Singaporeans can visit Qatar without visa

Buildings in Doha, Qatar.
Buildings in Doha, Qatar. PHOTO: REUTERS

Singaporeans will no longer need a visa to travel to Qatar.

With immediate effect, they will be able to get a visa waiver upon arrival in the Middle Eastern country that will be valid for 30 days from issuance.

The 30 days may be spent either in a single trip or on multiple trips. The waiver may be extended for 30 more days.

Singapore is one of 80 countries whose nationals are part of Qatar's visa-free entry programme, aimed at stimulating its air transport and tourism.

At a news conference in Doha on Wednesday, tourism department official Hassan al-Ibrahim said: "The visa-exemption scheme will make Qatar the most open country in the region."

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

But while the visa waiver will be a boon for travellers to Qatar, the country remains a niche destination, said Chan Brothers Travel.

Qatar's neighbours Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have since June 5 imposed a boycott on Qatar, accusing it of fostering Islamist extremist groups and having close ties to Iran, which it denies. The four nations have closed their land and sea borders to Qatar and imposed economic and air traffic restrictions.

Melissa Lin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2017, with the headline 'S'poreans can visit Qatar without visa'. Print Edition | Subscribe