Friday, August 18, 2017
   
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Qatar Eases Visitor Entry Restrictions

UK tourists are among those from a total of 80 countries who no longer need a visa to travel to Qatar following a sudden change in the country's policy.

Instead, UK visitors will be able to apply for a visa waiver on arrival, which will allow them to spend up to 30 days in Qatar with the possibility of applying for an additional 30-day extension

Those arriving will need to present a passport with at least six months validity and a confirmed onward or return ticket.

Travellers from all over Ireland are now able to fly to Qatar with the new Qatar Airways daily service from Dublin Airport which began on June 12 - good news for anyone wishing to visit Qatar as a stand alone destination.

Citizens of 46 other countries will also get up to 30 days visa-free access, while citizens of 33 other countries - including most of the EU with the notable exception of Ireland - will be given 90 days visa-free access.

Qatar is also considering waiving visa requirements for holders of a residence permit or valid visa from several countries, including the UK. This waiver would allow eligible visitors to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation by completing an online application at least 48 hours prior to travel.

Qatar's Ministry of Interior (MoI), the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways said this was part of a series of measures to facilitate access to the country. Last month, Qatar launched an e-visa platform, through which travellers of all nationalities can apply for tourist and visitor visas with more efficiency and ease.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said: "Today's announcement places the State of Qatar as the most open country in the region. This is a momentous occasion for Qatar, making the number of nationalities eligible to enter our country without a visa the highest in region, which is something that we are very proud of.

"Qatar Airways is the patriotic flag carrier for the State of Qatar and as such we are extremely honoured to bring millions of people each year to our beautiful, welcoming and historic country. This important initiative from the Ministry of Interior and Qatar Tourism Authority will provide an opportunity to welcome even more visitors, from even more countries, to experience the many exciting attractions that await them."

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