Browsing 'ministry of interior' News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Sanjiban Ghosh/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the tourist visas are not yet available as of October 13, 2016. Additionally, only Qatar Airways passengers are eligible.

Visitors who have a layover in Qatar for 5 hours or more will soon be able to get a free four-day transit visa.

Under the new plan, transit passengers can get the visas at Hamad International Airport’s Arrivals immigration desk by showing proof of their onward journey.

This new scheme is open to all Qatar Airways passengers, regardless of nationality, but has yet to take effect.

The Ministry of Interior, Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways announced the initiative jointly on Monday to mark World Tourism Day on Sept. 27.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker also indicated that the airline would look at reducing the current high costs of booking stopovers in Doha:

“Whether traveling for business or leisure, we want to enrich the journey of all of our passengers and are restructuring our fares to reflect this initiative and to promote stopovers to travelers.”

What’s changed

Under the revised guidelines, transit passengers will no longer need to apply for an entry visa ahead of time.

Previously, passengers were also required to have a minimum layover of eight hours to apply for a transit visa. That’s now been reduced to five hours.

MOI is also increasing the duration of the transit visa from 48 hours to 96 hours.

 Museum of Islamic Art

Abdurahman Warsame

Museum of Islamic Art

Qatar’s visa initiative is similar to a four-day transit introduced in the UAE last year.

Promoting tourism

The new transit visa is the third initiative QTA has announced this month, in a clear effort to promote Qatar as a tourism destination.

Last week, QTA announced a streamlined visa procedure for cruise ship passengers visiting the country.

This week, QTA has also invited residents to act like tourists for a day alongside a social media competition at eight landmarks across Qatar.

Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

MOI Qatar/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

As a fun week of Eid Al Adha festivities draws to a close, drivers are being reminded to avoid “wrong and random parking” around town.

In a post on its Facebook page, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MOI) criticized drivers who park incorrectly near malls and other public spaces.

This leads to cars blocking roads and often causes long traffic jams, the ministry said.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Idrees Ashqar/Twitter

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

It also warned drivers that parking in spaces reserved for those with special needs amounts to “ignoring their rights.”

This and several other types of parking violations can result in fines and points on a motorist’s driver’s license, according to Qatar’s traffic law.

Parking fees

The reminder comes a few months after the MOI moved to regulate parking fees in Doha.

Prices are now limited to QR2 an hour for each of the first two hours at locations that charge for parking spaces.

Popular venues such as Souq Waqif, Hotel Park near the Sheraton Grand Hotel and major hospitals now charge a fee to park onsite, and the central post office on the Corniche also introduced paid parking in July.

But motorists still complain about finding a legal parking spot easily in some parts of Doha, including in West Bay, Villaggio Mall and some hospitals.

This is in part due to the rapid growth of Qatar’s population and the launch of several construction projects that have taken over previously vacant spaces.

Do you find it hard to park? Thoughts?

Report: More than 2,000 fingerprints taken daily by Qatar’s Interior Ministry

As Qatar’s foreign workforce continues to grow, the country’s Ministry of Interior has said it is taking between 2,000 and 2,600 fingerprints from expats daily, according to the Peninsula.

The newspaper, citing an MoI publication, said the ministry is on schedule to completely digitize its archive of expat fingerprint records by this summer.