On August 9, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways announced that the country will authorise visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries. This is a step undertaken by the country to boost air transport and tourism and came into effect immediately.
To visit Qatar, citizens of these 80 countries will only require a passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.India, Lebanon, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States are few of the 80 countries which will enjoy this benefit. Their citizens won’t need to apply or pay for visa, yet a multi-entry waiver will be issued at the port of entry.Based on the visitors’ nationality, the duration of the multi-entry waiver will be valid from a minimum of 30 days to a maximum of 180 days from the issuing date. 33 countries have been granted 180 days visa waiver on arrival and the rest 47 countries will have 30 days visa waiver on arrival.
Qatar made the announcement in the midst of a two-month boycott that has been imposed on the Gulf state by neighbouring countries.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Akbar Al Baker said, “The announcement places the State of Qatar as the most open country in the region. This is a momentous occasion for Qatar, making the number of nationalities eligible to enter our country without a visa the highest in the region, which is something that we are very proud of.”
Hassan Al-ibrahim, the Chief Tourism Development Officer at Qatar Tourism Authority, said that this measure will boost the country’s tourism industry. At a press conference in Doha, Hassan Al-ibrahim stated, “We are delighted to invite visitors to discover our renowned hospitality, cultural heritage and natural treasures.”