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Revised tourism visa scheme improves passenger transit time

A revised tourism visa scheme is now available to passengers transiting through Doha. The announcement was made by Qatar Tourism Authority, together with Qatar Airways and Interior Ministry in Qatar, aimed at promoting Qatar as a world-class stopover destination.

This new transit visa structure permits passengers with a minimum transit time of 5 hours in Hamad International Airport, and they are allowed to stay in Qatar for upto 96 hours (four days), without the need for applying ahead of time for an entry visa.

This marks a major rise from the earlier transit visa scheme, which allowed travellers with a minimum layover of eight hours to spend a maximum of 48 hours (two days) in Qatar. This increase aims to make stopovers more easy and attractive to global passengers of Qatar Airways, and aims to offer additional value to the local economy, while also strengthening Qatar’s position as an attractive tourist destination.

The Qatar transit visa is free of charge and is available on arrival at Hamad International Airport, to passengers of all nationalities, upon confirmation of onward journey and on completion of passport control procedures. All visas are approved and issued at the sole discretion of Ministry of Interior.

According to Akbar Al Baker, the Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, the airline serves millions of people from across the world, and as they travel across various destinations for business or leisure, Qatar Airways intends to enrich their journey and hence, the fares are being restructured and stopovers are promoted.

With this new initiative, passengers have the opportunity to taste the cultural highlights of Doha and Qatar, and they get to discover Qatar, an experience, which will stay in their hearts and minds forever, he said.

This new development was announced on the eve of World Tourism Day. This is the third in a series of announcements that Qatar has made to facilitate entry into the Qatar smoother for its visitors. Last week, Qatar announced new process to hasten entry of tourists arriving on board cruise ships, and before that a deal was signed with VFS Global to see the development of a new, quicker and transparent tourist visa application mechanism.

The Chief Tourism Development Officer of Qatar Tourism Authority, Hassan Al Ibrahim, said that introduction of a new transit visa scheme is a step ahead towards positioning Doha as a turn-around port for cruise ships.

Al Ibrahim further said that in the near future, international cruise passengers can fly to Qatar using a transit visa, and they can end their cruise in Doha.
This will improve the duration of their stay in Qatar and allow them to explore the tourism offering in the country, which in-turn will increase the economic impact of cruise tourism, he commented.

To take complete advantage of their stopover in Qatar, visitors can explore Discover Qatar stopover packages by Qatar Airways Holidays, which include desert safaris, visits to Katara Cultural Village, City Touris, Souq Waqif, The Pearl-Qatar Island Museum and Art Gallery visits, architectural tours and hotel bookings.

Posted on 27/9/2016

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