Visitors who have a layover in Qatar for 5 hours or more can now get a free 4-day transit visa.
Previously, passengers were also required to have a minimum layover of 8 hours to apply for a transit visa. That’s now been reduced to 5 hours. The ministry of interior is also increasing the duration of the transit visa from 48 hours to 96 hours.
Qatar’s visa initiative is similar to a 4-day transit introduced in the UAE last year. Transit passengers can now get the visas at Hamad International Airport’s (HIA) Arrivals immigration desk by showing proof of their onward journey.
This new scheme is open to all passengers, regardless of nationality. Under the revised guidelines, transit passengers will no longer need to apply for an entry visa ahead of time.
We visited HIA a few months ago an the Airport is amazing with Harrod’s and lovely lounges that we wrote about (check article here). There has always been a FREE tour of DOHA that you can schedule during your transit hours. Now, it will be easier traveling on Qatar Airways (which we think is the best in the region) on long haul flights and break the travel a day or two in Doha!
The Ministry of Interior, Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways announced the initiative jointly on Monday to mark World Tourism Day on September 27.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker also indicated that the airline would look at reducing the current high costs of booking stopovers in Doha:
“Whether travelling for business or leisure, we want to enrich the journey of all of our passengers and are restructuring our fares to reflect this initiative and to promote stopovers to travelers.”
The new transit visa is the third initiative QTA has announced this month, in a clear effort to promote Qatar as a tourism destination.
— National Tourism Council – المجلس الوطني للسياحة (@NTC_Qatar) September 22, 2016
Last week, QTA announced a streamlined visa procedure for cruise ship passengers visiting the country.
This step would make Qatar Airways even cooler than it already is. We have traveled on Qatar Airways and we think it’s the best in the region. You should try it too. Click on this link to BOOK you Ticket now on board Qatar Airways and visit the new Airport and Doha city for FREE!