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The FIFA Club World Cup will kick off in Qatar on 11 December. A large number of fans are expected to attend the tournament. Here are some tips to help make your visit safe and enjoyable.
Before you go
Travelling to and staying in Qatar
There may be an increased demand for flights and hotels during the games. Plan ahead and book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. For further information check the FIFA official website and useful information from Visit Qatar.
Passports and visas
You can get a 30-day tourist visa-waiver on arrival in Qatar, but your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry. If you hold one of the other types of British passport, you must get a visa before you travel.
If you plan to visit any other countries in the Middle East on your trip, be sure to check the passport validity requirements and visa requirements of each country.
You should carry your passport with you at all times. If you lose your passport, you’ll need to get an Emergency Travel Document from the British Embassy in Doha.
Qatar’s hotels accommodate around 25,000 rooms and most of the properties are located in central Doha. In the run-up to the tournament, accommodation options might fill up.
If you haven’t secured accommodation, you should aim to do so quickly. Please check the Where to Stay section of the Qatar National Tourism Council website that can help you with your search.
Qatar is a compact country and fans travelling to attend the tournament will have a number of options to access venues. These include buses, taxis and car hire. Check the National Tourism Council’s Getting Around page for further information. Popular ride hailing apps are also widely used.
The new Doha Metro partially opened in early 2019 and offers limited travel to certain areas. You can check routes and plan your trip on the Metro website.
Car hire agencies are numerous and many are located at Hamad International Airport. If you plan to hire a vehicle during your stay, check the safety and security page of our travel advice for information on road safety and driving licence requirements in Qatar.
Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers pre-existing conditions and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. In some hospitals you may need to pay in advance before claiming back from your insurance company. Find more advice on getting the right travel insurance.
Local laws and customs
Travel global, think local
There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK. You are strongly recommended to familiarise yourself with the local laws and customs section of our travel advice.
- Be responsible and respectful. Certain behaviour considered normal in the UK may cause offence in Qatar.
- Dress modestly and avoid public displays of affection. Women should ensure shoulders and knees are covered in public.
- Sexual relations outside of marriage are not permitted. Opposite-sex couples checking into hotels may be asked to provide a marriage certificate if sharing a room.
- Alcohol cannot be brought into Qatar and must only be consumed on licensed premises. Public intoxication and rowdy conduct is not acceptable and may lead to arrest.
- There is a zero tolerance towards drugs. Bringing drugs to Qatar or being in possession of drugs will result in a lengthy prison sentence.
- Be mindful when taking pictures. Sensitive sites like government buildings, embassies, mosques and construction sites are off-limits. Some Qatari females may object to being photographed. If in doubt, seek permission.
- Make sure any hotel, car hire or other bills are settled before you leave. Non-payment of debt in Qatar is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment.
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Qatar. ATMs are available and should accept most overseas credit cards, although the amount of cash per withdrawal may be limited. You might want to advise your bank you are travelling abroad to ensure your cards will be operational in Qatar.
As the population of Qatar is predominately expatriate, it is home to people, languages, and cultures from all over the world. Arabic is the official language but English is widely spoken in most contexts.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
Prescription and over-the-counter medicines
Most common over-the-counter medicines are available at pharmacies in Qatar. If you need to bring prescription medication with you during your trip, make sure you carry the prescription with you. Check the health page of our travel advice for further information.
Although a desert climate, winter in Qatar tends to be relatively mild with temperatures averaging around 20 degrees Celsius. A sweater or jacket for the evening is recommended. Rainfall is scarce, though on average one damp day during December can be expected. Heavy rainfall may result in some flooding to roads.
Air quality is low by UK standards and strong winds can often raise dust and sandstorms so those with respiratory problems should take care.
Information on venues, matches and ticketing can be found on the official FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 website. You can also follow the official FIFA social media channels for information during the tournament.
Most visits to Qatar are trouble free but if you do need emergency assistance, call 999 for police, ambulance or fire services.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British embassy will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.