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The increased diplomatic isolation and sanctions from the neighbouring Arab nations have had a detremental domino effect on Qatar’s economy, tourism included. In a welcome move, Qatar has announced visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries, effective immediately (August 9, 2017).
In addition, Qatar is also considering waiving visa requirements for holders of a residence permit or a valid visa from the nations of Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Schengen countries.
Qatar visa-free entry
According to the press release by Qatar Airways;
A) Nationals of the following 33 countries will not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar. 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
B) Nationals of the following 47 countries will not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar. 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.
14. Costa Rica
17. Hong Kong
31. New Zealand
35. San Marino
37. South Africa
38. South Korea
43. United Kingdom
44. United States
46. Vatican City
Qatar visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries is a welcome news, certainly for the tourism industry and hopefully, the economy on a whole. This is in addition to the free transit visa program that applies to passengers of all nationalities transiting Qatar, a stay of up to 96 hours. As for travel, Qatar is now the most welcoming and barrier-free Arab country.