Qatar Launches New Visa-Free Policy for 80 Nationalities

تم نشره في Wed 9 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Officials annoucning the new visa policy at a press conference - (ThePeninsulaQatar)

CAPITALS —AlGhad—Qatari officials announced today, Wednesday, the launch of a visa-free entry programme for 80 nationalities to stimulate air transport and tourism.

"The visa exemption scheme will make Qatar the most open country in the region," said tourism department official Hassan al-Ibrahim, at a press conference in Doha.

Depending on the visitors’ nationalities, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days, allowing them 90 days in Qatar, with multiple-entry; or 30 days, with multiple entry, and a possible one-time extension.
Doha Hamad Int'l Airport - (Archives)

Nationals of 33 countries will be authorised to stay for the 180 day-period and the other 47, will be allowed for up to 30 days.

Interior ministry official Mohamed Rashed al-Mazroui said the nationals of 80 countries would only need to present a valid passport for entry to the energy-rich Gulf state which is to host football's 2022 World Cup, according to the Peninsula Qatar,

The countries were not explicitly named, nor was the launch date of the programme.

However, Qatari newspapers said it would include the UK, the US, Canada, India, South Africa, Seychelles, Australia, and New Zealand.

Mazroui said the countries were selected on the basis of security and economic considerations, or for the buying-power of their nationals.

Qatar Airways chief Akbar al-Baker told the Daily Sabah, that the carrier, which plans this year to extend its network to 62 new destinations, would be a primary beneficiary.

In November 2016, Qatar introduced a free transit visa, which allows passengers of all nationalities transiting in Qatar for a minimum of five hours to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (four days).