TEHRAN: Iran declared on Wednesday that spectators of the 2022 World
Cup finals will be exempt from visa costs, in an attempt to woo some of the
football enthusiasts travelling to Qatar.
The Iranian government’s spokesman, Ali Bahadori-Jahromi, tweeted, “The
cabinet agreed to give visas free for spectators of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar
who desire to visit Iran.”
“This move is intended to attract people to visit Iran during the World
Cup and improve the country’s tourism business,” he added.
This comes after Qatari Transport Minister Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti
visited Iran’s Kish island on Sunday and Monday, signing six cooperation
agreements, according to Iran’s official IRNA news agency.
Doha is a 40-minute flight or a six-hour boat journey away from Kish, a
92-square-kilometer (35-square-mile) resort island with white sand beaches.
“The Qataris are really interested in utilising Iran’s infrastructure
for the 2022 World Cup,” Rostam Ghassemi, Iran’s Transport Minister, said
on Tuesday. “To gain from this event, Iran must employ all of its
strengths,” he continued.
According to Mohammad Mohammadi, the president of Iran’s Civil Aviation
Organization, one of the most important agreements reached was a contract to
boost flights between the two nations from 72 per day to as many as 200 per
The Qatari transport minister also paid a visit to the under-construction
passenger terminal at Kish International Airport, as well as the commercial and
passenger port, according to IRNA.
“Iran’s contribution to the World Cup will be in the fields of air and
sea transportation, as well as the lodging of foreign and Iranian
travellers,” Ghassemi explained.
“We also intend to provide international fans and visitors with the
opportunity to explore Iran’s tourism pearls while they are in the
To promote travel, Iran’s tourism ministry has previously stated that visas
for inbound tourists from Qatar may be waived during the two months of the
During that time, visitors could apply for free single or multi-entry passes
valid for 20 days, according to the ministry.
Iran qualified for the World Cup finals for the third time in a row, and for
the sixth time overall, in January.
In Group ‘B,’ Iran will play arch-rivals the United States and England, who
have never moved past the group stage.