THE ESSENTIAL QATAR GUIDE
Travel & Accommodation
Hamad International Airport
Opened in April 2014, the state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport is conveniently located just south of Doha city. Named among the world’s top 10 airports in the 2016 Skytrax awards, it can handle 8,700 passengers per hour and has an annual capacity of up to 50 million.
Immigration formalities, baggage reclaim and other passenger services are designed to be ultra-efficient. In addition to its role as Qatar Airways’ home base, HIA also serves some 50 other international airlines. The taxi transfer time to the city centre is some 30 minutes.
The national carrier Qatar Airways has won numerous awards for quality and service. Most recently, it was named top in three categories in the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards – World’s Best Business Class, Best Business Class Airline Lounge and Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East.
Qatar Airways’ rapidly expanding network now covers some 160 destinations worldwide, including most major cities throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia and North and South America.
To meet expected future demand growth, Qatar Airways has 340 aircraft on order.
VISITING QATAR MADE EASY
Thanks to a host of visa facilitation measures, Qatar is now the most open country in the Middle East. Visitors from all around the world can now enter Qatar either visa free, or by filling out simple online applications, depending on the passport they carry.
This webpage is designed to keep you up-to-date on the visa policies that are relevant to you, and the process you need to follow to apply for a visa, if necessary.
Nationals of 80 countries are eligible for visa-free entry into the State of Qatar, with varying allowable lengths of stay. Nationals of the eligible countries do not require any prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival to Qatar, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
For nationals of the 34 countries listed below, the waiver will be valid for 180 days from the date of issuance and entitle its holder to spend up to 90 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips.
7. Czech Republic
For nationals of the 46 countries listed below, the waiver will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitle its holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips. This waiver may be extended for a further 30 days.
13. Costa Rica
18. Hong Kong
30. New Zealand
35. San Marino
37. South Africa
38. South Korea
42. United Kingdom
43. United States
45. Vatican City
Similar to the 46 countries listed above, nationals of Pakistan can enter Qatar visa-free and spend up to 30 days in Qatar, during a single or multiple trips, with an option to extend for another 30 days, if the following terms and conditions are met.
Terms and conditions for Pakistani nationals
• Passport must be valid for at least 6 months
• Return ticket must be confirmed
• Hotel booking confirmation for duration of the stay must be presented
• Applicant must be in possession of 5000 QAR or the equivalent, or hold a valid credit card
• Those coming directly from Pakistan should present a certificate of vaccination against polio
• The duration of the visa can be extended only after confirming the return ticket
Electronic Travel Authorisation
Individuals who are not eligible for visa-free entry, but who hold a valid residence permit or visit visa to either GCC countries, Schengen countries, Australia, Canada, UK, USA or New Zealand, can obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) free of charge* by completing an online application prior to travelling.
The form is easy to fill in. You will be asked to provide:
• proof of accommodation in Qatar (e.g. hotel booking, or your host’s address)
• details of your return (or onward) travel
• a copy of your passport (with a minimum validity of six months)
• a copy of your residence permit or visa to any one of the eligible countries stated above (with a minimum validity of 30 days).
Once your request has been approved** you will receive an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) allowing you to obtain a visa-on-arrival to Qatar, which in turn allows you to stay in the country for up to 30 days during a single visit. The visa may be extended for an additional 30 days, to be used during the same visit. If you leave the country and wish to return, you will need to apply for the new ETA before travelling back to Qatar.
Apply for an ETA here: www.qatarvisaservice.com
Online Tourist Visa
Individuals not eligible for visa-free entry or ETA can apply for a Tourist Visa online. Visitors to Qatar travelling on board any airline may apply for a Tourist Visa through the Qatar Visa Service. The cost of the Qatar Tourist Visa is QAR 100. Tourist Visa holders are allowed to stay in Qatar for up to 30 days on a single trip. Extensions of stay are not permitted.
To submit a request for a Qatar Tourist Visa, visitors are required to:
• complete an online form
• upload required documents (including passport scans & personal photographs)
• provide an airline booking reservation
• make an online payment using a valid Visa or Mastercard
Once the application is complete, visitors will be contacted via e-mail with a response to their visa application**.
Click here to be redirected to the Qatar Visa Service website.
Note: visitors travelling to Qatar with Qatar Airways, may select ‘Apply for a visa’ after logging in to ‘My Trips’ on the airline’s website. This automatically directs them to the Qatar Visa Service website, where they can start the Qatar Tourist Visa application process for themselves and any accompanying travellers under the same booking.
Qatar Transit Visa
Qatar Airways passengers transiting in Qatar for a minimum of 5 hours are eligible to apply for the Qatar Transit Visa. It is free of charge, valid for up to 96 hours (four days) and open to passengers of all nationalities**.
For more information about the Qatar Transit Visa, please click here.
GCC Resident Visit Visa
Residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries who hold positions in approved professions and those accompanying them may obtain a GCC Resident Visit Visa on arrival in Qatar.
This single-entry visa, which can be obtained for a fee of QAR 100, payable by Visa or Mastercard, is valid for 30 days and may be renewed for an additional three months. Visitors wishing to avail of this visa scheme may be asked to present official documentation stating their profession upon entry to Qatar.
Nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates) do not require a visa to enter Qatar.
*Service fees only apply.
**All visas are approved and issued at the sole discretion of Qatar’s Ministry of Interior.