Qatar transit passengers can now get free 4-day visas
Sanjiban Ghosh/Flickr

Visitors who have a layover in Qatar for 5 hours or more can now get a free 4-day transit visa.

Transit passengers can get the visas at Hamad International Airport’s Arrivals immigration desk by showing proof of their onward journey.

This new scheme is open to all passengers, regardless of nationality.

qatar airways

The Ministry of Interior, Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways announced the initiative jointly on Monday to mark World Tourism Day on September 27.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker also indicated that the airline would look at reducing the current high costs of booking stopovers in Doha:

“Whether travelling for business or leisure, we want to enrich the journey of all of our passengers and are restructuring our fares to reflect this initiative and to promote stopovers to travelers.”

What’s changed

Under the revised guidelines, transit passengers will no longer need to apply for an entry visa ahead of time.

Previously, passengers were also required to have a minimum layover of 8 hours to apply for a transit visa. That’s now been reduced to 5 hours.

MOI is also increasing the duration of the transit visa from 48 hours to 96 hours.

museum of Islamic art
Abdurahman Warsame

Qatar’s visa initiative is similar to a 4-day transit introduced in the UAE last year.

Promoting tourism

The new transit visa is the third initiative QTA has announced this month, in a clear effort to promote Qatar as a tourism destination.

Last week, QTA announced a streamlined visa procedure for cruise ship passengers visiting the country.

This week, QTA has also invited residents to act like tourists for a day alongside a social media competition at eight landmarks across Qatar.