Qatar promotes stop-overs by relaxing visa regulations

QatarQatar has made plans to revise its tourism visa scheme for passengers transiting through Doha in an attempt to promote Qatar as a stop-over destination.

The newly introduced transit visa structure allows passengers with a minimum transit time of five hours in Hamad International Airport to remain in the Gulf state for up to four days without having to try and secure an entry visa.

The change is double the previous transit visa scheme which only allowed travellers with a minimum layover of eight hours to spend no more than two days in the country.

It is hoped that the increase will make stop-overs less of a hassle and a more attractive proposition to Qatar Airways’ passengers.

All nationalities are able to secure a free transit visa on arrival, although they will have to confirm the date of their onward journey and pass through passport control procedures.

The Minister of Interior is solely responsible for approving and issuing all visas to passengers within the country.

Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “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 stop-overs 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.”

The development is the third in a series of changes that Qatar has made in an attempt to facilitate entry into the country for visitors.

Earlier in September, officials announced that a new process to speed up the entry of tourists arriving on board cruise ships would be implemented.

The country also signed a deal with VFS Global, which will see the development of a faster and more transparent tourist visa application mechanism.

If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your worldwide travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 29 September 2016

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