Twiddle-thumbs-time while transiting in Qatar may very well be over for passengers of Qatar Airways.
As of Nov 1, passengers with a layover time of five hours or more in Hamad International Airport can now apply for a complimentary transit visa to enter Qatar for up to 96 hours.
According to a joint media statement by Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority, this visa is open to passengers of all nationalities. However, all visas are granted at the sole discretion of the Qatari Ministry of Interior.
Passengers can apply for their free transit visa through any of Qatar Airways' offices, or online here.
To be eligible for the transit visa, passengers must have a confirmed ticket for a journey into Qatar, with a confirmed onward journey out on a Qatar Airways-operated flight.
The transit visa will be valid for 90 days from the date of issuance, and will be valid for a single entry into Qatar. Passengers must hold a copy of the pre-approved transit visa at the time of boarding at their airport of origin, as well as upon arrival into the country.
Fares for international flights have also been restructured, allowing passengers to have a free stopover in Doha without any additional charges to their ticket on both inbound and outbound journeys.
However for passengers travelling from Gulf countries and Middle East on return tickets, the free stopover will only apply during their outbound journey.