Qatar waives en­try visa re­quire­ments for ci­ti­zens of 80 coun­tries

Business Traveller (India) - - UPFRONT -

Qatar’s Min­istry of In­te­rior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Author­ity (QTA) and Qatar Air­ways have an­nounced that Qatar now al­lows visa-free en­try for ci­ti­zens of 80 coun­tries, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

Upon pre­sen­ta­tion of a pass­port with a min­i­mum va­lid­ity of six months and a con­firmed on­ward or re­turn ticket, ci­ti­zens of cer­tain coun­tries will be is­sued a multi-en­try waiver free-of-charge at the port of en­try. Ci­ti­zens of these coun­tries wish­ing to visit Qatar will no longer need to ap­ply or pay for a visa.

There are two types of waivers ap­pli­ca­ble, de­pend­ing on the na­tion­al­ity of the visi­tor.

Na­tion­als of 33 coun­tries (not in­clud­ing In­dia) do not re­quire prior visa ar­range­ments and can ob­tain a visa waiver upon ar­rival in Qatar. The waiver will be valid for 180 days from the date of is­suance and en­ti­tles its holder to spend up to 90 days in Qatar, dur­ing ei­ther a sin­gle trip or on mul­ti­ple trips.

Na­tion­als of the re­main­ing 47 coun­tries, in­clud­ing In­dia, do not re­quire prior visa ar­range­ments and can ob­tain a visa waiver upon ar­rival in Qatar. The waiver is valid for 30 days from the date of is­suance and en­ti­tles its holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, dur­ing ei­ther a sin­gle trip or on mul­ti­ple trips. This waiver may be ex­tended for a fur­ther 30 days.

Qatar is also con­sid­er­ing fur­ther en­hance­ments to its visa pol­icy, such as waiv­ing visa re­quire­ments for hold­ers of a res­i­dence per­mit or a valid visa from the na­tions of the Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Ara­bia, and the United Arab Emi­rates), United King­dom, United States of Amer­ica, Canada, Aus­tralia, New Zealand or the Schen­gen coun­tries. This waiver would al­low el­i­gi­ble vis­i­tors to ob­tain an Elec­tronic Travel Au­tho­ri­sa­tion by com­plet­ing a sim­ple on­line ap­pli­ca­tion at least 48 hours prior to travel.

“To­day’s an­nounce­ment places the State of Qatar as the most open coun­try in the re­gion. This is a mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion for Qatar, mak­ing the num­ber of na­tion­al­i­ties el­i­gi­ble to en­ter our coun­try with­out a visa, the high­est in re­gion, which is some­thing that we are very proud of. This im­por­tant ini­tia­tive from the Min­istry of In­te­rior and Qatar Tourism Author­ity will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to wel­come even more vis­i­tors, from even more coun­tries, to ex­pe­ri­ence the many ex­cit­ing at­trac­tions that await them,”says His Ex­cel­lency Ak­bar Al Baker, group chief ex­ec­u­tive of Qatar Air­ways.

“Eas­ing en­try to Qatar is a key en­abler for the growth of Qatar’s tourism in­dus­try. With this an­nounce­ment we are al­ready turn­ing the pages of the Next Chap­ter of Qatar’s jour­ney to­wards 2030. To­gether with our part­ners in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors, we have ex­am­ined all of the el­e­ments needed to cre­ate a smooth and en­tic­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that can at­tract vis­i­tors from around the world. With 80 coun­tries el­i­gi­ble for a visa waiver, Qatar is now the most open coun­try in the re­gion and we are de­lighted to in­vite vis­i­tors to dis­cover our renowned hos­pi­tal­ity, cul­tural her­itage and natural treasures,” says Has­san Al Ibrahim, chief tourism de­vel­op­ment officer at QTA.

In Novem­ber last year, Qatar in­tro­duced a free tran­sit visa, which al­lows pas­sen­gers of all na­tion­al­i­ties tran­sit­ing through Qatar a min­i­mum of five hours to 96 hours stay in the coun­try. In May this year, QTA launched +Qatar with Qatar Air­ways, a cam­paign to pro­mote the coun­try as a stopover des­ti­na­tion. These strate­gies have re­sulted in a 39 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of stopover vis­i­tors dur­ing the first six months of this year, com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

(En­try to Qatar is ap­proved at the sole dis­cre­tion of Qatar’s Min­istry of In­te­rior.) vis­itqatar.qa; qatarair­ways.com

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