What has been done to protect LQBTIQ+ visitors?

Your questions answered

There has been a noticeable lack of public engagement on the issue of LGBTIQ+ rights by the Supreme Committee, the Qatari body responsible for organising the event. Privately they say the laws criminalising same-sex relationships will be suspended during the period of the World Cup until early 2023 as part of the ‘enabling law’ which will be in place during the period.

The Supreme Committee also say they have undertaken training of police forces to ensure sensitivity towards the LGBTIQ+ community. However the training has not been shared and it is mostly likely to be public order training given to higher ranking officers.

If you travel to Qatar be aware of the history and laws of the country. As part of your preparations have in place a plan to alert friends and organisations that can help should you suffer discrimination.

The situation seems to change constantly. The enabling law refers to the decision that certain laws criminalising same-sex relationships will be suspended during the period of the World Cup but the precise laws that will be suspended is not yet known. The position we mention in the previous answer may be the situation now but it could be different by November. It is hard to tell until there are public guarantees of safety for the LGBTIQ+ community from the Qatar government.

It should be noted that the change in law will do nothing to protect local LGBTIQ+ people, they will not dare to be visible for fear of retribution.

Recent reports that hotels refused room bookings from same-sex couples show that exclusionary attitudes persist. FIFA, who had approved the hotels for the official accommodation list, say this will not happen again.

Should you be refused access to hotel bookings because of your sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sexual characteristics you should report it both to FIFA through their grievance mechanism and through other reporting systems that will be put in place.

The Supreme Committee say that ‘everybody is welcome’ at the 2022 Men’s World Cup and that nobody will be prevented from entering the country based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sexual characteristics.

The Supreme Committee also say that airport staff have been trained in order to ensure there is an atmosphere of tolerance. But beware of unnecessary checks and body searches. The process to get into Qatar for LGBTIQ+ people should not be any different to that for other visitors.

What greets you when you arrive in Doha is a modern city with a big skyline and wide boulevards. Most supporters will spend time in a giant fan park, where they will be able to watch matches on giant screens. There is a shortage of overall accommodation, but additional rooms may be made available closer to kick-off.

Training on LGBTIQ+ inclusion has purportedly been given to all security staff and police. However, the Supreme Committee have been reticent about the specifics of the training and about who has verified and delivered the training content. As such, the Coalition cannot with confidence say that the training is sufficient to ensure fair, safe and respectful treatment of LGBTIQ+ people.

Officially, yes. FIFA are clear that the Rainbow flag will be permitted inside stadiums. The Supreme Committee say that Rainbow flags will be allowed on the streets of Qatar.

However, there is not a tradition of displaying the flag and it has been seen as an undesirable symbol. Last year toys in Qatari shops were removed because they were in Rainbow colours.

Senior police commanders have also made public statements that contradict the open approach. Major Al Ansari, responsible for World Cup security, said in April 2022 that rainbow flags may be taken away in order to ‘protect’ LGBTIQ+ people.

Should any visitors to Qatar have their LGBTIQ+ inclusive flags, clothing or accessories removed, they should report it through FIFA’s Grievance Mechanism and through other reporting tools.

Public displays of affection between couples are not common in Qatar. This applies equally whether in a queer or heterosexual relationship. The cultural norms of the region mean that holding hands would be permissible but kissing
in public is considered highly inappropriate, regardless of sexuality. Kissing in public will be seen by Qataris as offensive.

If you have any issues in Qatar based on your sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or sexual characteristics, please do report them to emergency services. The number to dial for all emergency services (police, ambulance) in Qatar is 999.

If you are arrested you have the right as a foreign citizen to legal representation and for your embassy or consulate to be informed.

If you experience or witness any acts of discrimination during the FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar, please report them immediately to local police or stewards. It is not acceptable for LGBTIQ+ people to suffer verbal or physical abuse, and such incidents should be responded to immediately by police.

Inside stadiums there will be systems in place to identify acts of discrimination and initiate action. After the event report it via FIFA’s Grievance Mechanism and other methods.

There has been no unified call from activists or sports stakeholders to boycott the 2022 Qatar Men’s World Cup. However, it is still possible to put pressure on your FA, sponsors, media representatives and fan groups to make public calls for LGBTIQ+ people’s safety. We encourage all organisations to conduct what is called human rights due diligence to ensure they are not causing any additional harm to LGBTIQ people’s rights and safety.

For more information, please visit the How Can You Help? section of this site.

There have been no adequate reassurances of safety for local LGBTIQ+ Qataris made by the Qatar Supreme Committee. There is seemingly no consideration of legacy regarding LGBTIQ+ rights in the region. The Coalition is trying its best to ensure our actions cause no additional harm to local LGBTIQ+ individuals.

The number to dial for all emergency services (police, ambulance) in Qatar is 999. Most operators will be able to speak English or be able to refer to colleagues. Most police will speak Arabic as a first language but there will be English speakers amongst them.

Most countries have diplomatic missions in Qatar. Before you travel we recommend you keep details such as the number and address of your embassy to hand in case of emergencies.

You can find a full list of embassies and consulates here.