Faking World Cup accommodation booking risks Hayya card cancellation: official

The Hayya card status can change even following approval in case of any changes in the information submitted.

Incoming football fans who fake their hotel reservation for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar will have their Hayya Card status changed to inactive, an official has revealed.

Speaking to Al Kass Channel, Thani al-Zarraa, director of the SC Transportation Operations Department, stated that the card’s status is “constantly checked” to ensure all information provided is accurate throughout the duration of the stay.

However, in the case of inaccurate information or fake and cancelled accommodation being detected, the digital status of the mandatory Hayya document could become inactive, even if it was previously approved.

“It is possible to check the Hayya Card at any time and change the status from approved to rejected,” the official added.

Fans travelling to the Gulf nation to attend the mega football tournament are required to have confirmed accommodation. Travellers have a variety of options to choose from, including hotels, fan villages, dhows boats, cruise ships, or opting to stay with a friend or family.

Upon receiving confirmation, fans will then be able to apply for the Hayya Card, a mandatory document for all ticket holders. The card will serve as an entry permit for all international fans from 2 November 2022 and will provide access to stadiums, fan zones, and free public transportation across the country.

In case the status changes to inactive, the fan will not be able to attend any matches or stay in the country.

The equivalent of half of Qatar’s population, or about 1.2 million spectators, are anticipated to visit the nation during the event, posing questions on whether there will be enough rooms to accomodate incoming fans.

However, authorities have been working on expanding the number of hotels over the past decade.

Saudi-Qatar by bus

Saleh al-Nisf, senior manager of Arrivals and Department at Airports, told Al Kass Channel that Qatari airports are expected to receive around 5,700 people each hour during the tournament. Doha International Airport will welcome around 2,000 passengers, while Hamad International Airport will receive 3,700 people each hour.

Meanwhile, those travelling to Qatar from Saudi Arabia by land will have the option to use Qatar busses from within the Gulf nation and up until the Abu Samra border crossing. The terminal is located around 9kms from the border, Al-Zarraa explained.

The official said that the plan will be carried out in coordination with the Saudi authorities. Fans will be escorted from the bus station to the crossing point and then to the “Friends and Family” area in Al Qalayel or Al Messila.

“Buses have been provided from the parking lots to the arrival halls and vice-versa. Parking lots at Abu Samra are available for free for one-day fans only, and whoever exceeds one day will be subject to a violation,” he added.

“Any delay up to 48 hours is to be penalised with a fee of QR1,000, while those exceeding 48 hours will be charged with a fee of QR1,000 while they will also face legal measures for the violation.”

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