Most tourists visit Doha during the long stopover of their flight, in my case, between Madrid and Kathmandu. Qatar Airways is considered one of the best airlines in the world. I agree, my experience is excellent and also offers very competitive prices, so Doha International Hamad Airport is one of the busiest ones with more than 37 million passengers in 2016.
Opened in 2014 to replace the old International Airport (located immediately west of the new), which remained small for the immense air traffic that the city supported due to the expansion of Qatar Airways. It is the only commercial airport in the country. I stopped at the previous airport, so I do not know firsthand the facilities of the new one. If the former being small was already well prepared and organized, this should be much better, in fact it is the 6th airport to get the designation of “5 stars airport” after Hong Kong, Seoul-Incheon, Tokyo Haneda, Singapore and Munich.
A mandatory visa is required to enter Qatar. The most interesting is the new transit visa for short stay:
- It is free for scales between 5 and 96 hours.
- It must be requested at least 7 days in advance on the web of Qatar Airways, our flight must be of the company. The Qatar Tourist Authority is also expected to process it, but its website send us to Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, where it is not mentioned.
- Once approved it is valid until 90 days after the date of issue.
The Qatar Airways Doha City Tour includes the free visa and a 3-hour city tour.
The tourist visa, for those who need more than 96 hours, lasts a month:
- Visa upon arrival: Portugal, Spain, Andorra, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Vatican, Iceland, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Great Britain, France , Italy, Germany, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and South Korea. Citizens of these 33 countries can obtain it at the airport itself, it is a simple and quick process, filling out a form and paying:
- 100 QAR (approximately 26 €) if paid by credit or debit card. If there is a companion, his/her visa will only cost 50 QAR. In my opinion, for once it’s OK, but I would not pay € 20 (the price in 2011) for an afternoon stroll in Doha.
- 125 QAR if paid in cash.
- All other countries must apply for the visa in advance. It can be done through a Qatar embassy, the hotel where we are staying, or Qatar Airways. Depending on the stay and nationality, the documents to be delivered and prices vary.