How Difficult is It to Fly to Doha for World Cup?

The FIFA World Cup is no small feat and definitely the most anticipated mega event of the year. Fans worldwide have put in months of meticulous planning and getting their match tickets ready for the World Cup being held in Doha, Qatar this year. But unless you live in Qatar, getting your flight tickets ready is one of the most important aspects of planning to attend this year’s match. 

As we inch closer to the World Cup, anxious fans in Saudi Arabia are already on the lookout for the best flights on their match dates, and they are running out fast. So how difficult is it to fly to Doha from the Kingdom for the World Cup this year? What are your options for traveling by air? Read ahead to find out. 

How difficult is it to fly to Doha for the World Cup?

Several airlines like Qatar Airways, Saudi Airlines, British Airways and other international airlines have already opened bookings for commercial flights between the matchdays 20 November and 18th December. However, due to the high demand for these tickets, which is expected to skyrocket in the upcoming months, the availability of flights is decreasing daily, as the airfares keep increasing. 

The best you can do right now is to confirm your flight tickets as soon as you get the match tickets after properly planning your travel schedule. Flying to Doha from most Saudi Arabian cities would take you close to 2 hours. Do plan to fly to Doha at least 4 hours before the scheduled match time, as this will help you delegate traffic and airport formalities before getting to the stadium. 

How to fly to Doha this World Cup? 

Now that we know that flights are running out fast let’s look at all flying options at hand. 

Regular flights

Naturally, your first option would be a regular commercial flight from your country of origin to Doha. The Hamad International Airport in Doha caters to several flights to and from Doha every day. During the FIFA season, to ease the influx of passengers into Doha, the currently non-operative Doha International Airport is also set to reopen and manage flights. 

Saudia and Qatar Airways have two direct flights scheduled between Riyadh and Doha for the months November-December, which would take you 1 hour 30 minutes to reach Doha with airfares starting between SAR 1,000 to 2,000. Similarly, getting to Doha from Jeddah is easy as you have two direct flights everyday, starting from SAR 2,700 with Saudia. Qatar Airways plans to fly four daily flights between the two cities.  

Shuttle flights 

Fans are quickly running out of flights and hotels for their stay in Doha and have resorted to finding alternate accommodations in nearby countries. For the convenience of such visitors, airlines like Qatar Airways, flydubai, Saudia, Air Arabia and more international airline carriers have announced shuttle flights from Doha, where flights would land and depart from Doha on the same day, allowing fans to attend the match without having to worry about finding a place to stay in Doha. 

Qatar Airways has so far planned to fly close to 40 flights, on every day of the tournament. Same-day flights will also be operated by Saudia from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam to Doha. Saudia has already started taking bookings for the same-day special flights to Doha.

Chartered flights 

In addition to scheduled commercial and shuttle flights, you can opt for chartered private flights from your country of stay to Doha. Chartered flights and private jets arrive at the Doha International Airport. Despite the affordability concerns, chartered flights can be cost-effective and convenient if you travel in groups. Moreover, this way, you will have more control over the flight timings and fly according to your comfort. 

Aviation Horizons, NasJet, Saudia Private Aviation and KlasJet are leading private air carriers in Saudi Arabia, offering premium service and privacy on the journey to and from Doha.  

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Steve has vast experience in writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures.