For two months – from November 1 to December 23 – Qatar plans to be completely close to tourists. The reason, oddly enough, is “tourist” and not at all obvious: the World Cup in football, which is held in the country on these dates. The country has announced that it will close to all foreign tourists, except for fans, who will be offered a special ID card. This is done for safety and convenience.
It is a Hayya card, a special identity card that will allow its holders to enter Qatar. The card will also be used to identify incoming FIFA World Cup ticket holders and “facilitate the provision of various services aimed at enhancing their experience in Qatar”.
However, Qatar will be closed to ordinary tourists. Only holders of work visas, citizens of the Persian Gulf countries, as well as citizens arriving in the country due to humanitarian situations will be exempted from the need to obtain a fan card.