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Poles travel to Qatar visa-free

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 10.08.2017 08:30
Qatar has waived visas for travellers from Poland and 79 other countries in a bid to boost tourism and become “the most open country in the region” amid a diplomatic crisis.
Photo: Pixabay.comPhoto: Pixabay.com

Poles will no longer be required to buy visas, worth EUR 25, at Doha airport. Qatar's decision is effective immediately.

Citizens of 33 countries will be allowed to stay in Qatar visa-free for 180 days and tourists from the remaining 47 countries for 30 days.

“The visa exemption scheme will make Qatar the most open country in the region,” according to Hassan al-Ibrahim, the head of tourism development at the Qatar Tourism Authority.

International media reported that the visa-free travel aims to boost Qatar's trade and diplomatic ties outside of the region, after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain accused Doha of supporting terrorist organisations and cut off diplomatic ties in June.

Qatar has denied the accusations.

Reuters said the decision to waive visas was a next step towards building trade and diplomatic ties with countries outside the region.

Earlier this month, Qatar passed new laws to give some skilled migrants and children of marriages between Qatari women and foreign men permanent residency status and access to social welfare, education and healthcare.

Foreign workers, most of them from Asia, make up about 90 percent of Qatar's population of three million.

According to the AFP, Qatar Airways, one of the world's largest airlines, is set to gain the most from the visa-free travel.

Before June, about half of all tourists to Qatar came from the boycotting countries.

The airline lost a quarter of its connections when its neighbours decided to block transport links.

Meanwhile, Qatar has given assurances that preparations for the World Cup, which it was selected to host in 2020, are unaffected by the diplomatic crisis. (vb)

Source: PAP

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