Qatar Airways, Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar’s Ministry of Interior announced yesterday a revised tourism visa scheme available to passengers transiting through Doha in a move to promote Qatar as a world-class stopover destination. The new transit visa structure now allows passengers with a minimum transit time of five hours in Hamad International Airport, to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (four days), without the requirement to apply ahead of time for an entry visa.
This is a significant increase from the previous transit visa scheme, which allowed travellers with a minimum layover of eight hours to spend a maximum of 48 hours (two days) in Qatar. This increase is designed to make stopovers easier and more attractive to Qatar Airways’ global passengers, and aims to deliver additional value to the local economy while strengthening Qatar’s position as an attractive tourist destination.
The Qatar transit visa is free of charge and available on arrival at Hamad International Airport to passengers of all nationalities, upon confirmation of onward journey and completion of passport control procedures. All visas are approved and issued at the sole discretion of the Ministry of Interior.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways serves millions of people from around the world as they journey across our network of more than 150 destinations. Whether travelling for business or leisure, we want to enrich the journey of all of our passengers and we are restructuring our fares to reflect this initiative and to promote stopovers to travellers. We are excited to offer our passengers the opportunity to taste the cultural highlights that the city of Doha and the State of Qatar have to offer.”
Director General of the General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriates Affairs in the Ministry of Interior, Brigadier Abdullah Salim Al-Ali, said: “The Ministry of Interior strives to support the country’s growth and development, while maintaining security for all visitors and residents. We are pleased to further facilitate the movement of the 30 million passengers who pass through Hamad International Airport every year. We welcome them to spend time in Doha and discover Qatari hospitality.”
Qatar Tourism Authority’s Chief Tourism Development Officer, Mr. Hassan Al Ibrahim, said: “By offering an enhanced transit visa to passengers travelling through Hamad International Airport, Qatar is providing its visitors a welcoming experience from the moment their planes touch down in Doha until they begin their onward journeys to their final destinations. And, as we celebrate World Tourism Day’s Tourism for All theme, we are delighted to make Qatar more accessible to people from around the world and invite them to discover our country, our cultural heritage and our natural treasures.”