Saudi Arabia grants World Cup fans a “Haya” card to encourage tourism

Saudi Arabia announced that it will grant multiple entry visas to all Haya card holders for fans of the World Cup, scheduled for later this year in neighboring Qatar, in an effort to attract them to visit and revive tourism. and hospitality sectors in the Gulf kingdom.

The World Cup final will be held at the end of this year, from November 20 to December 18, for the first time in the Arab world and the Middle East.

The “Haya Fan” card is a mandatory personal identification document for fans to attend football wedding matches.

And the Saudi Foreign Ministry stated, in a statement late Wednesday, that the Kingdom “will allow Haya fan card holders to enter the Kingdom ten days before the start of the World Cup, after to obtain an electronic visa.

He explained that “holders of an entry visa can reside in the Kingdom for a period of 60 days”, noting that this visa allows “entering and leaving the Kingdom several times during its period of validity”.

Saudi Arabia’s decision comes in an effort to benefit financially from the large number of fans expected to attend World Cup matches and to revive its tourism and hospitality sectors.

Saudi Arabia, which has been a closed country for decades, for the first time began granting electronic entry visas to citizens of 49 countries in September 2019.

Qatar expects 1.2 million people to visit the small Gulf state during the World Cup, and many fans have raised concerns about the limited availability of accommodation and travel.

With mounting pressure on Qatar to find accommodation and rooms for hundreds of thousands of fans, Saudi and Kuwaiti airlines, “Fly Dubai” and Oman Air will operate more than 160 daily flights, starting November 20, to and from within 24 hours from and to Doha to follow the matches.

The Gulf states agreed to facilitate the administrative procedures for fans who will pass through their countries. Dubai Airport is preparing to implement travel procedures that “will make traveling much easier” between the Emirates and Qatar.

Saudi Arabia participates in Group C of the World Cup together with Argentina, Mexico and Poland. A large number of Saudis are expected to turn out in droves to cheer on Al-Akhdar during his sixth participation in the tournament.