DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar has tested a ton of buses ahead of next month’s World Cup, which will bring an estimated 1.2 million football fans to the small Gulf country, officials said on Tuesday.
About 4,000 buses will be used during the month-long competition starting on November 20, said Thani Al-Zalaah, who oversees transport preparations. This includes about 1,000 existing vehicles, plus 3,000 buses acquired for the World Cup, he said. He said.
About 700 of the new buses will be electric, he told The Associated Press. Fans can also use Qatar’s subway system.
Buses will transport passengers between major transport hubs and the eight stadiums where the games will be held. Over the weekend, authorities conducted tests on about 1,800 buses without passengers.
Travel is free for holders of the government-issued Hayacard required for stadium entry. The accompanying app has features that allow fans to plan their trips.
All visitors to Qatar will need a Haya Card to enter Qatar from 1 November to 23 January, even if they are not planning to attend a match. Cardholders can also enter the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
This will be the first World Cup hosted by an Arab or Muslim country. Qatar, a tiny emirate in the Persian Gulf, is one of the richest countries on earth thanks to its vast natural gas reserves.