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