to see you in Doha for #Qatar2022.
— Qatar Airways (@qatarairways) May 26, 2022
The shuttle service will initially connect Doha with Dubai, Muscat, Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait City. Qatar Airways plans to add more flights across the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in the future. The schedule will initially include 30 daily return flights between Dubai and Doha, operated by FlyDubai, and 24 between Doha and Muscat, operated by Oman Air. Saudia will operate 20 flight rotations to Riyadh and Jeddah, while Kuwait Airways will connect Doha to Kuwait City with 10 return flights.
To book your tickets, all you have to do is:
- This arrangement includes transportation to & from the game or fan zones.
- Does not include any checked baggage allowance so make sure you have everything you need in your hand baggage.
- Ensure you select a flight that arrives at least 4 hours before match kick-off.
If you’re a ticket holder to the FIFA World Cup, you can now book a Match Day Shuttle flight from Dubai to Doha with flydubai. A Match Day Shuttle flight allows you to hop on a flight to Doha, watch your match and return back to Dubai the same day. You’ll also enjoy complimentary ground transportation between the airport and the stadiums if you book a Match Day Shuttle flight.
All Match Day Shuttle flights will operate from Dubai World Central (DWC) between Monday 21 November 2022 and Monday 19 December 2022. With up to 30 flights a day, you’ll never miss a match. Just ensure that you select a flight that arrives at least 4 hours before match kick-off.
You must be a ticket holder to the upcoming football tournament in Qatar if you want to book a Match Day Shuttle flight to Doha. You’ll also need to apply for a Hayya Card. This is your fan ID and you’ll need it to enter Qatar as well as to access the stadiums.
Where best to stay outside of Qatar?
With COVID-19 showing no signs of going away, countries have not yet completely removed testing or quarantine requirements for arriving passengers, not to mention the visa process and other airport customs. This means that you would have to go over these formalities twice, once while entering your alternative country of stay and Qatar.
Needless to say, fans residing in the above mentioned countries need not worry about having to find a place of stay in Qatar as they can simply fly to Doha, attend the match and return back to their homes. This arrangement would also benefit distant international travellers living away from the Middle East, as they will get the chance to explore two countries in one go, and make the best out of their trip.
In our list of countries, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have the most relaxed entry restrictions and are open without any vaccination, testing and quarantine requirements. While the UAE allows the entry of both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers with specific testing rules, Oman and Iraq allows entry to only those who are fully vaccinated.
Given the current status of hotels in Qatar quickly running out of availability, choosing an alternative base is currently the best option for fans, not to mention the introduction of shuttle flights between countries. With our handy list of neighbouring countries, all within a short flight of two hours away, choosing the country best suiting your needs would be a breeze.