The UAE will start accepting applications for the multiple entry tourist visa for ‘Hayya’ card holders on Tuesday.
The permit will allow FIFA World Cup attendees to enter the neighboring UAE multiple times over 90 days for a reduced $27 (AED 100).
Travelers from visa-exempt countries can travel to and stay in the UAE according to current regulations.
The 90-day stay limit will start on the date of issuance of the visa.
The special permit comes “to enhance the prospects of cooperation in line with the common ties with Qatar,” the Emirates News Agency reported citing the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security (ICP).
What is the ‘Hayya’ card?
The ‘Hayya’ card doubles as an entry permit to Qatar and allows stadium access along with the match ticket, according to information available on the FIFA website.
It is a personalized document issued and required by everyone attending the FIFA World Cup matches.
It will also provide free public transport access in Qatar, including the metro and bus.
How to apply for visitors visa to the UAE?
The multi-entry tourist visa for ‘Hayya’ card holders has been made available online through the ICP website.
The visa is available under the ‘Smart Channels’ section, within ‘Public Services’, followed by the ‘Hayya Card Holders’ option. Payment and traveler details are needed to complete the process.
The move is expected to ease accommodation shortages in Qatar.
Accommodation in Qatar
Football’s biggest tournament kicks off on November 20 with a match between Qatar and Ecuador at Doha’s al-Bayt Arena.
Qatar is bracing for a massive strain on its infrastructure due to the coming influx of visitors.
FIFA reported last month that more than 2.45 million tickets had been sold. This would mean that the country’s population of around 2.7 million will nearly double for the duration of the tournament.
It has been widely reported that the Gulf state is expected to struggle with housing the spectators, turning to neighboring countries to help provide hotel rooms.
Hoteliers in Dubai told Al Arabiya English in July that they were seeing a spike in bookings, with many expected to be at full capacity during the tournament.
Authorities reportedly struck deals with Iran in order to host some spectators on the country’s resort island Kish.
Fans will be able to hop on ‘shuttle flights’ between their hotels on the island and the stadiums in Qatar.
Organizers have also said they will house some of the spectators in “bedouin-style” tents in the desert.
With inputs from Al Arabiya English’s Marco Ferrari