Gulf Times reports that people have started arriving after visa free entry in Qatar was introduced. The Ministry of Interiors announced the visa-free entry to citizens of 80 countries on August 9.
This has been a lot helpful for expats, especially for Indians who form the largest expatriate community in the country. Many people have started using this facility and the flow of people have increased.
“This is great news and several people have started to make use of this facility. Earlier, people had to go through several procedures for getting a visa for a short period. Now it is so simple and above all there is no need to pay any fee for the visa,” said Mohamed Quthb Babu, a long-time Doha resident whose friends recently arrived in Doha using the new facility.
“I just needed two of my friends to reach here urgently. If I apply for a visit or tourist visa it may take one or two days for approval. Therefore, I asked them to explore this possibility and they arrived here without any hassle,” Babu said.
Babu said that if anyone comes as a tourist, they need to produce a return air ticket, hotel booking as well as proof of money for expenses. People coming from invitation of an organisation or company have to provide details of the company.
Haroon Rashid, who travelled from Kochi to Doha on August 19, said,
“When I reached Hamad International Airport, I produced my passport, return ticket as well as my hotel booking. The immigration official asked me if I had enough money to stay in the country. I had more than QR5,000 with me. Immediately the visa was stamped and the whole process was completed within five minutes.”
“However, there was some confusion at the Cochin International Airport. I travelled by Jet Airways and the airline staff checked me in and gave me the boarding pass. But the immigration officials said that they were not aware of the new facility. But after consulting with higher officials, they allowed me in,” he said.
A Doha resident said his family members are coming for Eid al-Adha using the same facility.
“I had been making plans for sometime to bring my parents here. Now that the government has launched this new facility, I have already booked tickets for my parents and they will reach here early next week,” he said.
“Now we can bring our family whenever it is convenient for us. I am waiting for the weather to improve. Then I will bring my wife and child as they can stay here with me for two months. I think there will be a great flow of people during the winter season which will be a boost for tourism in the country,” he added.