Iran gears up to attract FIFA World Cup fans during the games in November as a way to open the gates of tourism into the country.
During a trip to beach resort in Kish Island in Iran, Qatari transportation minister was welcomed by Iran’s roads minister. Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti also had a meeting with Mr. Mohammad, the chairman of Iran’s Department of Free Trade-Industrial Zones.
The two governments agreed to collaborate on activities to connect Qatar and Iran Flight Information Regions. The two sides also agreed to expand the rate of flights between their respective countries. The talks also included improving transportation coordination and new investment potential in the port sector.
Iranians expect that improved collaboration will make it easier for fans to visit Kish Island, which is a 45 minutes away from Doha by plane or a six-hour ferry ride. Increasing the number of boat lines and aircraft that transport spectators back and forth at regular schedule would facilitate future collaboration.
While Kish is the primary target, Iranian officials think it would be possible to use neighboring islands as well. In the remaining months till October, cities in southern Hormozgan and Bushehr Provinces plan to join the initiative.
They also want to see if any of the safeguards can be extended beyond the World Cup. The initiatives are designed to improve tourist and travel relations between the two nations, but specifics are being worked out.
Boosting regional and trans-regional partnerships during recent years, Iran has been able to secure new financial and political allies. The strategies aided Iran in thwarting US sanctions.
Iran and World Cup
Iran has recurrently announced preparation to host international games including soccer, wrestling, basketball, volleyball, and a host of other games. Sports policymakers, however, referred to financial restrictions due to sanctions as the underlying reason behind rejecting Iran.
“We are now planning to create the grounds for foreign fans and tourists to travel to Iran during their leisure times to visit our country’s attractions as well,” the Iranian transportation minister asserted.
For international travelers, stays in Iran are likely to be substantially less expensive than in Qatari cities. This is partly related to the ongoing depreciation of the Iranian currency as a result of US financial restrictions.
Iranian authorities expect that supporters remain in Kish throughout the World Cup games, and the policy may enhance the country’s economy. The overall outcomes of the COVID-19 outbreak and sanctions have had considerable impact on the sector during the past decade.
According to the president of Iranian Civil Aviation Organization, 72 flights between the two countries are already available daily. He believes the number might increase to 100 flights every day. Mohammadi also stated that during the World Cup games, Iran might facilitate freight transfers between Iran and Qatar.
Iran is also attempting to deploy modern cruise boats in order to make maritime travel to Qatar more convenient. The Iranian Deputy Transportation Minister guaranteed that numerous additional cruise lines will start operating by the end of next month. Iran is considering a temporary visa waiver program for arriving guests from Qatar to promote and ease the visit.
The foreign ministry has agreed to remove visa requirement for visitors from Qatar for two months during the World Cup. Tourists can request for free single or multiple-entry cards for trips of up to 20 days during this period.