The Ministry of Interior
Hamad International Airport is Qatar’s gateway to the world. Qatar’s modern border system and revolutionary visa programme have made it the most open country in the Middle East, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
With a 20 per cent higher check in rate year-on-year, Hamad International Airport’s passenger traffic continues to grow. This is no surprise to the Ministry of Interior’s Airport Passport Department, which has been preparing for this influx through the nation’s flagship terminal at Hamad International Airport.
“Qatar’s visa programme has gone through a quantum leap”, says Director of the Airport Passports Department, Colonel Mohammed Rashid Al Mazrouei.
The Ministry of Interior has always aimed to stimulate tourism in the country, says Colonel Al Mazrouei. The Airport Passports Department facilitates entry and exit procedures, he adds, implementing a modern electronic system to ease travel woes.
Even the most experienced globetrotter will encounter hiccups along the way, including lost or expired visas and residency permits. To further assist passengers and save their time and effort, an office was opened at the airport to facilitate access to the services provided by the Visa Entry Department. The office works to overcome travellers’ struggles, including the renewal and cancellation of residency, the amendment of visa entry, and the extension of visas.
In an effort to speed the overall process and to ensure passengers make their flights, Qatar now issues ‘On Arrival and In Advance’ visas for citizens from 92 countries. This visa system promotes tourism and further positions Qatar as a holiday destination, in collaboration with Qatar Airways and the National Tourism Council.
Now, this openness is being celebrated globally. The United Nations World Tourism Organization last year announced that Qatar has become the most open country in the Middle East and the 8th most open in the world in terms of visa facilitation.
Colonel Al Mazrouei says that this contributes significantly to the promotion of tourism in Qatar, making the country a truly modern destination on the global tourism map.
With the increase in passengers from around the world, the Airport Passports Department has worked hard to ensure it can accommodate this growth. Logistically, Colonel Al Mazrouei explains that the electronic gates – known as e-gates –facilitate movement for citizens and residents alike.
The gates are one of the most important updates in the new border system provided by the Ministry of the Interior through Hamad International Airport. In total, 2.3 million people used the new gates in 2018.
Colonel Al Mazrouei explains that the Airport Passports Department has adopted several new systems that contribute to making the facilities at Hamad among the most advanced in the world, offering Qatari citizens, residents and tourists a seamless experience as they embark on their next journey.