Qatar Tourism Authority has 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.
Hamad International Airport has announced that its dual Passenger Trains inside the airport terminal will begin operations from tomorrow. The trains were officially inaugurated by Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker and Badr Mohammed Al Meer, chief operating officer of Hamad International Airport, in the presence of dignitaries from the ministry of transport and communications and members of the press.
Emirates will be upgrading one of its nine daily flights between Dubai and Doha to an Airbus A380 from December. Emirates recently boosted its services to Doha with two additional flights, taking its total operations to nine daily services and making it the most served destination in the airline’s network.
The world’s largest privately owned residential yacht, The World, docked in Doha Port earlier, marking the beginning of Qatar’s cruise season. The luxury cruise ship will spend two days in Doha before heading to Muscat. This cruise season, which lasts until April 2017, has 32 ships registered to arrive at Qatar’s shores, representing a three-fold increase on last season’s figures.
Qatar Tourism Authority, Qatar Airways and Qatar’s ministry of interior have announced a revised tourism visa scheme available to passengers transiting through Doha in a move to promote Qatar as a world-class stopover destination. The new transit visa structure now allows passengers with a minimum transit time of five hours in Hamad International Airport, to stay in Qatar for up to 96 hours (four days), without the requirement to apply ahead of time for an entry visa.
With a large number of cruise passengers expected to arrive at the country’s ports, Qatar Tourism Authority, in co-ordination with the ministry of interior and Qatar Ports Management Company – Mwani Qatar, have announced new measures to facilitate their disembarkation and entry for a seamless tourism experience. Officials from the three entities have confirmed that, thanks to enhanced technology and close collaboration between cruise operators and security officials, cruise passengers will be able to disembark within minutes and begin enjoying their on-shore excursions.
Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority have signed an agreement with VFS Global – leading provider of visa processing services. The agreement paves the way for an efficient and transparent tourist visa application system that caters to travellers from around the world looking to visit Qatar.
Hamad International Airport has seen the launch of Google’s 360-degree street view imagery of Qatar’s state-of-the-art airport as part of its digital strategy. Street View Special Collects is a feature of Google Maps that lets users explore places around the world such as landmarks, natural wonders, and culturally and historically significant sites.
Hamad International Airport has served a record 8.8 million passengers during the first quarter of 2016, making it the busiest quarter for the airport since its opening in May 2014. This represents a 20 per cent increase from the number of passengers that travelled through the airport during the first quarter of 2015. In detail, HIA had 8,867,971 passengers pass through its gates during the first quarter of 2016, with a record 3,089,826 passengers departing, arriving and transiting in January which is an unsurpassed figure for a single month for the airport.
British Airways customers will soon be able to experience uninterrupted, direct flights to Doha and Muscat from Heathrow Terminal 5. Previously, customers flying to the Middle Eastern cities had to stop off in Bahrain en route Doha and Abu Dhabi en route to Muscat, but from October 30th both services will fly direct, reducing the journey time to both cities by approximately two hours.
Qatar’s tourism and hospitality industry is building momentum as it enters the second half of the decade, with an ambitious target of four million visitors by 2020, supported by US$40-45 billion worth of sector investment under the country’s National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 plan. The Gulf state returns to ATM this year to showcase its expanding hotel and tourism infrastructure pipeline following a successful 2015 with visitor numbers in the first nine months of 2014 growing to reach 2.2 million in quarter three, representing a year-on-year increase of 7.7 per cent, and booming air connectivity which saw Hamad International Airport exceed forecasted capacity of 30 million passengers last year.
Hamad International Airport-Qatar has announced that it will be the official platinum sponsor of the legendary German football club, FC Bayern Munich. This airport views the move as another step toward the national vision of establishing global leadership in sports, as Qatar prepares to host FIFA World Cup 2022.