Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways today announced that Qatar will allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, effective immediately.
A multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
Depending on the nationality of the visitor, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days, from the date of issue, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry waiver); or it will be valid for 30 days from the date of issue and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar with the possibility of applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days (multiple- entry waiver).
Qatar Airways group chief executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Today’s announcement places the State of Qatar as the most open country in the region… We are extremely honoured to bring millions of people each year to our beautiful, welcoming and historic country. This important initiative from the Ministry of Interior and Qatar Tourism Authority will provide an opportunity to welcome even more visitors.”
According to Hassan Al Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer at QTA, visa facilitation is a critical component of the national tourism sector strategy, and a revised strategy to encourage growth of tourism is set to be launched on 27 September 2017, when Qatar hosts the official celebrations of World Tourism Day.
Al Ibrahim added: “Easing entry to Qatar is a key enabler for the growth of Qatar’s tourism industry… There is no doubt that facilitating and streamlining access at all ports of entry are key factors in creating a positive first and lasting impression of Qatar.”
This plus other factors saw a 39% increase in the number of stopover visitors during the first six months of 2017, compared with the same period last year.