Nov 23, 2022By: Srishti Magan
With Qatar hosting the World Cup 2022, the US and UK have issued exhaustive advisories for citizens travelling to Qatar, listing the Dos and Don'ts for the World Cup regarding dress code, food and alcohol consumption, and even over-the-counter medicines. Here are some of the important guidelines:
Alcohol consumption is banned in Qatar. Fans can now consume alcohol only in designated areas outside the stadium or at specially licensed restaurants and bars.
Visitors can’t disrespect Qatar or its traditions verbally or on social media. Furthermore, you can’t take photos or videos that include insensitive content targeted against Qatar or its traditions. Even for journalists, vloggers, or other content creators, photography or videography in sensitive areas is prohibited without special permissions.
Visitors are advised to keep their knees and shoulders covered at all times, irrespective of the heat, or else they may be booked under Qatari laws.
Sexual intercourse outside of marriage is a crime in Qatar. While exceptions have been made to allow unmarried friends or couples visiting during the world cup to stay in the same hotel room, PDA, or public display of affection, is strictly prohibited.
Homosexualty is a crime in Qatar. Though an exception has been made to allow same-sex couples visiting Qatar for the world cup to stay together in hotel rooms, they can’t indulge in public displays of affection as that would be considered a disrespect to local traditions.
Visitors can’t bring any pork products, alcohol, or drugs into the country.
Violating the rule on alcohol consumption could cost approximately $800 in fines or even incarceration (for up to six months), while smuggling alcohol into Qatar could lead to deportation and/or three years in prison. Additionally, indulging in PDA, same-sex relationships, or insulting Qatar’s traditions could also trigger harsh punishments and/or arrest.
Apart from these advisories, as per the stadium code of conduct by FIFA for World Cup Qatar 2022, whistles, loudspeakers, or instruments emitting loud noises, and outside food (with the exception of baby food or medically appropriated food) are also prohibited in the stadium.
US journalist Grant Wahl was detained at a stadium in Qatar and asked to change his shirt because it had a pride symbol (rainbow). Later, he was allowed into the media centre in the same shirt. A security commander and a FIFA rep apologised for the ordeal.
The rulebook for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is in stark contrast to the way other countries hosted the World Cup. In fact for the World Cup in 2014, Brazil was forced to reverse its ban on the sale of alcohol in stadiums.