Visa-free Entry to Qatar and its After Effects for Indians and Citizens of 80+ Countries

This article is about the recent visa related announcement made by Qatar to promote its travel and tourism industry and mainly about its after effects on Indians and nationals of other countries. It also provides insight into the future changes that could take place.

Qatar has recently announced a new visa program which allows citizens of more than 80 countries to enter Qatar without a visa. This new move is mainly aimed at improving Qatar's tourism and transport industry. This is a much needed move for Qatar as it is already facing opposition from other Gulf countries for various reasons.

If implemented, the new visa rules will make Qatar truly an Open Country in the region while currently Qatar is already in the news for alleged support of terrorism and its rumored ties with Iran.
The 80+ countries include India, Nepal, USA, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Lebanon etc…and the citizens of these countries can receive tourist visa when they arrive in Qatar.

The Chief Tourism Development officer at Qatar Tourism Authority, Mr. Hassan al-Ibrahim, is all praises for this new scheme which is estimated to bring a much needed growth to Qatar at this present difficult time. He was talking at a press conference in Doha over this matter and has been answering all questions put forward by the reporters.

Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and United Arab Emirates(UAE) has cut all air, sea and land transport ties with Qatar and has isolated it recently on June 5th 2017.Meanwhile Doha, Qatar's capital has already denied the charges against it.

After Effects of the Visa Scheme

The after effects of this new visa scheme can give a major boost to Qatar's tourism industry, allowing nationals from many other countries to visit Qatar more frequently during the year, especially European nationals who take multiple vacations every year and Indians who has been following the trend. This new move will be more beneficial to Indians given their habit of migrating to the Middle East for better opportunities. It is already estimated that around 6 lakh Indian expatriates are currently living in Qatar and each year their friends and family usually visit or migrate to Qatar.

Previously, nationals from Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain were the major visitors to Qatar each year especially during the Muslim festival of Eid. This trend will most probably be replaced with people from other countries.This can lead to a significant economic development for Qatar and can create a lot of job opportunities. It can also strengthen the ties between Qatar and other countries which can lead to mutual benefits for all. Qatar is mainly focused on increasing its GDP contribution from its tourism industry rather than its oil reserves.

Since Qatar is all set to host the 2022 Football World Cup this will be a crucial move which can attract people from all parts of the world. This will surely get all the hotels and restaurants booked to full and back to running at full capacity which was earlier hindered due to the Arab countries' boycott of Qatar. Even though Qatar had to arrange the construction materials for the tournament from other countries, organizing committee officials say that its preparation for the World Cup tournament has in no manner been affected.

One can only wait and see the changes that this new visa scheme will bring to Qatar!

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