To encourage air transport and tourism, Qatar has introduced visa-free entry to the residents of 80 countries and surprisingly Pakistan is not in the list. The decision came into effect after Qatar faced diplomatic isolation by its neighbors.
While addressing the news conference in Doha, the tourism department official Hassan al-Ibrahim said:
“The visa exemption scheme will make Qatar the most open country in the region”
According to the interior ministry official Mohamed Rashed al-Mazrouei, the residents of 80 countries in the list only need to present a valid passport for entry purpose. The move will primarily benefit European Union’s Schengen zone, Latin American, Western states and Asian countries.
Which countries are included in the list?
The nationals of following 33 countries will be authorized to stay in Qatar for 180 days:
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.
However, the residents of the following 47 nations can stay for up to 30 days:
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Gerogia, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Cuba, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela.
The aforementioned countries were nominated on the basis of their security, economic health and buying power of their nationals. It is pertinent to mention that Qatar Airways would be an ultimate beneficiary after this announcement.
The Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Group, Akbar Al Baker said:
“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”
Do you think Qatar should have also included Pakistan in the list?