This month, Qatar's state-owned airline has launched a new service allowing customers to apply for a Qatari tourist visa directly through its website.
Travellers who book a flight on Qatar Airways can now apply for a single-entry tourist visa for a maximum stay in Qatar of one month. The visa must be used within 60 days of its issuance and may not be amended.
Available exclusively to the airline's passengers, the service is designed to simplify the application process and reduce waiting times. Applicants can even follow the progress of their application online.
Eligible applicants can expect to receive their visa in around 10 days and at a cost of €40 (RM180) per person. There is also the option of a fast-tracked application, at €87 (RM390) per person, for travellers who require a visa in seven days.
In order to apply online, passengers must hold a round-trip ticket to Doha on a Qatar Airways flight as well as a hotel reservation made through Discover Qatar, the division of the airline that offers travel services to complement its flights. The visa will be delivered for the same length of the stay booked at the hotel.
Another Gulf country seeking to attract international tourists, Saudi Arabia, introduced a simplified application process for tourist visas earlier this month. - AFP/Relaxnews, December 19, 2013.