UAE to grant visas to World Cup ticket holders

Sports

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates will grant visas to those holding tickets to the World Cup in neighboring Qatar, the country announced Tuesday.

The UAE said in a statement those registered for Qatar’s Hayya fan card will be able to apply for multiple-entry visas 19 days before the tournament starts. Those granted visas will be able to stay for up to 90 days in the UAE, home to flashy Dubai and oil-rich Abu Dhabi.

Many fans are planning to base themselves in the UAE and neighboring countries for the monthlong tournament, as organizers expect a tight accommodation squeeze in tiny Qatar that has never hosted an event on this scale.

Hotels in the tourism hub of Dubai say some fans are booking rooms and planning to commute to matches by air. Dozens of flights will leave from the UAE to the host city of Doha each day. Saudi Arabia has also announced that those registered for the fan card can apply for multiple-entry visas to the kingdom.

The Hayya card is mandatory for ticket holders going to the World Cup in November and December.

The UAE’s website for visas is www.icp.gov.ae.