Qatar abolishes visa … The land of rich sheikhs invites tourists.

The richest country in the world has announced the immediate abolition of visas for citizens of 80 countries, including Poles. This is to encourage tourists to use air transport and visit the emirate, which was more than two months ago blocked by the Arab Gulf countries.

The visa exemption applies to Schengen citizens, including Poland, USA, Turkey and India. Since Wednesday they only need a valid passport to visit Qatar. Earlier, travelers from Poland had to buy a visa at the airport in Doha costing about 25 euros. Since the 9th of July this year 33 nations will be allowed to stay in the emirates for up to 180 days and the remaining 47 to 30 days.

This is an important information for polish people, because the state located in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf is increasingly visited by Poles. Its popularity has increased due to direct air link from Warsaw to Qatar, Doha.

Polish citizens were so far obligated to have a Qatar Visa on their travel and stay. Those traveling for tourist purposes could apply for a visa directly at the border crossing point (Doha International Airport, Doha Seaport and Abu Samra Road Transit), for payment only by card. Visas were issued for a period of 1 month with the possibility of extension for another. At the same time, the authorities required that the applicant’s passport must be valid for at least 6 months.

The abolition of visas will make Qatar the most open country in the region. What will bring not only extra income for this emirate, for eg. one of the main beneficiaries of the new visa policy will be the state-owned Qatar Airways, one of the largest air carriers in the world, but as well will be another possibility of expanding the economic and diplomatic relations of Qatar with countries outside the region.

On the 3rd of August, Qatar also introduced regulations allowing some people with the right of permanent residence to partially benefit from the state social system, including education and health care. The new law applies to workers with the skills that the state needs and the children of Qatar citizens in marriages with foreigners. Foreign workers, mainly from Asia, account for about 90 percent of the population of nearly 3 million.