The Supercopa de España is set to be held in Saudi Arabia for the first time in its history in 2020. The revamped competition will be played between the 8th to 12th January 2020 at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah. It will play host to four teams from the Spanish La Liga who will compete for the Super Cup itself.
The upcoming match is part of the new deal between La Liga, Spain’s top flight of football, and the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority (GSA) to hold the next 3 Supercopa de España Tournaments in the country between 2020 and 2023.
However, Saudi Arabia is a relatively new player in the international tourism game and its visa requirements and customs are still not well known by international travelers. It’s therefore important to know what rules apply to tourists and what local customs need to be followed in advance of travel for a sporting event such as this.
This article looks at what soccer-loving visitors should do to prepare before traveling to Saudi Arabia to enjoy the match in December. It also provides key information to tourists need to know before visiting the country for any sporting event.
How to Travel to See the Supercopa in Saudi Arabia
Whilst the Middle Eastern Kingdom has not been on the radar of most tourists in recent times, it has now opened its doors to visitors from overseas. In order to travel to Saudi Arabia to see the Supercopa de España 2019-20, travelers will need to be in possession of:
- A valid passport (must be valid for at least 6 additional months on arrival)
- An approved Saudi eVisa
- Accommodation information for their stay in the country
- Proof of onward travel to another destination
The Saudi eVisa has been available to travelers to the country since September 2019. It greatly simplifies the once lengthy and costly process of being authorized to travel to Saudi Arabia with a much easier online application. Once approved it is valid for 1-3 months depending on whether it’s a single entry or multiple entry document.
However, to really enjoy the Supercopa in the country, visitors should come prepared with a ticket to one of the matches themselves. The games are likely to be highly popular for both locals and foreign visitors and in order to avoid disappointment entry to the stadium should be purchased in advance.
Do Any Restrictions Apply to Tourists Visiting Saudi Arabia for Football?
The Middle Eastern kingdom has been known for many years for its conservative dress code and some of its stricter local laws. Nevertheless, the country has started relaxing many of these more stringent regulations and has made many changes to encourage tourism and modernize the country for travelers in the 21st century.
For instance, the country no longer restricts the accommodation of visiting unmarried couples and dress codes for women are also relaxed for female visitors from overseas. Crucially for the Supercopa de España matches, female visitors are also permitted to enter the stadium without a male chaperone for this popular sporting event.
Despite these changes, however, the country still remains culturally religious and is indeed highly proud of its devout Muslim faith. This is no surprise as Saudi Arabia itself is the birthplace of Islam and the home of the annual Haaj pilgrimage.
Quick Facts About Supercopa de España 2019-2020
The matches in 2020 will not be the first time this major head-to-head between La Liga’s best teams has been played abroad. The tournament went overseas for the 2018-19 tournament to Tangier’s in Algeria and will now be played in Saudi Arabia for the next 3 years.
Here is a quick series of facts tourists and fans should know prior to the Supercopa’s kickoff:
- Dates: January 8th -12th, 2020
- Venue: King Abdullah Sports City Stadium
- Stadium capacity: 62,345
- City: Jeddah
- Competing teams: Barcelona, Valencia, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid
The competition is likely to be fierce in the upcoming matches. Seeing the Supercopa de España 2019-20 in-person in Jeddah is sure to be an exciting occasion and by being ready to travel to the country and knowing what to expect on a trip to Saudi Arabia travelers can enjoy the best experience possible.
Remember, it is obligatory to hold a visa to enter Saudi Arabia. Get prepared by applying for a Saudi eVisa before departing to ensure that a trip to the country goes extra smoothly.