(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
#qatar 2022 fazeena saleem |
The Ministry of Interior's announcement to extend the validity of the Hayya Card for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 fans and organizers has brought smiles to the face of many who plan to revisit the country hassle-free.
Visitors and residents welcomed the decision seeing it as an opportunity to meet friends and families in Qatar and explore the country.
On Monday, the Ministry announced the validity extension of the Hayya Card for fans and organizers, whereby its holders from outside the country will be allowed to enter Qatar until January 24, 2024.
The Peninsula spoke to some Hayya Card holders outside the country and to residents who hosted their friends and families during the World Cup.
“A great decision by the authorities,” said Anna Sunil Jaison from the Indian State of Kerala. She visited Qatar during the World Cup, and it was an opportunity to reunite with her family.
“This decision will help many families to revisit Qatar and be with their dear ones for a longer period,” Anna said adding that during her visit in December 2022, she enjoyed going to many places in Doha including The Pearl, Katara, and malls.“It was definitely a memorable experience and look forward to visiting Qatar again soon,” she said.
All Hayya Card holders visiting Qatar will have access to the 'Hayya with Me' feature which allows Hayya Card holders to invite up to three family members or friends, a multiple-entry permit to the country, use the e-Gate system for entry and exit via State ports, and no fees are required.
“Qatar has made it easy for us to revisit the country. I have already shared my plans with friends in Qatar; I'll return soon,” said Hamza Hanifa, a Sri Lankan football fan – who visited Qatar during the World Cup and stayed here until January 23.
He said that the lifestyle and living standards in Qatar encouraged him to stay long during the World Cup and will revisit the country for the same reason.“Life in Qatar is vibrant,” said Hanifa adding that Qatar changed his perception of the Middle Eastern region.“We always get a desert feel when talking about the Middle East. Qatar totally changed my perception, and I will definitely visit again to feel the vibe of Doha,” he added.
Among the conditions required for Hayya Card holders during the visit is proof of a confirmed hotel reservation or accommodation with family or friends approved through the Hayya portal, health insurance – which is mandatory for all visitors starting from today, February 1.
“The requirements are easy and hassle-free for the visitors and host. I had a few friends coming here for the World Cup; it was an amazing experience and a lot of fun - also meeting them after a long time due to the pandemic was like a breath of fresh air. I would love to have my friends back,” said Afreen a long-term resident, who received friends and family visiting from Canada, Pakistan, and Bahrain during the World Cup.
A Tunisian resident Houssem, who also hosted family and friends during the World Cup, said:“Hayya Card holders having a multiple-entry permit to the country is a great advantage. During the World Cup, everyone was busy, and more attention was given to watching matches, when people revisit the country, it will be an opportunity to explore more places.”