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11/08/2017 - 07:00hs

Brazilian tourists no longer need visas to Qatar

Citizens from Brazil will be allowed free entry on arrival, valid for a 30-day period and extendable for an additional 30 days.

São Paulo – Weeks after easing requirements for entry of Brazilian tourists, Qatar announced that visas will no longer be required for citizens from 15 countries in Central and South America, Brazil included. The measure is effective immediately: since Wednesday (9), Brazilian citizens do not need visas to enter the Arab country.

Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, the Guianas, Panamá, the Ivory Coast and Cuba are also covered.

No charges will be levied: on arriving at an entry point, these citizens will only need to produce a passport valid for six months minimum and a confirmed one- or two-way ticket. Permits will be valid for 30 days, with multiple entries, and are extendable for another 30.

In the past, Brazilians were required to apply for a visa beforehand. As of June 21, Qatari authorities decided to grant entry visas directly at Doha’s Hamad International Airport to citizens from Brazil and 36 other countries, some of them in Latin America. However, a QAR 100 fee was charged.

In an interview to ANBA at the time, Qatar’s ambassador in Brasília, Mohammed Ahmed Hassan, had said that tourist infrastructure expansion, driven by the FIFA 2022 World Cup, led the government to loosen up requirements to many countries. “We have a large tourist infrastructure, with hotels, private rooms, bazars, beaches, etc. It’s time to improve [in tourism],” he said.

With this latest move, fees were extinct to 15 countries, which are added to a list of another 65. In the statement, Qatari authorities said there’s an effort to attract more visitors to the country.

“With 80 nationalities eligible to a free visa upon arrival, Qatar becomes the most open country in the region and we are happy to invite visitors to discover our famed hospitality, cultural heritage and national treasures,” a statement quoted Hassan Al Ibrahim, chief tourism development officer of the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) as saying.

The effort by the government to facilitate the entrance of tourists coincides with the embargo imposed by some Arab countries on Qatar. In early June, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt decided to cut diplomatic ties with the country. Tourist and trade flows between these nations and Qatar was interrupted, as well as air traffic – a situation solved only this week, but which generated losses to Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways has daily direct flights from Doha to São Paulo, with a stop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Next year, a new Doha-Rio de Janeiro route will open, expanding the access of Brazilians to the Arab country and the Doha airport, one of the main air hubs of the Middle East.  

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum and Sérgio Kakitani

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