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FIFA World Cup 2022 – Qatar Doha Travel Tips

October 17, 2022
By Textr Marketing Team
5 Mins Read

The Qatar Doha 2022 World Cup is due to run from November 20 to December 18 of this year. It’s the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East, and the state’s cultural differences are worth bearing in mind for fans traveling to the event.

In this article, you’ll learn about some of these, along with travel tips to help you navigate visiting Qatar Doha (if you haven’t been before).

Things to Know Before You Travel to Qatar Doha

All the World Cup locations 2022 are in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Depending on what you’ve read in the news, you might be asking, is Qatar safe? The short answer is yes, it’s no less safe than any other vacation destination. However, those from Western countries will notice a lot of cultural differences, so here are some tips when traveling in Qatar.

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Currency and Duty Free in Qatar

The official currency of the country is the Qatar riyal, also called a rial. It’s legally pegged to the US dollar at a rate of 1 dollar to 3.64 QR. You can change Qatar to USD online before you travel on various online marketplaces. But you can also take money out at ATMs in malls and hotels around Doha.

Bear in mind, though, that most banks will add their service charge on, meaning you won’t get the above Qatar to USD exchange rate. The standard service charge is 3-5%, meaning you could get 3.46 QR for a US dollar.

When entering the country, you must declare money and valuables that exceed 50,000 QR in value (around $13,700 US). This includes cash in any currency and jewelry, precious metals and stones valued at 50,000 QR or more.

As with any international journey, one of the best tips when traveling is to check the customs regulations for the airport you’re visiting. In this case, it’ll be Qatar Doha airport, which you can find here.

Duty Free

Similarly important travel tips include knowing what you can import duty free. You can bring in 400 cigarettes or 500g of raw tobacco, provided the value doesn’t exceed 3,000 QR.

However, it’s worth noting that importing alcoholic drinks is specifically banned. While you likely won’t be hiding any in your luggage, it’s best to state it anyway!

Entry to Qatar

Immigration regulations have been changed slightly during the Qatar Doha World Cup. The state isn’t issuing any standard visas during this period. Instead, you must apply for a Hayya Card (essentially a visa), which you can only get if you have tickets to a World Cup match.

Hayya Card holders can add up to 3 people onto their card for a fee. These people don’t need to hold tickets to a football match during the World Cup.

Staying in Doha

You’re expected to have accommodation booked if you plan to stay in Doha for more than 24 hours. Luckily, the FIFA website has a list of approved accommodations in the city. You can also stay with friends and family, but they must first register their home as approved accommodation.

You don’t need to have booked accommodation before applying for your Hayya Card. However, your application will only be complete once you validate your accommodation through the Hayya portal. This is why it’s worth staying at a hotel or villa from FIFA’s approved list.

Qatar Entry Requirements for Canadians and Americans

There are no specific entry requirements for Canadians and Americans that haven’t already been covered. To gain entry to Qatar Doha, you must have:

  • A valid passport with at least 6 months left on it
  • Your Hayya Card and FIFA tickets
  • Accommodation booked

Any tourists over the age of 12 must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. You must show proof of your vaccination using your country’s standard-issue vaccine cards. These are typically digital, so make sure you have one before traveling.

Quarantine isn’t mandatory when entering the country. Of course, if you test positive after arrival then you must follow the country’s self-isolation rules. Current immigration rules state that you must have a valid rapid antigen or PCR test that was conducted 24 or 48 hours before you travel.

Finally, Qatar expects you to download its contact tracing app when you arrive in the state. It’s called Ehteraz, and you can find it on Google Play and the App Store. What might be an issue for some travelers is that you need a SIM issued by a Qatar network or an international eSIM.

These rules apply regardless of whether you’re traveling by land, sea or air. Granted, most people will be using the airport, but some might cross via Saudi Arabia. If so, you’ll be expected to leave your vehicle at the border and get a free shuttle bus to Doha. The distance is around 55 miles.

Get the Right Data Plan

Luckily, that point is next on our list of travel tips: getting the best data plan for your time in Qatar Doha. The 2 main providers of data plans in Qatar are Vodafone and Ooredoo, and the state was recently ranked as having the fastest internet speeds in the world. However, choosing an appropriate plan when you’re in Qatar is vital because the internet is pretty expensive.

Textr eSIM vs Physical SIM

Textr’s eSIM is a far more convenient option than buying a SIM card from one of Qatar’s state carriers. The benefit of an eSIM vs physical SIM is that your phone can hold multiple eSIMs. This means you can switch between networks as needed, such as when you’re traveling internationally.

Setting things up in advance saves you from having to buy a physical SIM at Doha airport and trying to get it to work, especially as you need to download the state’s contact tracing app before you leave.

Using an eSIM is much easier than a physical SIM card. You simply purchase data plans on Textr eSIM website in your home country, and then install an eSIM on your phone. Once you arrive in Qatar Doha, you just need to activate your data plan. All information about Textr eSIM, you can check out here.

Textr eSIM is coming out in November. If you subscribe now,  you can be in with a chance to win $10 of credit! So, what are you waiting for?

On Textr’s eSIM, $10 gets you 1GB of data for 8 countries, and our Middle East plan includes:

  • Qatar
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkey

Using VPNs in Qatar Doha

Despite having great internet speeds and Doha being one of the best-connected cities in the Middle East, its internet is heavily monitored and filtered. Ooredoo is a state-owned carrier and so controls pretty much all the online content available in the country.

But what it bans and blocks is a bit murky. Things like pornography are probably an obvious choice, but Qatar is also known to block “political” content and websites related to LGBTQ+ communities.

Of course, the country is free to do what it wants, but many citizens who want access to the internet use a VPN free to get around national restrictions. Depending on what you plan to do and whether you think your standard internet use might be restricted, it could be worth downloading on of the following VPN free resources:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. CyberGhost
  3. Private Internet Access
  4. IPVanish
  5. PrivateVPN

Make sure you download your chosen VPN free before traveling to Qatar, as you won’t be able to access it using local internet. Then, once you’re in Qatar Doha, you simply open the app and set up the VPN as normal. If nothing else, you can use it to access your Netflix while at your hotel!

Qatar Places to Visit Near Me

Most tourist sites in Doha are in close proximity and they are all worth going! It is essential to get a proper data plan and search up where to visit on the go. Google “place to visit near me” anytime when you’re in Qatar and be amazed by the juxtaposition of historial artifacts and new wave of architectural designs.


Qatar Doha weather is (comparatively) comfortable in November, at least compared to the height of summer! However, it also has the second-highest chance of rain throughout the year. Granted, it’s only a 3% chance, but it’s still higher than in summer.

When traveling to matches, make sure to search Qatar Doha weather to make sure you’re dressing correctly. Of course, you must balance this against the country’s dress code.

Traveling Around Doha

Most tourists will be staying in close proximity to one another. As such, it’ll be in your best interest to book private hire and app-based taxis. In terms of travel tips, this isn’t a massive one, but you can use Uber in Doha. Alternatively, the city has its own taxi hire app called Careem.

If you plan to use public transport, remember to download a bus schedule. The World Cup schedule does include transport around some areas, and your ticket should be free on those buses.


Once you’re actually in Qatar Doha, make sure you search “place to visit near me” to discover some sights. Not all your time will be spent at football matches, so it’ll be worth finding some other things to do.

You can check out this list from TripAdvisor for some leads on where to go. However, the benefit of searching on Google once you get there is that you’ll get location-based recommendations, as it can be difficult to find your way around an unfamiliar city.

Another good lead is Qatar’s official tourism board, which has recommendations on places to visit on a budget. Despite the article’s theme, these are still very good places to visit if you want to experience Doha outside of its new football stadiums and hotels.

Things to Take Note of in Qatar Doha

You might have seen an image currently circulating on Twitter regarding things prohibited for FIFA fans during the World Cup. As explained by one of the World Cup’s official Twitter pages, this image is fake.

The image states that it’s prohibited for football fans to drink alcohol and that LGBTQ+ fans won’t be allowed to attend matches. It’s a difficult topic to navigate because, at the most basic level, the information isn’t necessarily false but this image definitely is.

The sale and consumption of alcohol is strictly regulated in Qatar, as are same-sex relationships. However, the head of the World Cup organization committee, Nasser Al Khater, has already said these rules won’t apply to football fans and visitors.

Alcohol will be on sale in designated fan zones, and there will be areas where drunk fans will be sent to sober up. Being drunk in public in Qatar is considered to be very offensive, so it’s not unreasonable to follow this cultural rule.

Also, LGBTQ+ fans are more than welcome and are allowed to display rainbow flags if they choose. Al Khater has stated, however, that political messages will be frowned upon at matches. If you’re concerned about how to act at the World Cup, just be respectful and keep politics out of it. Provided you do this, everything should be fine!

Finally, visit Qatar’s tourism board for more travel tips and information, including details on cultural differences. The only other thing that’s probably worth explaining is the country’s dress code. Modest dress is standard, and this basically means people of all genders shouldn’t show anything above their shoulders and knees. Qatar is more relaxed when it comes to tourists, but it’s reasonable to respect its rules.

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Visiting Qatar Doha with Textr eSIM

It’s important to get a reliable data plan for your time in Qatar Doha during the World Cup. Among other things, it’ll help you get accurate and up-to-date information about travel, weather, and news during your stay.

So, sign up to Textr eSIM and get ready for its launch in November. This’ll give you more than enough time to download the app and get everything set up before you travel!

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Written By:
Textr Marketing Team
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