Qatar and Oman have announced that citizens belonging to as many as 33 countries would now be eligible to get a visa-on-arrival in either of the two countries. The decision has been apparently made keeping in view the growing number of people who visit Qatar and Oman each year.
The on-arrival visas would be valid for 30 days and can be extended by another 30 days on expiry. The move is expected to boost tourism as people wishing to visit the two GCC countries will no longer have to worry about the hassles of procuring a visa.
The new joint visa will facilitate the movement of tourists freely between Oman and Qatar. The visas would be issued to eligible tourists upon arrival either at a designated airport or at the border check post of Qatar.
Citizens of United States (US), Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, and Greece are among the countries that are eligible for this facility.
People who intend to visit Qatar can also apply for a visa via Qatar’s e-government portal Hukoomi after filling the form and paying the required fees of QR100 per person and the same can be extended for a fee of QR100 upon expiry. It should be noted that people staying in Qatar on a tourist visa are not eligible to work and people who are found guilty of overstaying their visa would be fined an amount of QR200 per day.
A total of 305,014 tourists visited Qatar in March 2016, according to Qatar Tourism Authority’s Q1 2016 Tourism Performance Report. Although the total visitor arrivals in the first quarter of 2016 (822,626) dropped by 2% in comparison to the same period in 2015, due to a lower number of visitors from non-GCC Arab countries, the Americas, Europe and Asian countries including Oceania. However, number of international visitors entering Qatar on leisure visit visas (tourist visas, personal visit visas, family visit visas, and transit visas) has risen by 6% in Q1 2016 in comparison to the same period in Q1 2015.
QTA has been at the forefront of promoting Qatar as a destination around the world, through its destination branding, international representation and participation at trade shows, and by developing a rich calendar of festivals and events. With a growing international presence, QTA’s representative offices in London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Singapore, and Riyadh support QTA’s promotion efforts.