Qatar 2022: guide for Argentines, how to enter and move around the World Cup city

Posted 2022/11/15 34 0

DOHA.- There is only one week left for the Argentine team to start the dream of millions of Argentines. In this days, the albiceleste shirts begin to be noticed by the main tourist spots in the capital of the World Cup. From the Corniche, the promenade of Doha that will be closed to traffic and that will concentrate a large part of the tourist activity, even the opulence of the neighborhood of La Perla, the Argentine accent is becoming more and more common in a geography dominated by residents and now visitors from all over the world.

LA NACION is already installed in Doha. A part of the five special envoys traveled to neighboring Abu Dhabi to tell how the Scaloni National Team is doing before its World Cup debut, which on Wednesday will play its last friendly with the full squad against the United Arab Emirates.

More of 35,000 fans estimate the authorities who will come from different parts of the world to encourage the National Team. Here, a practical guide to the main measures to enter the country, move around the city, eat and dress in the first Arab country to host an event of this magnitude.

The World Cup climate begins to be felt among the passengers: locals and residents of Qatar are joined by fans from all over the world. The security video of the Qatari flag carrier, for example, welcomes passengers with an original film with the Brazilian world champion cafu and the star of Poland, the striker Robert Lewandowski.

Once in Doha, access to sim cards to stay connected is immediate
Once in Doha, access to sim cards to stay connected is immediateMatías Boela /
Signs with Arabic to English translation at Doha airport
Signs with Arabic to English translation at Doha airport

The gateway to Qatar is through the Hamad International Airportwhich is located a few minutes from the center of Doha. Argentines do not require a visa and enter with a passport, with a minimum validity of six months. In the air terminal there are exchange houses and you can buy prepaid chips from different cell phone companies. The number of personnel dedicated to assisting travelers is striking. They all speak perfect English and are immediately there to offer help. In closed places, photos are allowed, but in case of filming, a security agent will be on top immediately to prevent it.

The main novelty of this World Cup is the hajj cardan essential document to enter the country, move around and even check-in at official accommodation. This is a document that can only be obtained by those who have bought at least one ticket and have accommodation. A few days ago, the Qatari authorities relaxed the requirements and now a holder of the card (which can be printed or downloaded in an application) can include up to three companions who do not have a ticket. In addition, from December 2, when the group stage ends, it will no longer be necessary to have a ticket purchased for a match.

From this month, Qatar removed the entry requirement with PCR or antigen tests. At the airport and in the means of transport there are almost no traces of the masks and the application Ehteraaz (similar to My Argentina) stopped being used. There is no need to quarantine in a positive case. And it is advisable to arrive with health insurance.

Among the impressive infrastructure works that Qatar set up for the World Cup, is its transportation. The public system works like clockwork. The three subway lines have a total of 37 stations, which, complemented by an enormous network of trams and buses, allow you to reach all parts of the city, including the 8 World Cup stadiums. Hayya card holders will benefit during the World Cup: they will be able to travel without limits both on the metro and on buses and trams. They circulate until 3 in the morning, every day. There are rental car applications and also taxi services, with relatively affordable prices. A ten-minute ride costs about $3.

Qatar's three metro lines have 37 stations
Qatar’s three metro lines have 37 stations

The organization sought to discourage private use of automobiles. That is why vehicle restrictions are seen in several areas and the prohibitive prices of rental companies will make fans turn to efficient public transport. An advertisement that is repeated these days on local television shows a large traffic jam at the border while four people advance on bicycles. The message is to look for alternative ways to enjoy the World Cup. Be careful: in the neighborhoods, there are almost no pedestrian paths, they drive recklessly and the pedestrian is not a priority.

For comfort or price, many Argentines choose to stay during the World Cup in neighboring countries. The United Arab Emirates, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi as the most attractive cities, is about an hour away by plane. They estimate that there will be some 5,000 Argentines in that country who will travel to watch matches. There will be dozens of flights during the tournament and the possibility of entering Qatar with the Hayya card in the “Fan for a day” category. From Bahrain there will also be a similar offer of flights. Despite the closeness, the only land border Qatar shares is with Saudi Arabia. The Abu Samra pass is located almost 100 kilometers from Doha, but the authorities discourage its use in various ways. For example, the Argentines will meet the Saudis on the first date and then they will share match days, which can generate large congestions. In addition, it was imposed that to enter the vehicle, a Hayya card must be held with a minimum of five nights of confirmed accommodation for the driver, a fee for each crossing of about $1,400 must be paid, and a minimum of three passengers and a maximum of six must travel.

Dress codes, like many other rules noted above, are actually much more flexible once in town. Good coexistence practices indicate that bare shoulders and bermuda shorts should not be worn well above the knees. Not to mention walking bare-chested. Actually, you see a lot of shorts on the streets, especially during the day when the heat is most intense.

The countdown to the World Cup in Qatar has already begun with the arrival of thousands of tourists
The countdown to the World Cup in Qatar has already begun with the arrival of thousands of touristsJEWEL SAMAD – AFP

The food offer is the most varied. In hotels and restaurants, first class cuisine is served, with astronomical prices. There are fast food outlets, pizzerias and international chains. For those who seek to eat like the locals, at the most affordable price, it is best to go into the neighborhoods and try the varied offer of Indian food, since the workers who build and support the city come from that country, but also from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.

One of the most problematic points for the Qatari authorities and for the thousands of fans who will arrive from all over the worldit is the prohibition of alcohol and what is going to end up happening finally. For now, its sale and consumption is enabled (it is punishable by law to consume alcohol on the street) in licensed bars, restaurants and hotels. However, the beer brand that sponsors the World Cup is still negotiating and it will be finally announced shortly if there will be a sale. You can probably buy beer in certain sectors, and not very visible, of the of fest, which will open its doors next Saturday the 19th at Al Bidda Parkone day before the formal start of the World Cup. In the stadiums it will be strictly prohibited. And in supermarkets it is very strange for the eyes of a Westerner not to have the refrigerators full of beer and the gondolas with wine.


Leave a Reply