The first-of-a-kind project allows households across Qatar to volunteer to host visiting fans during sports events in the Gulf state.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy’s [SC] announced its “Host a Fan” initiative earlier this week, which allows people in Qatar to offer visiting sports fans a cultural experience like no other during tournaments held in the country.
The first-of-its-kind programme was met with mixed reactions online, with most praising the bold move, some mocking it, and others spreading misinformation on how it actually works.
For those interested in participating, here are the rules and conditions:
Potential hosts must register online from 25 September to 12 October. Fans visiting Qatar for the FIFA Arab Cup from 30 November until 18 December and wishing to take part in the initiative can also register online from 2 October until 1 November.
A host is allowed to have a maximum of two guests in the same room on the condition that they are related. This applies to married couples and friends of the same gender. If the two guests are not related, one room should host one guest.
Hosts can decide on the number of guests they with to accommodate in the sign-up process. This will then lead to a site visit from the ‘Host a Fan’ team ahead of the arrival of the guests, to ensure there is adequate space available for accommodation.
Those who live in rented properties can also host fans as the initiative is free of charge. Hosts are not allowed to request payments.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, fans visiting Qatar must adhere to the Ministry of Public Health’s [MoPH] Covid-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of all involved.
People wishing to take part in the initiative must be fully vaccinated.
While hosts must ensure that their residences can accommodate visitors, the fans will be responsible for their own transportation.
In case conflicts occur during the accommodation period, these will be resolved under Qatari law, as per regular procedures through the Ministry of Interior [MOI] and relevant entities.
Neither the Supreme Committee nor the host are responsible for obtaining travel visas for visitors. Travellers coming to Qatar must also register for the Fan ID system through the official portal to facilitate their entry into the country during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021.
The duration of stay can be specified by the host, who will then be matched with a visitor interested in being accommodated for the same period of time.
The duration can be extended based on the agreement of both the visiting fans and hosts.
Fans wishing to extend their stay in Qatar must have a valid visa after 18 December, but they will be fully responsible for their own accommodation and transportation.