In a bid to recover from its recent isolation by its Middle East neighbors, Qatar announced that it is now granting visa-free entry to citizens of 80 countries.
The announcement was made by the countryâ€™s Ministry of Interior, Qatar Tourism Authority, and Qatar Airways. A multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge to these citizens at the point of entry, with the presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months, and a confirmed return ticket.
Hassan Al Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer at Qatar Tourism Authority has explained that countries now eligible for visa-free travel are divided into two groups.
The first is a group of 33 countries whose citizens are eligible for a waiver that is valid for 180 days and entitled the to spend up to 90 days in Qatar, during a single trip or multiple trips.
These 33 countries are Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.
The second is a group of 47 countries whose visas will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitle its holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar in either a single trip or multiple trips. The waiver can be extended for a further 30 days.
The 47 countries are Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Georgia, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, and Venezuela.
Qatar aims to attract 7.4 million tourists annually by 2030 with its heritage, hospitality, natural treasures, and now, ease of entry.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airwaysâ€™ group chief executive, summed up Qatarâ€™s decision by stating, “While some countries in the region have taken to closing their skies and their borders, Qatar has instead opened its borders to more freely welcoming visitors from all corners of the world.”