Qatar has now removed all coronavirus-related entry restrictions. With the 2022 FIFA World Cup fast approaching, the Middle-Eastern state has fully reopened travel after more than 2 years of anti-COVID-19 measures. On November 1, 2022, Qatar’s Health Ministry lifted its remaining travel restrictions in preparation for the upcoming soccer tournament. The final COVID-19 travel regulations
20 April 2023| Post by
Qatar Tourism authorities have confirmed the relaunch of the online Hayya Platform to unify Qatar visa processes for travelers to the Gulf country.
All visa-required visitors to Qatar can now use the platform to apply online for a Qatar eVisa, making the application process much easier and more comfortable. The electronic platform can be accessed via web or a smartphone app from anywhere in the world.
Qatar first introduced an online visa platform in June 2017 to allow all nationalities (except for Israelis and Palestinians) not eligible for a visa on arrival to apply for an electronic tourist visa.
The Hayya platform was then instrumental in the lead-up to the Qatar FIFA World Cup in 2022. It allowed international football fans to quickly and easily obtain a travel permit online to visit the event.
The Ministry of the Interior of Qatar then announced that the validity of approved Hayya Cards would be extended until 2024. This decision was made to allow holders an extended stay in the country.
Visitors Eligible to Apply through the Online Qatar Visa Platform
The newly relaunched Hayya platform will now unify visa processes for all foreign visitors, including GCC residents and companions traveling with GCC citizens.
The visitors eligible to apply online are divided into 3 categories:
- A1- All Qatar visa-required nationalities not eligible for a visa on arrival
- A2 – GCC residents (of any profession)
- A3 – Holders of a valid visa or residence permit from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, the US, or any Schengen country.
Hayya platform authorities have confirmed that most applicants will need to have valid health insurance to apply through the platform. However, the A3 category will be exempt from this requirement if the intended stay is up to 30 days.
It has also been confirmed that Qatar visas obtained through the platform have been enabled for e-gate use at Hamad International Airport. This allows for smooth and hassle-free entry on arrival.
The platform also permits travelers entering Qatar through the Abu Samra land border with a vehicle to easily pre-register online to expedite entry.
Additionally, the relaunched platform now boasts a range of helpful new features for travelers to help them plan their trip to Qatar. These include maps and advice on how to navigate public transportation.
Why Qatar Has Reintroduced the Hayya Visa Application Platform
Saeed Ali Al Kuwari, the CEO of the Hayya Platform, is hailing the re-launch of the Hayya Platform as an extension of the sustainable legacy of the FIFA World Cup.
At a press conference to announce the relaunch, Al Kuwari expressed that the platform is “the legacy which we build upon” in order to meet the national tourism goal of attracting over 6 million yearly visitors by 2030.
Akbar Al Baker, the Chairman of Qatar Tourism, noted that Qatar’s visa policy is already the most open of all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations and the 8th most open worldwide.
“We are pleased that the latest developments will further cement Qatar’s position as a leading tourism destination and will provide the opportunity for even more travelers to experience the country’s truly unique touristic offering”, Al Baker said.
“This will not only provide a valuable contribution to our economy, but will help create countless employment opportunities across our country,” he added.
The number of tourism arrivals to Qatar has been steadily on the rise in recent months. By the end of March, the number of arrivals for 2023 had already reached 1.16 million – a record for this quarter.
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