Five things you need to know if following Chelsea at the FIFA Club World Cup and travelling to the UAE

For those of you travelling to the FIFA Club World Cup, here’s a heads up on how to stay safe.

Covid Status needed to enter to UAE for the Club World Cup:

Fans going to Abu Dhabi will need to download the Al Hosn app and show their ‘green status’ and a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before entry. ‘Green status’ will apply to those fully vaccinated, defined as having received two doses of a Covid vaccine as recognised in the UAE.

Proof of a booster is required if you second dose was received more than six months ago. Children under 12 are not required to be fully vaccinated.

Those that do not download the Al Hosn app must have a double vaccination certificate, uploaded on their registration forms to arrive in the country. You can read more about that here.

Drugs and Alcohol:

It’s a punishable offendence under UAE law to drink or be under the influence of alcohol in public. Disorderly, abusive or disruptive behaviour can often lead to alcohol charges.

Tourists and visitors can buy and drink alcohol in licensed venues, such as hotels, restaurants and bars but a Ministry of Tourism law prevents hotels from serving alcohol to under-21’s.

On drugs – there is a zero tolerance to even residual amounts and the punishments are severe.

Unacceptable in the UAE:

Ladies – you need to dress modestly in public, it’s for your own safety. Ensure that the tops of your arms and legs are covered and that your underwear is not visible.

Gents – it’s not a tops off situation.

Public displays of affection are frowned upon and it is not uncommon for arrests to be made for kissing. All sex outside marriage (as acknowledged by the UAE) is illegal, irrespective of the relationship you have with your partner in the UK.

Sexual relationships outside of marriage runs the risk of prosecution and it is against the law to share a hotel room with someone of the opposite sex to whom you aren’t married or closely related.

Please be aware that homosexuality is still illegal in the UAE and same-sex marriages are not recognised.

Inside the Stadium:

FIFA hasn’t announced that any fan zones will be in operation at the time of writing, so it’s probably best to assume that you will not be able to get any alcohol inside the ground either unless you are seated in premium or hospitality areas. Remember, don’t drink in public on the way to the stadium and don’t try and sneak any in either, it just isn’t worth it.

Current guidance states that supporters must wear face masks inside the stadium. And on the pitch, we will see the use of robot-refs as FIFA trials the use of a computer algorithm to determine offside decisions, with the aim using the technology in this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Photography and Media:

So, taking photographs of some government buildings is not allowed and nor is photographing people without their permission so keep that in mind.

Posting anything online that is critical of the UAE, its society, its people or deemed to be culturally insensitive is also a crime punishable under UAE law. If you do have a dodgy meal or encounter some gruffness from the locals, it’s probably best to leave it until you get home to have a grumble.

If you carry out any media activity at the game with the intention to publish or broadcast then you must obtain the appropriate permission from the Emirati authorities in advance.

For further advice check out the Foreign Office’s advice on

Written by Rosy Cobb (@WeKnowWWA)

Edited by Tom Coley (@tomcoley49)

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