Preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup: Impacts in the Middle East
As excitement around the 2022 FIFA World Cup grows, mobility professionals should be aware that non-FIFA related travel to Qatar will come to an abrupt halt. Travelers to the Middle East should be aware of the requirements and potential challenges of journeying to Qatar, as well as neighboring countries. Companies should prepare for travel, housing, and business challenges between November 2022 through January 2023.
Entry into Qatar will be limited to match ticket holders and citizens or residents of Qatar from November 1 to January 23. While there are no visa requirements for ticket holders, it will be necessary to obtain a FAN ID (Hay’ya card) prior to travel. The Qatar government has suspended processing of tourism, business and family visa applications in order to meet the demands of World Cup travel. Continue to check the government of Qatar’s website for updates.
While the games are being held November 20 to December 18, lodging is anticipated to be extremely limited from early November through the end of 2022. Expect accommodation costs to be inflated during this time. Beyond Qatar, major cities in the UAE are expected to also experience a surge in lodging prices as daily flight shuttles to Doha will be offered from Dubai and Abu Dhabi; however, temporary housing is not anticipated to be impacted as much as in the UAE.
The long-term rental market in Qatar has decreased by 50%, and, where available, two-year commitments are being required. In some cases, property owners have opted to evict long-term tenants, taking advantage of the inflated short-term stay pricing.
In anticipation of the crowds and increased traffic, Qatar schools plan to close for the World Cup beginning November 20 and remain closed through January 1 in observance of winter break.
For the duration of the World Cup, destination service providers will either be closing or operating under very limited service availability.
Working & Living
Business hours for government, private and commercial sectors will be reduced with 80% of the workforce expected to work from their home location during the World Cup. There will also be road closures with some vehicles allowed to enter certain areas depending on their license plates. These limited access areas will greatly reduce mobility.
Our recommendation is to avoid traveling to and from the region at a minimum during the tournament dates and possibly up to January 2023, if possible.
For more information on any possible impact this may have on your relocations in the region or for assistance with any upcoming travel in Qatar during the World Cup, please reach out to your Altair Client Services representative.
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