Joint Qatar-Oman visa for citizens of 33 nations

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Daisy

Amid growing number of visitors into the country, citizens of 33 countries have been offered joint visas-on-arrival for entering Qatar and Oman

The visas for a month that can be extended to another month, are aimed at boosting regional tourism. GCC had conducted a feasibility study for a unified tourist visa for GCC countries.

Tourists who wish to visit Qatar can obtain visas from sponsor, hotel or Qatar Airways.

The joint visa will allow tourists to travel freely between Qatar and Oman. It is issued upon arrival at the airport or border check post of Qatar. Travellers can also apply for the visa online before starting their journey.

The countries are United States (US), Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece , Finland, Spain, Monaco, the Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea.

For obtaining online visa, the applicant will have to fill up the online application form and obtain the printout after paying fees, said e-government portal Hukoomi.

Tourist Visa holders cannot work in Qatar during their stay. Tourist Visas issuance fees is QR100 per person and QR50 for each accompanying person. There is a fine of QR200 per day for overstaying and the extension fee is QR100.

Tourist visa through Qatar Airways or hotels is granted through authorised hotels in Qatar or sponsoring residents with relationship to the applicant through Qatar Airways. It is valid for one month and cannot be extended. 

Applicants can apply online or submit a copy of online visa form at a recognised hotel in coordination with Qatar Airways.

The applicant should download and fill up the paper form and submit it through the hotel manager or his representative. A clear copy of the visitor’s passport, original hotel registration document and ID of the applicant (for sponsor verification to the forms submitted through hotels) should be attached with the application.

The applicant should provide a copy of the document that proves the relationship, such as birth certificate or any other official document (for forms submitted through Qatar Airways).

The visitor should be a relative or in-law of the sponsoring resident in Qatar with first or second category relationship. Tourist visa holders are not allowed to work during their stay.

To cancel the visa, the applicant should visit the centres affiliated to the General Directorate of Border Passports and Expatriates Affairs.

Visa fees, extension charges and fine for overstay are the same for all types of tourist visas.

Qatar Tourism Authority’s (QTA) Mid-Year Tourism Performance Report for 2015 shows a seven percent increase in the number of foreign visitors in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014.

QTA data shows Qatar is on the path to meeting a milestone of three million visitors by 2015-end and to reaching a targeted seven million visitors by 2030.

The continuous demand growth in the sector is also evident from data released on hotel performance. Overall occupancy rates have grown from previous highs in 2014, even with the addition of 1,400 new rooms since the start of 2015.

A GCC panel to assess the feasibility of a unified tourist visa had lauded the idea and commented it would immensely boost tourism in the region.

The Higher Consultative Authority of the GCC Secretariat-General was tasked by the leaders at a summit in Kuwait to conduct a technical study to see if the proposal to have a unified tourist visa for the GCC was feasible.

According to an earlier media report, the authority appointed a committee of experts from the region and asked them to conduct the study. The head of the authority, Najeeb Al Shams, said the panel had completed the study. (Source)