Qatar invites Aussie travellers to stop over
AUSTRALIAN travellers passing through Qatar can now spend up to four days exploring the country in a new visa deal to encourage tourists to visit. Qatar Airways, which is government-owned, has paired up with the Qatar Tourism Authority to offer the visa for free to passengers who have a stopover in Doha.
The city sits on the coastline of the Persian Gulf and is known for its extreme weather.
Australians going through Hamad International Airport can apply for the transit visa up to a week before their flight.
Passengers with a layover of five hours or more are eligible for the visa.
“Our collaboration with Qatar Tourism Authority in setting the new transit visa enables our passengers to explore the country and its hospitality,” Qatar Airways Group chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said.
“The tourism industry in Qatar is experiencing considerable growth inspired by the vision of our leadership for an economically diverse future.”
In a statement, QA said it had restructured its fares on international flights transiting through Hamad
International Airport to allow for the visa to be introduced for free.
The Qatar Tourism Authority hopes the visa will attract international visitors.
“We have witnessed remarkable interest in the new transit visa scheme from passengers who anticipate a stopover in Qatar, and we expect this interest to translate into an increase in visitor arrivals over the coming months,” QTA chief tourism development officer Hassan Al Ibrahim said.
Passengers will need to apply for the visa before travelling and it can only be used once in a return journey.
Hamad International Airport had more than 17 million travellers pass through its terminals in the first half of 2016.
Qatar Airlines flies from Perth, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.
Its flights to locations such as London and Edinburgh all stop over in Doha.