Travellers from 80 countries will now be able to visit Qatar without a visa, in a move aimed at attracting visitors to the Middle Eastern country.
The change – which will waive both the application and the fee – was announced by the country’s Ministry of Interior, the Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways this week, with the policy going into effect immediately. Now, when travellers from those 80 countries arrive, they will be given a multi-entry waiver at their port of entry, as long as they have a passport that’s valid for six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
The affected countries are split into two groups: for citizens of 33 countries – including countries in the Schengen area, as well as the Bahamas, Seychelles, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia and more, the waiver will be valid for 180 days from the date of issue and allow the traveller to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar with multiple entries; for citizens of 47 countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, the UK, the US and many more. It will be valid for 30 days from the date of issue, and the traveller can spend 30 days in Qatar with the opportunity to apply for an extension for 30 more days.
Earlier this year, Qatar Airways, the country’s national carrier, launched another initiative aimed at getting travellers to spend time in the country. The airline announced a stopover programme that would offer luxury hotel stays and free transit visas for people travelling through the city and allow them to stop and stay for a while.