Al Baker said the Gulf state hopes to attract six million visitors every year by 2030.
Qatar has announced plans to boost its tourism with the the expansion of the its Hayya Platform, authorities announced in a press conference in Doha on Sunday.
The move allows more tourists who currently require a visa access to the Gulf nation with immediate effect. The Hayya platform will become the country’s single portal for all tourist visas required to enter Qatar.
The relaunch of Hayya will accelerate the status of Doha as an Arab Tourism Capital and will allow visitors from over 15 Arab countries to enjoy Qatar and all that it has to offer.
The Hayya New E-visa will come in different categories based on nationality, residency or other international visas already in possession of the traveller.
There are three additional categories of travellers who will be granted easier approval.
A1 category includes all nationalities that do not qualify for Visa on Arrival or Visa Free Entry, while A2 is designated for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) residents – which now includes all professions. A3 is set for international visitors who have visa or residency from Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand.
The new developments were announced at a press conference with Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Chairman Akbar Al Baker as well as Saeed Al Kuwari, the Executive Director of the Hayya platform at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) on Sunday.
During the conference Al Baker pointed to Qatar’s efforts in collecting record breaking statistics. After the successful delivery of FIFA WorldCup 2022, he said, the number of arrivals in Q1 of 2023 reached new record levels. More than one million were recorded by March as the cruise season boosted the high numbers.
Through Hayya, the Gulf nation was able to receive more than 1.4 million visitors during the FIFA World Cup, the airline giant CEO said. Building on the same sentiment, Al Kuwari said the Hayya is a legacy to build on for anyone wishing to expand on the experience they gained and hospitality they enjoyed in Qatar.
Al Baker said the Gulf state hopes to attract six million visitors every year by 2030, which is a further testament to the robust tourism sector as well as the country’s openness to employment opportunities.
“We [Qatar] are the most open country in terms if visa facilitation in the Middle East and the eighth most open globally,” said Al Baker.
The officials ensured that the period of these visas depends on the country of origin and is usually 30 days. They also detailed that no visa request should take more than 48 hours to receive a response.
Individuals who are not eligible for a Visa-on-Arrival, can apply through the Hayya platform. However, people who fall under the 95 countries eligible for On Arrival visas do not need to apply for a visa through Hayya platform.
Hayya has further announced pre registration forms for anyone wishing to use land crossing borders, by requesting details of the car used and required fees payment.
Hayya also provides additional services for tourists wishing to visit the Gulf nation including, maps, destinations and even discounts.
Al Baker stressed the concerted “aggressive” efforts that will go into promoting the country’s tourism sector through major investments in the infrastructure among other developments.
Some of these developments include infrastructure in the sand dunes as well as additional resorts. Expansion of the medical tourism and education tourism are also in the working plans, the CEO detailed.
“What more you do you want than doing all these activities in the safest country in the world?” Al Baker asserted.