Doha, Qatar
Doha, Qatar

Qatar scraps visa requirements for 80 countries including Canada

DUBAI, UAE — Qatar is scrapping visa requirements for visitors from 80 countries, including Canada, as it weathers a boycott by four Arab states and gears up to host the World Cup in 2022.

Under the new policy announced by Qatar Airways and authorities on Wednesday, Canadians, Americans, Britons and citizens of 44 other countries can enter visa-free for an initial 30 days on single or multiple trips, and can extend that for a further 30 days. Citizens of 33 mostly European countries can enter without a visa for 90 days in single or multiple trips during a 180-day period.

Earlier this summer Bahrain, the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar, a move that initially stranded passengers and resulted in a drop in fares for Qatar Airways.

Bahrain, UAE recently agreed to open up airspace for Qatar Airways. A spokesman for the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization said Tuesday that the flight corridors include existing as well as new “temporary or contingency” routes for Qatar Airways.

Spokesman Anthony Philbin says that since June 5, the aviation organization has been working with various countries in the Middle East to work out access to airspace for Qatar-registered aircraft.

 

With files from The Associated Press