On Monday September 26, Qatar Airways, in conjunction with Qatar’s Interior Ministry and Tourism Authority, announced free 4-day transit visas for passengers with more than 5-hour layover at Doha’s Hamad International Airport.
In our previous blog post on Doha layovers, we had discussed the previous transit visa scheme, which was open to passengers with more than 8-hour stopovers and non-promo ticket classes, among other requirements. Some nationalities which do not qualify for visa on arrival had to request this transit visa service at least 3-days prior to departure as part of Stopover Paid by Carrier (STPC) service.
Though it appears STPC still requires such prior notice and prerequisites for transit accommodation, in this new scheme, transit passengers can now get the 4-day transit visa on arrival, regardless of nationality or travel class.
Qatar Airways also indicated plans to promote more stopovers through fare restructuring and reduction of the currently high stopover costs. According to Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways:
“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.”
Considering that the previous transit visa had a 2-day limit, an increase to 4 days suggests efforts in promoting tourist activities for transit passengers, in turn boosting national revenue and further recommending Doha as a tourist destination.
Well we hope you try out this new scheme next time you travel, and let us know about your experience in the comments section. Don’t forget to book your travel tickets with us!
– Information obtained from Doha News