Saudi Arabia to welcome Hayya card holders during FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Multi-entry visa for 60-day stay
/ New Delhi
Saudi Arabia to welcome Hayya card holders during FIFA World Cup in Qatar

The Hayya Card, is a digital card and is required for all World Cup attendees and provides entry into Qatar and the stadiums

In a smart move to capitalise on the rush of tourists likely to visit Qatar during the FIFA World Cup 2022, Saudi Arabia has made it easier for holders of the Hayya digital card, needed for the matches, to visit Saudi Arabia on a 60-day tourist visa.
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With the FIFA Football World Cup rapidly approaching, many Gulf countries are banking on attracting the visitors and football fans who would line up in Qatar to attend the matches. Saudi Arabia has taken the first step as its Ministry of Foreign Affairs has introduced a new multi-entry visa to Saudi Arabia, for all visitors holding the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Hayya Card. The Hayya Card, is a digital card and is required for all World Cup attendees and provides entry into Qatar and the stadiums.

Welcoming the move by the foreign affairs ministry, the Saudi Tourism Authority says that Saudi is a gateway to the World Cup and home to destinations waiting to be explored. Holders of the Hayya Card will be able to apply for the new visa online and book a trip to the authentic home of Arabia with confidence, before, during and after the World Cup. Visas will allow a 60-day stay in Saudi beginning 10 days before the tournament, according to a press release by the STA.

It adds that the announcement encourages first time and returning visitors alike to explore destinations in close proximity to the World Cup. ‘‘Saudi Arabia is a short hop away making it a practical and convenient destination for World Cup attendees to visit or make a home base during the games. Saudi Arabia is expecting to welcome football fans from around the world,’’ adds the statement.

Beyond proximity, travellers are also looking to visit Saudi Arabia for authentic Arabian culture, adventure and to round out their experience while in the region. To make the visit more memorable for tourists, Saudi Arabia will be hosting a dynamic programme of entertainment events including MDLBeast, Red Sea Film Festival, Riyadh Season and Winter at Tantoura in AlUla, all of which take place during the World Cup, says the STA.

In a move to facilitate the travel of Hayya card holders from Qatar to Saudi Arabia, the national carrier of the country, Saudia, has decided to increase air connectivity by operating 40 shuttle flights daily to Doha from both Jeddah and Riyadh, rising to 60 daily flights on the Saudi team’s match days. Doha is only a 90-minute flight from Riyadh.

In another step, Saudi government has decided that the Salwa Border Crossing between Saudi and Qatar will also be open for land travel and a new port will have an increased daily capacity of more than 24,000 cars.

“Football lovers from around the world can book to visit Saudi with confidence because the total value chain is complete from connectivity and accessibility to the ease of securing a multiple entry visa. It’s easier than ever to enjoy all that Saudi has to offer and I invite those visiting the region for the world cup to visit Saudi, the true home of Arabia and explore all that the country has to offer,” says Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO and Member of the Board at Saudi Tourism Authority.

Home to 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites and more than 10,000 archaeological sites, as well as the mountainous Asir region– which includes Rijal Almaa, voted a UNWTO ‘best tourism village’ in 2021 and the arts and culture hub of Jeddah, the Saudi tourism ecosystem continues to transform and evolve. Saudi Arabia has now lifted all travel Covid restrictions for international travellers.

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