Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) have announced that a new transit visa scheme, which allows passengers with layovers of five hours or more in Hamad International Airport to request a complimentary transit visa, has gone into effect.

The new system will allow transiting passengers of all nationalities to enter Qatar for up to 96 hours in between flights. All visas are granted at the sole discretion of the Qatari Ministry of Interior.

The initiative to introduce a free transit visa is the result of a collaboration between the airline and authority to position the country as a tourist-friendly destination and to attract more international visitors.

Passengers can apply for their free transit visa through any of the carrier's offices or online, and must have a confirmed ticket for a journey into Qatar, with a confirmed onward journey out of Qatar on a Qatar Airways-operated flight.

To ensure passengers make the most of the new transit visa, the carrier has restructured its fares for international flights transiting through Hamad International Airport. This will allow passengers to have a free stopover in Doha without any additional charges to their ticket, either on the outbound or inbound journey.

However, passengers travelling from the GCC and Middle East on return tickets will be able to take a stopover in Doha on their outbound journey only without additional charges.

For more information see qatarairways.com/transitvisa and qatarairwaysholidays.com/discoverqatar

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