Updated 2 June 2022
As the 2022 FIFA World Cup inches ever closer, football fans around the world are preparing to descend on Qatar later this year. If your dream is to attend the World Cup and cheer for your favorite team from the stands, you would first need to grasp the concept of planning and budgeting for the prestigious tournament.
Here is our financial breakdown of how much you would need to prepare to attend the World Cup from GCC countries.
Things to prepare for the World Cup
Basically, football fans looking to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup from overseas would require a budget for the following. Note that these numbers are rough estimates and the actual cost may be higher or lower.
- match tickets. The cheapest match tickets are for the group stage (excluding the opening match) at USD 67 (AED 246)
- flight tickets. A return trip to Doha from a GCC country will likely average around USD 1,000 (AED 3,673) in late November. Note that the average price will most definitely increase as demands for tickets spike
- accommodation. On average, expect to pay up to USD 600 (AED 2,203) for hotels and USD 1,500 (AED 5,509) for apartments daily. With 1.5 million fans projected to visit Qatar, a surge in prices is inevitable
- meals. While meal prices vary, USD 50 (AED 183) per day is considered sufficient
- transport costs. With Hayya card, public transport is free on match days. Doha Metro daily tickets cost USD 1,65
How much do I need to prepare to attend the World Cup?
Assuming you’re travelling from Dubai, here’s a rough estimate of the required budget for your World Cup trip.
- you’ll need to allocate USD 600 (AED 2,203) per day for accommodation, USD 50 (AED 183) per day for meals, and USD 1.65 for mobility. That translates to about USD 652 (AED 2,431) per day
- a Doha return ticket will cost you approximately USD 1,000 (AED 3,673) while purchasing three group match tickets will cost you at least USD 201 (AED 738)
- attending the group matches from 22 to 30 November, your required budget would roughly be around USD 6,401 (AED 23,511)
For fans from other GCC countries, you can easily determine the budget for your World Cup trip by following the steps above.
Let’s break down the cost for each of the above items.
World Cup match tickets
With the exception of a special category of tickets available only to Qatar residents, the prices for the match tickets are the same regardless of where you are in the world. However, please note that match tickets are offered in four categories varying in prices and availability.
Categories 1 to 3 are purchasable by anyone, with Category 1 tickets being the most expensive. Category 4 tickets as mentioned are available only to Qatar residents. The accessibility category is reserved exclusively for people with disability and/or limited mobility.
Additionally, there are three systems in place for the selling of the tickets as detailed below.
Note: The prices below do not include both category 4 and accessibility tickets. Prices are also subject to change.
Individual match tickets
An Individual match ticket is a ticket for a specific match. These tickets are available for all matches of the competition. Prices are as follows.
- Opening match: USD 297 – 607 (AED 1,090 – 2,259)
- Group Stage: USD 67 – 216 (AED 246 – 793)
- Round of 16: USD 94 – 270 (AED 345 – 991)
- Quarterfinals: USD 202 – 418 (AED 741 – 1,535)
- Semifinals: USD 351 – 939 (AED 1,289 – 3,449)
- Third-Place match: USD 202 – 418 (AED 741 – 1,535)
- Grand Final: USD 594 – 1,579 (AED 2,181 – 5,799)
Fans can apply for Supporter Tickets for the group stage matches played by their national team between Match 1 and Match 48.
Prices range from USD 226 to 3,217 (AED 830 – 11,816).
Four Stadium tickets
Ticket packages for those who want to attend one match on a selected number of match days while visiting four different stadiums of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Prices range from USD 274 – 1,277 (AED 1,006 – 4,690).
How much should I prepare for the tickets?
While your budget for your match tickets will obviously depend on the type and category, it will also depend on how far your favorite team progresses in the tournament.
For example, buying match tickets for all seven UAE matches (because obviously the UAE will triumph against Australia in June and win the cup this year) will cost you at least USD 1,442 (AED 5,296).
Travelling to Qatar cost
For football fans based in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and GCC countries in general, travelling to Qatar for the World Cup may prove to be a straightforward affair. Due to Qatar’s close proximity, GCC fans may opt to travel by plane or by bus/car.
While in our opinion airlines remain the best option, flying to Qatar for the World Cup may likely be an expensive proposition. It’s been reported that airfares have experienced a surge due to the high demand.
A simple search through Wego shows the cheapest flights to Doha for the month of November from GCC countries.
- Dubai – Doha: AED 1,134 via Qatar Airways
- Abu Dhabi – Doha: AED 380 via Etihad Airways
- Sharjah – Doha: AED 726 via Qatar Airways
- Riyadh – Doha: SAR 1,195 via Kuwait Airlines
- Jeddah – Doha: SAR 993 via EgyptAir
- Dammam – Doha: SAR 1,195 via EgyptAir
- Muscat: OMR 88 via Kuwait Airlines
- Bahrain – Doha: BHD 108 via Flydubai
- Kuwait City – Doha: KWD 48 via Kuwait Airways
Please note that all prices are for flights in November; they are accurate at the time of writing but will more than likely rise as the World Cup approaches
Based on the above prices, your travel cost to Doha will depend on your country and city of departure.
Flydubai has just announced that it’s currently offering up to 30 return flights per day between Dubai and Doha for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 later this year. Tickets are now available to book at flydubai.com with prices ranging from USD 258 (AED 947) to USD 998 (AED 3,665).
Additionally, Qatar Airways has announced its partnership with gulf carriers to set up match-day shuttle flights between Doha and major Middle Eastern cities. The shuttle service will initially connect Doha with Dubai, Muscat, Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait City. However, Qatar Airways will add more flights across the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in the future.
These shuttle flights allow fans to travel to Doha and catch World Cup matches before returning back to Dubai on the same day. This enables anyone to travel to Doha without necessitating a hotel, apartment or any other accommodation booking. Needless to say, GCC fans will benefit from the availability of these shuttle flights to further lighten your World Cup budget.
As an alternative, you can also consider chartering flights to Doha from your city of residence. This will allow you more flexibility in planning for your World Cup trip along with other advantages.
Qatar accommodation cost
It’s been estimated that the average daily prices for hotels and apartments for the World Cup would be USD 600 (AED 2,203) and 1,500 (AED 5,509) respectively.
Currently, available accommodation ranges from hotels, apartments, and cruise ship hotels. Fan villages should be announced soon and will most likely take the form of desert camping.
Hotel rooms may typically be shared between two people while apartments can accommodate usually up to four guests. Sharing expenses whenever possible will greatly reduce the amount of cash you’d need to fork out.
To give you some idea of cheap hotels you can book in Doha, please do check out our Doha cheap hotels article below.
If you’re planning on staying in Qatar for the month-long tournament, then accommodation expenses will most definitely take up most of your budget.
Like previous iterations, there’ll definitely be a high demand for any and all types of accommodation, so it’s advisable for you to plan for your Qatar lodgings months in advance.
Transport costs within Qatar
Travelling to and from or between stadiums via public transportation during match days will cost you nothing. Your Hayya card renders all public transport including buses, trains and subways free of cost.
However, outside of match days, the cost per trip on Qatari public transport starts from USD 0.55 with the Doha Metro tickets costing USD 1.60 for a whole day.
Qatar is a small country, which means that all eight venues for the World Cup matches are located within a 50-kilometer radius surrounding the city of Doha. It is possible for fans to attend four World Cup matches in a single day should they opt to do so.