Qatar stops visa on arrival

This is interesting. I strongly suspect that a clarification will be issued shortly.

I can understand Qataris may feel it unfair that a British passport holder, for example, can get a visa on arrival, whilst a Qatari has to fill in a large form and (I believe) go for an interview when trying to get into the UK.

That said, once these steps have been gone through, it is my understanding that a four year multiple entry visa is typically issued. This effectively amounts to a situation that is almost as relaxed as Qatar’s present visa on arrival system.

I hope that, if Qatar do continue with this system, they have some kind of multiple entry visa that means the thousands of visiting business people who go through Doha every week, coming from Dubai, other nearby countries, or from Europe, have a visa option that doesn’t put Qatar straight to the bottom of their list of favourite places to visit.

Qatar, up till now, has been as efficient as Bahrain when it comes to getting into the country for a work trip. You pay the immigration official and get your stamp. Qatar goes one step further and lets you pay by credit card, whereas Bahrain is cash only. Oman comes next, with a queue to buy your visa before going through immigration, with the UAE topping the table with a free stamp from one of the many immigration officials in the airport. Kuwait has a chaotic and slightly confusing system that lets you get a visa on arrival after lots of faffing around and being elbowed out of the way by poeple more familiar with what you’re supposed to be doing. Saudi, as I’ve mentioned here before, tends to issue three month visas as part of a process that means your passport spends a week in the Saudi consulate and you spend a week not being able to travel. This can be a positive or negative situation, depending on your situation.

As partners and vendors in Doha know, people sitting in the UAE with one of the previously allowed 33 passports were always more than happy to pop over to Doha for a day or two and develop business. Partners and vendors in Saudi know that getting people over can be a little more difficult – complex visa systems make it hard to progress work that requires outside expertise.

Although I haven’t been to Qatar for a while, I always enjoy it when I am there. Call me selfish, but I sincerely hope that a clarification is issued and Chris can pop over to meet customers without the frustrations involved when visiting other nearby countries.

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2 Responses to “Qatar stops visa on arrival”

  1. Aaron Says:

    Kuwait is the smoothest if you get the hotel to fix up your visa before you arrive. Simply head downstairs pick up the visa and just waltz through immigration. Always a pleasure.

  2. Michael Says:

    I have always found it amusing that the countries that are among the least appealing to visit (for your average tourist at least) are the most difficult to travel to for cash rich Western tourists and business people

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