Qatar is expected to witness a large public turnout to attend the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off on Sunday, which will increase visitors to other Gulf cities.
Many chose to reside in Dubai to attend the World Cup matches, while going to attend the matches in Qatar and returning during the same day, due to the lack of places available to the public in the small Gulf emirate.
Prices for one-day trips from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Doha via Etihad Airways, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia range from 1,500 to 2,000 dirhams ($408 to $545), according to estimates by the newspaper.The NationalEnglish-speaking Emirati.
Qatar Airways also runs similar shuttles, but the price is around 2,500 dirhams (about $680).
These trips rise to 5,000 dirhams on some days of the World Cup. However, these shuttle trips are still less expensive than staying in Qatar for two nights.
“Flydubai charges around AED 1,500 for a match day shuttle service, where the traveler has the option to return within 24 hours,” said Rhesh Babu, Chief Operating Officer, Musafir.
He added that “those who wish to stay in Doha for 2-3 days will have to pay between 2,200 dirhams to 5,000 dirhams.”
From Riyadh to Doha, prices start from 2,700 Saudi riyals (about $718) and reach more than 5,000 riyals (more than $1,300), according to the Google search engine. The cost of flights from Jeddah, in the west of the Kingdom, to Qatar will be similar.
Qatar had announced daily shuttle flights from the Gulf countries to Doha to transport fans who will stay in neighboring countries during the World Cup.
60 flights will depart daily from Dubai (United Arab Emirates), 48 from Muscat (Oman), 40 from Riyadh and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), and 20 from Kuwait City (Kuwait).
These trips are for Haya card holders, which entitles the fan to enter Qatar and other countries in the region without a visa.
Airline ticket prices drop after December 1 to between 1,300 and 1,400 dirhams, and rise again at the end of the year, as Dubai celebrates the New Year.
Babu said in a statement to the newspaper.Gulf NewsThe English-speaking Emirati said that for most football fans, returning on the same day would make sense because “hotel accommodation in Dubai[will be cheaper]compared to the very high prices in Doha”.
For the eastern regions of Saudi Arabia such as Dammam and Al-Ahsa, traveling to Qatar by land is an additional option.
Last month, Careem, which operates in 80 cities around the world, said it had “steadily expanded the size of its fleet by an additional 1,000 vehicles over several months” in preparation for the World Cup.
And the “Careem” application offers offers for transportation between Dammam and Al-Ahsa to Doha for a fixed fare of 1,000 Saudi riyals ($ 266) per way.
“This trip is really comfortable. It takes about 3.5 hours, and if you compare that to a flight, it matches the time it takes to get to the airport, the flight time and landing there,” said Basil Al-Nahlawi, general manager of transportation at Careem.
Al-Nahlawi told the network, “CNBC“The price is less expensive than the flight. It will also become cheaper if one person shares the cost with another person.”
But one-day entry across land borders is not allowed during the World Cup, with organizers stipulating that a fan must prove they have a physical residence in Doha for at least five nights.
Also, cars cannot cross the land borders between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as the Qatari authorities require a prior permit for vehicles to enter the country.
Al-Nahlawi said: “What happens is that you open your application and book a car from one of these two cities (Dammam – Al-Ahsa), then a car takes you to the border, and there we have a crew that will help you cross the border and meet another driver waiting for you on the Qatari side.”