Egypt removes visa fees for Hayya card holders amid expected tourism boom

Applications for the Hayya Card can be submitted online or through the ‘Hayya to Qatar 2022’ mobile app.

Egypt will allow Hayya cardholders to enter the country without paying visa fees for incoming tourists, the Egyptian Cabinet said in a statement on Wednesday, according to state-run Qatar News Agency.

Hotel establishments in the tourist cities of Hurghada and Sharm ElSheikh will also offer discounts on accommodation prices to fans of the FIFA World Cup Qatar who hold the Hayya cards, in addition to some coordination procedures between the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Air Cairo and EgyptAir, and Gulf airlines, the statement said. 

This year’s edition of the World Cup will see the tournament hosted in the Middle East and North Africa region for the first time in FIFA history. With more than 1.2 million visitors from around the world expected to flock to the Gulf state for the biggest sporting event on the globe, nearby countries are scrambling to utilise the influx of tourists.

Ahead of the FIFA World Cup which is set to begin in three days, many fans are opting to stay in neighbouring countries, where dozens of newly introduced shuttle flights will transport them to Doha on match days.

In the GCC, entry has been made easier, allowing fans to use Hayya cards instead of applying for tourist visas.

Muslim Hayya card holders attending the World Cup in Qatar will be permitted free entry visas to perform Umrah in Saudi Arabia throughout the duration of the tournament, Saudi Press Agency reported recently.

Meanwhile, Dubai will also issue 90-day multiple-entry tourist visas for ‘Hayya’ card holders.

Tourists can obtain their visas before reaching the country and can shuttle frequently between Dubai and Doha for matches several times a day.

A million World Cup supporters are expected to visit Dubai, according to the Dubai Sports Council.

The neighbouring emirate has designated fan zones at parks, beaches, and the financial district in preparation for the rush, and hotels are promoting special deals.

All ticket holders for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 must have a Hayya Card, though printing is not mandatory.

The Hayya ID Card gives match ticket holders access to stadiums as well as free public transportation. Additionally, it will serve as a pass for international supporters to enter Qatar.

Applications for the Hayya Card can be submitted online or through the “Hayya to Qatar 2022” mobile app, which is accessible through the iOS App Store and Google Play.

Candidates must upload their personal information, a passport photo, and housing details in addition to having a valid match ticket number.

Accepted Hayya international cardholders will get an email with a PDF copy of the entry permit.

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