Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority have recently announced a visa scheme for travelers who use Hamad International Airport for transit. The authorities have offered a 96-hour transit visa for free to all the passengers of Qatar Airways.
This visa is free and is being given regardless of the nationality of the passengers. The Ministry of Interior is entirely responsible for the granting visa. But for availing this facility, passengers are required to apply at least seven days in advance. This visa scheme was first announced in September in order to attract more tourists in Qatar but the issues with restructuring of the Qatar Airways fares delayed the implementation of the scheme. This scheme therefore has been introduced now with the launch of HIA people mover system. This system has been launched to help passenger move more easily throughout their arriving, departing, and transiting process.
How the process works:
The passengers can easily apply for the visa online. The eligibility requirements are as follows
The passenger must have ticket that displays an onward journey out of Qatar on a flight functioning under international carrier,
A six months valid passport from the time of entrance in Qatar,
And to ease the visa process, a valid email is also required.
This visa should be applied for between of seven and 90 days before entering the country. These days exclude all the public holidays. From the date of issuance, this visa will remain valid for just 90 days and will only be used for a single entry in Qatar. For arriving in Doha, passengers are also required to keep a copy of the pre-approved transit visa. And most importantly for the passengers while on their outward journey from Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE, Bahrain, and Iraq, can have a stopover with the free visa but not when they return.
Tourism in Qatar is dwindling and the news of this free visa scheme will give a boost to this sector. According to the authorities, there has been a 3% decrease in this sector which has contributed to the fall in revenues. But this visa scheme will play an important role in encouraging investors and tourism business owners to take advantage of the given opportunity. This will help a lot in expanding the country’s tourism sector and making it an attractive destination for the tourists around the world.