Hayya Platform CEO Saeed Ali al-Kuwari has said that the tremendous success achieved during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 greatly contributed to the platform's continued provision of all its services post-tournament.
He highlighted a shift in focus towards visitors, aiming to enhance ambitious tourism plans in Qatar by offering numerous services through the Hayya platform. Doha will host the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 from Jan 12 to Feb 10, with 24 participating teams, playing a total of 51 matches in nine stadiums.
In exclusive remarks to Qatar News Agency (QNA), al-Kuwari said that the Hayya platform was a creation of the country's insightful leaders that came to life during the World Cup 2022. He noted that it now serves as the gateway for attending various events in Qatar, with anyone wishing to enter the country having to utilise this platform to choose from the range of visas available, spanning events like the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 and the World Aquatics Championships, along with numerous other tournaments hosted by Qatar.
He emphasised that, during the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023, the platform will provide information on transportation and various options to access events using diverse means of transportation. This includes taxi booking service Karwa through the platform and a fan alert programme. Registration on the platform is a prerequisite for those seeking media permits for the continental tournament.
Al-Kuwari explained that the platform's continuity required the official introduction of tourist visas within the platform. The first step was launching the new tourist visas on the platform for all countries. Hence, anyone wishing to visit Qatar must apply through the platform to obtain the visa. He pointed out that the following step was for the Hayya platform to manage new events, incorporating all event services in Qatar through the platform, offering complete support and services for visitors to enjoy events in Qatar.
He highlighted that evolving the platform's concept from fan visas to tourist visas and from a program for fans to one for events in Qatar has been highly successful.
He noted that many events held in Qatar utilise the Hayya platform, which provides all necessary visitor services and comprehensive details about existing events and their schedules.
He said that the tourist visas available on the Hayya platform are flexible for attending various events as per the conditions. Those who have Hayya visas will gain entry through electronic gates at Hamad International Airport.
Moreover, visitors arriving via the Abu Samra land border will have the option of using the Hayya platform's pre-registration service (which is optional) for easy entry into the country by obtaining vehicle permits. Additionally, the application will provide GCC citizens with an option to obtain entry permits for accompanying individuals from GCC countries.
He stressed that those interested in visiting Qatar can apply through the platform, and a response will be provided within 48 hours. He emphasised that visas issued via the Hayya platform are not valid for work and cannot be converted into work visas, subject to clear conditions and instructions listed on the website.
The CEO of the Hayya platform said that the platform is a Qatari product made from scratch under the supervision of a group of Qatari innovators. He said that there were significant challenges during the FIFA World Cup and after the tournament, among them was the ability to handle the enormous volume of requests in a short period of time. There were around a million requests from Nov. 1, to Nov. 20, 2022.
Al-Kuwari noted that they managed to overcome these obstacles in co-operation with authorities in the country. The "Haya" mobile application has become a clear indication of significant progress in Qatar's digital transformation.
Al-Kuwari emphasised that the integration of the Hayya platform services across governmental and non-governmental sectors made it integral to any event in Qatar.
He noted that the user base for Hayya applications has now reached approximately 3.8mn, supported by a round-the-clock call centre addressing platform-related concerns. He revealed that there are discussions to expand the platform's offerings with additional services for visitors.
It's worth noting that the Hayya to Qatar 2022 mobile application recently won the gold award for the best mobile application at the Middle East & North Africa Digital Awards 2022. The application, developed by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, played a significant role in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and was a fundamental part of achieving a successful hosting of the global event. It stands as an important milestone deserving pride from the team that worked diligently on its development and launch for users.
The application provided fans with access to World Cup stadiums and served as a central source of information about major entertainment, cultural events, and activities during the football festival. Additionally, it was used to promote the country's prominent landmarks and tourist attractions by the local organising committee of the tournament.
The digital Hayya platform remains the official gateway for visitors to Qatar and is part of the operational plans for both Expo 2023 Doha and the upcoming AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023.
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