Are you ready for a month of top-class football, when the World Cup kicks off in Qatar?
If like me, you find it slightly disconcerting to have this global tournament in the winter, it all makes perfect sense when you consider the Qatari climate. There wouldn’t be many football fans willing to book flights to the Arabian Peninsula in the summer when temperatures can be as high as 41 degrees! The good thing is that November and December is often the best time to visit Qatar when it’s basking in sunshine and glorious heat in the low 20s.
This independent emirate is bordered by Saudi Arabia and shares maritime borders with Bahrain, Iran, and the popular destinations of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Stretching out into the Persian Gulf, Qatar’s international airport has increased in popularity for many people on long-haul flights, both for transiting and stopovers. In fact, Hamad International Airport in Doha has been officially named the world’s best airport in 2022.
Sound far away? Maybe not as far as you think with the flying time from the UK to Qatar as little as just over 6 hours, and you can choose from many airline companies that offer flights to Doha.
After using Qatar Airways with the revolutionary Q-Suite in their business class cabin to get to Qatar World Cup matches, travellers will also have a wide range of places to stay, including luxurious, world-class hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, and Four Seasons in the capital, Doha.
You may be travelling around a little to see the matches, as the fixtures are split across eight stadia. They are in Doha but also in the nearby cities of Lusail, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, and Al Wakrah.
Between fixtures, those visiting Qatar will also find plenty to do on their holiday, from shopping in souks to enjoying Arabian culture at the Museum of Islamic Arts and along the picturesque Al Corniche where one of the best views of the city skyline also happens to be where you can see the official Countdown Clock to the World Cup 2022.
All but one of these venues for world cup matches were purpose-built, with advanced cooling technology installed. This country knows a few things about keeping visitors comfortable, so naturally, many of the tourist attractions around Doha, as well as retail centres and hotels, have excellent air conditioning. Katara Cultural Village even features an outdoor high street with air conditioning!
The World Cup Opening Ceremony, which will no doubt showcase why holidays to Qatar are becoming so popular, is on 20th November at the fabulous 60,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
Then, it’s straight into the Group Stages of the Qatar World Cup, with the first match between the host country and Ecuador in Group A.
The Group structures are:
England faces Iran in their first world cup match on the second day of the tournament, Monday 21st November, at 1 pm in the UK.
Wales squares up against the USA the same day but slightly later at 7 pm UK time.
The Group B Wales vs England match takes place on 29th November.
There has been some concern that the schedule follows just a few days after the Premier League timetable went into its unprecedented World Cup break. Let’s hope that doesn’t affect either of the national teams’ chances… though both the La Liga and Bundesliga players are in a similar situation also.
All 32 countries taking part were given a deadline of 14th November to register their 26-player squads with FIFA. The official announcement of who made the squads usually takes place the following day, however, England manager Gareth Southgate revealed his squad on Thursday 10th November, and Rob Page made the announcement for Wales on Wednesday 9th.
To complete this complex international tournament, there will be four Group matches per day, over 12 days. The Group winners and runners-up will then compete in the knockout stages – including a third-place play-off on 17th December.
Then, after 64 international football matches, the Final of the World Cup will be played on 18th December – Qatar’s National Day – at the Lusail Stadium in Doha.
Football fans don’t have to wait long after the final for more entertainment with Premier League resuming in the UK on Boxing Day, and continuing through until the season finishes with matches on 28th May 2023.
Playing the World Cup in winter for the first time in its 92-year history has proved to be a winner. Ticket sales are at record levels and 1.2 million fans are expected to book breaks in Qatar to see matches. However, there are still tickets available for many of the fixtures.
Booking flights to Doha is still a realistic prospect, with a schedule offering direct flights from British Airways and Qatar Airways from London, Manchester, and Edinburgh. One-stop options from KLM and Air France are also available from several regional airports.
A couple of things to keep in mind before booking… Check the latest travel rules to Qatar to make sure you are eligible for entry, and make sure your passport still has a minimum of six months until it expires. Also, Qatar’s currency is the Qatari riyal, and keep in mind that the legal drinking age is 21, with alcohol only allowed to be consumed on licensed premises.
Get the best advice alongside the best business class flight deals to Qatar by contacting Just Fly Business on 0208 417 1366. Especially when you ask us for assistance in finding the best business-class flight deals for the World Cup 2022.
If the Qatar World Cup isn’t on the cards for you this year, then maybe it’s a good time to start planning a 2023 holiday that includes top-flight football games.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year kicks off from 20th July to 20th August and provides a great opportunity to incorporate some world-class matches while visiting friends and family.
If you prefer to wait for the next men’s World Cup, you need to start planning for 2026. As the tournament will be hosted by three countries, the United States, Mexico, and Canada, starting to research hotels and airlines in advance is not a bad idea. This way you ensure you can truly enjoy the business class flight experience and know what you are looking for in hotel facilities.
It also means you can combine which fixtures you might enjoy with which cities you fancy for a luxury holiday. Confirmed host cities already include top destinations such as Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey, Toronto, and Vancouver.
Keep checking back with us closer to the date when tickets for the 2026 World Cup go on sale and our team of specialists can help find you the best deals on business class flights to your location of choice.