How to Get a Qatar Visa at Doha International Airport

doha qatar visa on arrival

How to get a Qatar Visa on Arrival at Doha International Airport.

On my travels, I’ve ended up in a load of random places due to flight connections, cheap routes etc. and the whole ridiculous (but nice) fact that it’s often cheaper to take a stop over than it is to fly direct. Such was the case on my first trip to Qatar back in 2011. I’ve now passed through Qatar twice on my travels and was able to get a visa on arrival both times I arrived in Doha. Here’s a guide to getting a Qatar Visa at Doha International Airport.

qatar visa arrival doha

Arrival at Doha International Airport in Qatar – visa can be got on arrival.

Arrival at Doha International Airport in Qatar

When you arrive in Doha International Airport, you’ll probably be in one of two situations:

1. In transit waiting for a connecting flight (in which case just head to the transit lounge and bide your time in the airport – currently the airport is bland and bereft of decent facilities except free Wi-Fi, but there’a the new Hamad International Airport coming soon…)

doha international airport qatar

Doha International Airport in Qatar – soon to be replaced by the mega new Hamad International Airport…

2. Ready to explore Qatar as a tourist/business traveller.

Both times I arrived I was able to get out and see the city of Doha, which is a cool up and coming place given the fact they are competing with cities like Dubai and New York for global recognition, skyscrapers and economy booms.

Skyscrapers in Doha, Qatar

Skyscrapers in Doha, Qatar

Plus Qatar will be hosting the 2022 World Cup – a fact you can’t shy away from on your visit. Banners advertising the 2022 World Cup are everywhere – even 11 years before the big event I saw them!!

world cup 2022 qatar flag

Back in 2011 on my first trip to Qatar I even noticed World Cup 2022 Banners and Flags 11 years before the event!!

How to Get a Qatar Visa at Doha International Airport

Once off the flight, you’ll have to board a bus from the plane to the arrivals hall. This is standard procedure in Doha – all incoming flights at present (correct as of December 2013) are landing far away from the actual airport terminal.

The bus will have a few stops – if you need to leave the airport then you’ll need a visa, so head to immigration. There will be a stop for immigration, arrivals and baggage claim and a separate stop for those passengers in transit.

doha mosque qatar

One of many mosques in Doha, Qatar.

What Nationalities Need a Visa to visit Qatar?

Most nationalities need a Visa for Qatar these days, including me (I travel on Irish and British passports). Visa on arrival applies to the following countries (and a few more):

Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, USA, Canada, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand. EU Countries are included. For these countries there is no need to buy your visa in advance. Just get it on arrival at the airport. As usual, check your own situation before you board or book your flight – every nationality has different visa restrictions, most are fine for Qatar Visas on arrival.

What will you need to get a Qatar Visa at Doha International Airport?

Here are the only things you will need to get a Qatar Visa at Doha International Airport:

1. Yourself (a given).

2. Your valid passport with 6 months to run (from a country that is allowed a visa for Qatar).

Passport stamp at Doha Airport, Qatar

Passport stamp at Doha Airport, Qatar

3. Proof of your onward flight details (this should be within the next 30 days for most nationalities – it will not always be asked for, but I like to be well prepared so carry it just in case).

4. A Credit Card – Visa or Mastercard (this is essential – payment for a Qatar Visa is by credit card only. Only exceptional cases will it be possible to pay in cash).

There are NO FORMS to fill in, the queues are average and the process is very easy!

How much does a Qatar Visa on Arrival Cost?

As of 1st January 2014, the rate is fixed at 100 Qatari Riyals. This is paid on arrival at the immigration desk by CREDIT CARD ONLY. You will get a receipt for your payment. 100 Qatari Riyals works out at around $27 US Dollars. This is of course, subject to change.

Horses in Doha, Qatar

Horses in Doha, Qatar

How Long is the Qatar Visa on Arrival Valid For?

Again it will vary depending on your nationality, but on an Irish and British (and a large number of nationalities) you will be granted a 30 day stay. To extend this you’ll have to do so when in the country, or with prior approval for a longer visa.

Arrival in Qatar

Arrival in Qatar

Other Bits of Information About Qatar

– Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It is the first Middle East country to do so.

– Qatar has only one real city – Doha.

– More than half the population live in Doha.

– More than half the population are rumoured to be “ex-pats” from countries such as India, Sri Lanka, England, Australia and USA.

Backpacking in Qatar

Backpacking in Qatar

– Qatar is one of the safest countries in the Middle East.

– Like most middle Eastern countries, Qatar prefers debit cards over credit cards: https://www.hsbc.com.au/1/2/debit

– Currency used in Qatar is the Riyal. As of January 2014, 1 US Dollar is equal to 3.6 Riyals.

Qatari Riyals

Qatari Riyals

– Qatar has only ONE Shop that sells pork and this is available only for non-Muslims.

– Qatar has only ONE Off-licence/Bottle Shop/Liquor Store and this is available only for non-Muslims.

– Qatar has an Irish Pub (it’s inside the Sheraton Hotel!)

– Qatar is ruled by a Sheik and since 2005 has been democratic.

– Qatar’s National Flag looks like the ones behind me in this photo (purple and white):

Posing by Qatar flag in Doha

Posing by Qatar flag in Doha

It’s an easy stop over to do folks and a day or two is enough. I’ve actually spent a total of 4 days in Qatar in my life, but both were stopovers yet I still got to see a good bit of Doha on them. I will write a bit more about Doha at some point, in the meantime, hope this guide helps you all work out your visa situation in time for 2022 World Cup!

George Harrison from the Beatles – While My Qatar Gently Weeps:

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22 thoughts on “How to Get a Qatar Visa at Doha International Airport

  • Given the small size of Qatar, it’s going to be really interesting to see where they will build all the necessary stadiums for World Cup 2022!

  • Agree whole heartedly Ray – I’ve been there twice now but havent had a chance to get my photos up or any decent articles. Basically – EVERY market stall ALREADY has 1000 bits of memorabilia with Qatar 2022 written on it (flags, scarfs, balloons, fridge magnets, t shirts, toy cars etc….). Its sure to be a great World Cup – I saw one of the few stadiums that will feature and the big stadium hosted 100,000 people last night for a Real Madrid v PSG match including Ronaldo. They are building about 5 in Doha the capital and 3 others around the country. The only issue is they only have ONE pork shop and ONE off licence. If China or Italy qualify you can guarantee they’ll need a bit more pig meat than what one shop can hold. Safe travels. Jonny

  • You are right. We just, just got back from a stopover in Qatar and getting the visa was easy peasy….and it is much better than hanging out in the transit terminal. We did bunches in the time we were there. I think it is well worth stopping over and getting out into the city if you can…it’s lovely. Good post.
    Corinne recently posted…Top 6 Oddest Statues from Our TravelsMy Profile

  • Nice one Corinne – glad you didnt end up in Dohas horrible airport for too long. Though I hear they have just built a new airport that is meant to be decent! Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hello,
    I’ll be doing a 24 hour layover in Qatar next month and am planning on getting a visa on arrival. However, I’ll be arriving at 3:50 am. Is the visa office open at this time? Will I have to wait until morning to get a visa when they open? I’ve heard some people say that the hours for the visa office are a bit strange. Let me know, Thanks!

  • Hi JB, thanks for the comment. It’s a 24 hour airport! We even slept there one night, there is no visa office – it’s just the immigration office – it’s 24 hour, including 3.50 am. However the city closes down at 10pm – nothing is open again until dusk and the only transport will be taxi (or walking). Safe travels. Jonny

  • When you say democratic – you mean ruled by a heradatory ruler and criticising said ruler may be punished by 15 years in prison.

  • Hi Ben – thanks for the comment. As the Manic Street Preachers once said “democracy is an empty lie”, I’m just back from Uzbekistan which is a military dictatorship disguised as democracy. Safe travels. Jonny

  • I am traveling new York to Ahmed a bad via qatar. And I will stay or hold in do ha is 13 hrs. And I have a Indian nationality passport. So I want to go outside for airport and I want to see. Doha.so can I get a arrival visa?? And how much fee it?? And how can I get a arrival visa

  • Hi Patio, thanks for your comment. I was in Qatar twice – 2011 and 2013 and used an Irish or British passport and it was fine for a visa on arrival. You will need to check with the relevant authorities for your own passport. Good luck and safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Johnny,
    Thanks for such a valuable info on Doha and visa collecting as I have almost lost a hope of getting proper info on that issue. I just have two more questions:
    – I’d like to see and do all that you have mentioned and I have about 10 hours time, so is it possible to walk from the airport, go to the museum, market and walk back, or is it too far to do it all on foot?
    – what would be the best order of doing things? For ex.: walk, boat, museum, fortress…or???
    Thank you for great blogs with even more great info 😉 Keep living 😉
    Damjana

  • Hi Damjana, thanks for the comment. As you can tell I was depressed and suicidal and am just replying now. So sorry if this is late and missed your trip. Yes, you can do it on foot – we walked from the airport on foot and did most of the sights on my other post in 10 hours but we got a taxi back to the airport. It is hot though, so you will sweat on the walk. If you check my other post we walked to the seafront first, then saw the museums, did a boat cruise, the mosques and finally the old market for food and souvenirs and then the football stadium on route to the airport. Here’s that post – http://dontstopliving.net/top-5-things-to-see-and-do-in-doha-qatar-in-one-day/ Safe travels. Jonny

  • Thank you Johnny, I have been very frustrated trying to get info re visa on arrival, so really appreciated your post.

  • Johnny, just one more question, the new airport, do you need to catch a bus to immigration as well?
    I’ve also read you just have to present yourself at a passport counter, pay your visa fee. Do you know if this is a new process?

  • Hi Maria, thanks for the comment. Yes it was an easy visa to secure though – not much paperwork and I got it on the border at the airport! Enjoy your trip to Qatar. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Maria, thanks for the comment. It was a few years ago I was there. I had no visa in advance and managed to get one on arrival at the airport. Yes I got a bus from my plane to the airport building, then joined the queue to pay for my visa. Safe travels. Jonny

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