Qatar has had its fair share of troubles this year, including the Electronics Ban, and then the political isolation from the rest of the Middle East which has been ongoing for a while now. This has pressed Qatar to look for new ways to break away and continue to operate with a Business as Usual policy.
Last year, they started to allow 96-hour visa free transit for passengers who may want to have a look at Doha, which is a beautiful city I am told. And now, they have just announced a new policy which takes the cake. They are opening up their borders to citizens of 80 nations, who can travel visa free to their country.
These countries include the US, UK, India, Seychelles, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
As per the press release,
Citizens of those countries wishing to visit Qatar will not need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued free-of-charge at the port of entry, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.Depending on the nationality of the visitor, the waiver will either be valid for 180 days, and allow the visitor to spend a total of 90 days in Qatar (multiple-entry); or it will be valid for 30 days and entitle the visitor to spend up to 30 days in Qatar (multiple-entry) with the possibility of applying for an extension of the waiver for an additional 30 days.
This is great news for the country and the rest of us. The system looks pretty much like the Hong Kong access system, except Hong Kong now applied a prior admission clearance for Indians.
Everyone is invited. Who all are heading to Qatar then? Maybe it is time to get ahead of the half million miles that Qatar Airways is offering…