Qatar offers visa-free entry to 80 nationalities

By AFP
Published: August 9, 2017
SHARES
Email
Qatar has a population of 2.4 million people, 90 percent of whom are foreigners, including many from south Asia working in construction. .PHOTO: AFP

Qatar has a population of 2.4 million people, 90 percent of whom are foreigners, including many from south Asia working in construction. .PHOTO: AFP

DOHA: Qatar, isolated by its neighbours in a diplomatic crisis, announced on Wednesday a visa-free entry programme for 80 nationalities to stimulate air transport and tourism.

“The visa exemption scheme will make Qatar the most open country in the region,” tourism department official Hassan al-Ibrahim told a press conference in Doha.

US denies visa-free policy report for Pakistanis after it goes viral

Interior ministry official Mohamed Rashed al-Mazroui said the nationals of 80 countries would only need to present a valid passport for entry to the energy-rich Gulf state which is to host football’s 2022 World Cup.

The 80 countries were not named and neither was the date from which the visa-free programme will take effect, but Qatari newspapers said it would apply mainly to Western nationals.

However, according to The Peninsula, a Middle  Eastern news outlet the nations are detailed as follows:

Nationals of 33 countries will be authorised to stay for 180 days and the other 47 for up to 30 days, periods which are renewable a single time.

Mazroui said the countries were selected on the basis of security and economic considerations, or for the buying-power of their nationals.
Qatar Airways chief Akbar al-Baker said his carrier, which this year plans to extend its network to 62 new destinations, would be a primary beneficiary.

These countries offer visa-free entry to Pakistanis

Regional kingpin Saudi Arabia as well as Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have since June 5 imposed a boycott on Qatar, accusing the emirate of fostering Islamist extremist groups and of close ties to Iran. Doha has denied the allegations.

The four Gulf nations have closed their land and sea borders to Qatar and imposed economic and air traffic restrictions.

On August 3, Qatar created a new permanent residents status for certain groups of foreigners, including those who have worked for the benefit of the emirate, a first for the Gulf.

Under the new rules, children with a Qatari mother and a foreign father can benefit from the new status, along with foreign residents who have “given service to Qatar” or have “skills that can benefit the country”.

Those deemed eligible for the new status will be afforded the same access as Qataris to free public services, such as health and education.

Qatar has a population of 2.4 million people, 90 percent of whom are foreigners, including many from south Asia working in construction.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (25)

  • Dayum
    Aug 9, 2017 - 7:41PM

    When they are in need of Pakistan’s help in any way, they can be reminded of this list and brushed off as insignificant. Even Mexico, Venezuela, and Cube are given better treatment. Now I feel no pity for Qatar given current predicament it’s in..Recommend

  • Shiekh Rashid
    Aug 9, 2017 - 9:30PM

    I feel very sad and humiliated by Qatari decision not to include Pakistan even Pakistan is the only country in the whole Muslim world which always stands by and support every Muslim country at the time of crisisRecommend

  • Shiekh Rashid
    Aug 9, 2017 - 9:33PM

    Apart from these sap countries only Pakistan always tries to help every Muslim country try apart from financial hp as Qatar is already a rich country Recommend

  • Shiekh Rashid
    Aug 9, 2017 - 9:36PM

    Felling humiliated by Qatar is Dr vision to keep Pakistan out of this but Qatar is remember one thing it will only be the Pakistan who will firmly stand with you if the need arisesRecommend

  • Venki
    Aug 9, 2017 - 11:18PM

    Honestly I was shocked to know this. The only nuclear Islamic country Pakistan is left.
    How ? Recommend

  • Pekhawar Khan
    Aug 10, 2017 - 10:19AM

    That’s probably because Pakistan stayed neutral to the dispute between Qatar and other gulf countries. Recommend

  • Sohail Ahmed
    Aug 10, 2017 - 11:06AM

    They might had a concern about Pakistan after that Qatari Letter. They have to realize not every Pakistanis are like Nawaz Sharif. He spoiled the image of Pakistan worst. Now its better to join Saudi alliance because we have seen this egoistic country will never be in favor of Pakistan Recommend

  • bashir gul
    Aug 10, 2017 - 11:25AM

    These Qataris are given a free hand to hunt as much as they want the endangered species of birds, fly in their private jets, set up tents in the desert and enjoy the night life. Its because our elite do not want the poor to benefit and they will not bother to protest to Qatar for not including Pakistan.Recommend

  • san(India)
    Aug 10, 2017 - 12:09PM

    @Venki:
    its really surprising Pakistan is not included in both the list.
    I searched for other south asian countries , and found none of them. Recommend

  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    Aug 10, 2017 - 12:22PM

    We don’t even check their passports when they come to Pakistan while they don’t even consider us for visa free entry for the event. What a shame.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Aug 10, 2017 - 1:49PM

    They have not included Bangladesh aswell.Infact in entire South Asia only India was in the list.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Aug 10, 2017 - 1:54PM

    They have not included Bangladesh aswell.Infact in entire South Asia only India and Maldives was in the list.Recommend

  • Faisal
    Aug 10, 2017 - 2:43PM

    @bashir gul:
    Hunting birds and immigration matters are 2 totally different things! Do you forget how many millions Qatar has poured into schools, clinics, roads in Pakistan despite Pakistan having so many problems. The key problem in Pakistan is that we fail to recognize friends from enemies! Enemy country (one to the East) is still having diplomatic, air, sea, road, rail links and it continues to fund terrorists from its Afghan consulates and we are too busy watching that same enemy country’s movies, music, etc.! The consequences of all this hyporcrisy and negligence is the humiliation we have face. Recommend

  • Faisal
    Aug 10, 2017 - 2:48PM

    @Shiekh Rashid:
    Immigration policy of every country is based on many factors and not just what happens at state and government levels. Pakistan has a problem of forged passports, terrorism, etc. and so its not just Qatar, but many, many countries that have to restrict visa-free entry on account of security concerns. Let’s not forget the millions of dollars Qataris have spent building schools, clinics, infrastructure in Pakistan. Just because Pakistani govt. helps Qatar, it doesn’t mean 200 million Pakistanis are in the same boat as individuals. Its not as simple as that. Recommend

  • anil sahu
    Aug 10, 2017 - 3:32PM

    @Venki:
    who cares about nuclear country. all major countries have.Recommend

  • Khan
    Aug 10, 2017 - 6:38PM

    @Shiekh Rashid:
    “even Pakistan is the only country in the whole Muslim world which always stands by and support every Muslim country at the time of crisis”

    Thats exactly the problem!!!! Islamic Brotherhood is dead. it’s a world of nationalism and in nationalism only interest counts.Recommend

  • Qasim Raja
    Aug 10, 2017 - 6:50PM

    Pakistan provided heavy support to Qatar including flights, relations and most of important thing military coperation even we were very close to Saudia and UAE. It is very much disappointment for me to not seeing the name in list. The matter must be taken with them on Govt’s highest levelRecommend

  • Salman
    Aug 10, 2017 - 7:46PM

    We need to be smarter!Recommend

  • M Mehdi
    Aug 10, 2017 - 8:08PM

    The King Of Qatar
    Its been a shameful act upon your attitude towards issuance of visa free policy to all 80 nations except Pakistan.

    Why USA is so much involved in this issue, is there no sign of righteousness of Qatar to make their own stance.

    The hope to get a better job opportunity in Qatar is banned by USA, a very serious crime by the King.

    This act of negligence shall be reviewed once n shall allow Pakistan’s to be part of this visa policy.Recommend

  • leela4fun
    Aug 10, 2017 - 10:24PM

    Too bad, missed opportunity… Nawaz Sharif could have asked his Qatari Prince friend to write invitation letter for all Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Shakir
    Aug 10, 2017 - 10:44PM

    Pakistan is the only Muslim nuclear country which stands by every Muslim country at the time of trouble ……… I know that it is poor country but I proud of my own countryRecommend

  • Naresh
    Aug 10, 2017 - 10:56PM

    @san(India): its really surprising Pakistan is not included in both the list.
    I searched for other south asian countries , and found none of them.

    .
    INDIA and MALDIVES are in the Second List of 47 Countries of 30 Days + 30 Days i.e. 60 Days List
    CheersRecommend

  • Abid
    Aug 11, 2017 - 1:05AM

    And we allow their princes to roam freely and hunt endangered birds… With Nawaz Sharif at helm, no wonder Pakistan continues to sink further. Recommend

  • Umair
    Aug 11, 2017 - 7:12AM

    Cool it guys. I just don’t get why we are so offended. Pakistanis are well known for overstaying. We would do the same if Qataris overstayed.Recommend

  • Ranga
    Aug 12, 2017 - 7:40AM

    What a shame !!
    Ummah brother has denied Pakistanis this honor !!Recommend

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in World