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New transit visa scheme gets effective from today

The new transit visa scheme, which permits passengers with a stopover time of five hours or more at Hamad International Airport, to seek a complimentary transit visa, is effective from today, the 1st November 2016.

According to QTA (Qatar Tourism Authority), the new system allows passengers of all nationalities transiting through Qatar, to enter Qatar and stay for up to 96 hours in between flights. All visas are granted at the sole discretion of the Ministry of Interior in Qatar.

Passengers can apply for free transit visa through Qatar Airways’ offices or online. To gain eligibility for transit visa, passengers should have a confirmed ticket for a two-way journey, into and out of Qatar, on a Qatar Airways operated flight. The terms and conditions for the same can be found at

To apply for free transit visa, passengers should possess a passport with six month validity from the time of their arrival in Qatar. A valid email is also required to facilitate visa process, which can be applied for minimum seven days, excluding public holidays, prior to arrival in Qatar.

On approval, the transit visa would be valid for 90 days from the date of issuance, and will be valid for a single entry into Qatar. Passengers are required to carry a copy of pre-approved transit visa at the time of boarding at the airport of origin, and on arrival into Qatar.

The initiative to introduce free transit visa is due to collaboration between Qatar Airways, Qatar Tourism Authority, to position Qatar as a tourist-friendly destination and to attract more global visitors.

Qatar Airways has also restructured fares for international flights transiting through Hamad International Airport. This will allow passengers to have a stopover at Doha, without any additional fares on their ticket. But, passengers travelling from GCC and Middle East on return tickets will be able to have a stopover in Doha on their outbound journey without any additional charges.

The Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, said that Qatar Airways is committed to make Doha a world-class tourist destination. Through the new transit visa, passengers can explore the country and its hospitality.

The Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA, Hassan Al Ibrahim,  confirmed that there has been considerable interest in the new transit visa scheme from passengers who are seeking a stopover in Qatar.

Posted on 1/11/2016

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