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07/07/2017 - 07:00hs

Qatar simplifies tourist visa for Brazilians

Travellers from Brazil visiting the Arab country will be able to acquire the visa in the Doha airport. It allows for a one-month stay period. New norm is already in effect.

São Paulo – Qatar has changed the norms regarding visas for Brazilians. Since the 21st of last month, travellers from Brazil that want to enter the Arab country as tourists can get the visa directly in the Hamad International Airport in Doha. Under the previous norm, Brazilian tourists needed to make the visa requirement before the trip.

Brazil is part now of a list of 37 countries to which Qatar has changed the norm regarding the issuance of tourist visas. Included in the list are other Latin American countries such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico.

Mohammed Ahmed Hassan Akhayki, Qatar’s ambassador in Brasília, says that he had already been discussing with Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Ministry the possibility of a change in the norms regarding the visas for Brazilian tourists. However, the expansion of the tourist infrastructure in his country, boosted by FIFA World Cup 2022, made the Qatari government decide to open up more to tourists of many other countries.

“We have a great tourist infrastructure, with hotels, rooms, stores, beaches, etc. It’s time to improve [within tourism],” said Alhayki. The tourism visa obtained in the airport is valid for one month. “Many tourists come to stay from a couple of days to two weeks. We thought the period of one month was enough,” said the diplomat. For those that need to stay more time in the Arab country, it’s possible to get the visa via the embassy in Brazil or require the extension already in Qatar before the current one expires.

To get the visa in the Qatari capital the tourist needs a passport valid for, at the minimum, six months; a round-trip ticket or the continuation to another destination; hotel reservations and funds amounting to USD 1,500 or credit cards. It’s necessary also to pay a fee of QAR 100 (USD 27.46).

According to the ambassador, the change in the norms regarding visas to several countries is not related to the political crisis facing the nation and some of its neighboring countries. Since June 5, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. “We are facing difficult times, but the change has nothing to do with it. We want to encourage people to visit Qatar,” he adds.

To Brazilians, the Qatari crisis has been impacting the time of arrival of the Doha-São Paulo flights. According to the diplomat, with the closing of the airspace of some of its neighbors, the Qatar Airways flights have been arriving in the city of São Paulo with a two-hour delay in comparison to regular flight time.

These setbacks, however, have not discouraged the investments by the airline of the Arab country in Brazil. Alhayki reminds that, starting in February 2018, Qatar Airways will have daily flights also to Rio de Janeiro, with stops in Chile’s capital, Santiago.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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