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Tue 27 Sep 2016 01:43 PM

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Qatar reveals new visa rules to boost tourism

Transit passengers in Doha will now be allowed a maximum of four days in the Gulf country

Qatar reveals new visa rules to boost tourism
Hamad International Airport. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

A new tourism visa scheme that eases travel to passengers transiting through Doha has been introduced in a bit to promote tourism in Qatar, the Ministry of Interior has announced.

Travellers with a minimum transit time of five hours in Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) will now be allowed to remain in Qatar for up to four days without prior entry visa application.

The previous transit visa rule allowed transit passengers with a minimum layover of eight hours to spend a maximum of two days in the Gulf country.

The move is meant to ease stopovers at Doha, make them more attractive to Qatar Airways passengers and strengthen the country’s position as a tourist destination.

Upon completion of passport control procedures, passengers of all nationalities can opt for the Qatar transit visa free of charge on arrival at HIA.

“Qatar Airways serves millions of people from around the world as they journey across our network of more than 150 destinations. 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 stopovers to travellers,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker.

The new scheme is the third of its kind taken by Qatar to facilitate tourists’ entry into the country. Earlier this year, it announced the introduction of a faster and more transparent tourist visa application scheme as well as a new process to quicken the entry of tourists arriving on board cruise ships.

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