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.

1.   Austria

2.  Bahamas

3.  Belgium

4.  Bulgaria

5.  Croatia

6.  Cyprus

7.  Czech Republic

8. Denmark

9.  Estonia

10.  Finland

11.   France

12.  Germany

13.  Greece

14.  Hungary

15.   Iceland

16.  Italy

17.   Latvia

18.  Liechtenstein

19.  Lithuania

20. Luxembourg

21.  Malta

22. Netherlands

23. Norway

24. Poland

25.  Portugal

26. Romania

27.  Seychelles

28.  Slovakia

29.  Slovenia

30.  Spain

31.   Sweden

32.  Switzerland

33.  Turkey

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.

1.     Andorra

2.    Argentina

3.    Australia

4.    Belarus

5.    Bolivia

6.   Brazil

7.    Brunei

8.   Canada

9.   Chile

10.  China

11.   Colombia

12.  Ecuador

13.  Panama

14.  Costa Rica

15.   Georgia

16.  Guyana

17.   Hong Kong

18.  India

19.  Indonesia

20. Ireland

21.  Japan

22. Kazakhstan

23. Lebanon 

24. Azerbaijan  

25.  Macedonia

26. Malaysia

27.  Maldives

28. Mexico

29. Moldova

30. Monaco

31.  New Zealand

32. Paraguay

33. Peru

34. Russia

35.  San Marino

36. Singapore

37.  South Africa

38. South Korea

39. Suriname

40. Cuba

41.  Thailand

42. Ukraine

43. United Kingdom

44. United States

45.  Uruguay

46. Vatican City

47.  Venezuela 

Take Away

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.