After the announcement of no visa policy, Qatar has become the most accessible country by more than 80 nations when compared to other countries in the region where Visa requirements and application policies are stern and rigid.
This decision was appreciated by Chief Executive of Qatar Airways who stated,
“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,”
The CEO of Qatar Airways further stated that while in the region, countries are landlocking their states and putting barriers for outsiders to enter, Qatar has taken a historic decision by opening its gate to the outer world which would improve the ongoing chaotic conditions of Middle-East region.
The abolishment of visa policies is further elucidated by Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development officer at Qatar Tourism Authority. He explained that the nations who have been granted visa-free access to Qatar are divided into 2 groups.
The first group consists of 33 countries which include Austria, Bahamas, Belgium , Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. The citizens of these 33 countries will be granted a visa for around 180 days, where the tourists can spend up to 90 days in Qatar either during a single trip or multiple trips. The second group of includes 47 nations which are Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Georgia, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela. The second group of countries will be given 30 days valid visa where the tourist can stay in the vicinity of Qatar for 30 days either in a full-length trip or multiple trips.
The aim of this policy is to expand the revenue base for the tourism industry and allow the access of external world into Qatar which is facing the heat of Saudi Arabia and its alliances in the region. The country exports oil and is known for corporate activities all across the globe. In recent times, the trade embargo from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait have led to the loss of economic activity in Qatar. Qatar has found tourism as a means of increasing its financial inflows to survive against the oppoisiton forces in the Arab region.