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To boost tourism amid diplomatic tensions with geographically surrounding countries, Qatar announced a tourism programme on Wednesday that will exempt nationals of at least 80 countries, including India, from requiring a visa to visit Qatar.

According to the Qatar Tourism Authority, people hailing from 47 countries will be allowed a visa-free visit for 30 days while nationals from the rest 33 countries in the list can enjoy Qatari pastures for 180 days.

Some of the countries in the list are United States, India, Lebanon, South Africa, New Zealand along with several European countries.

An official from the tourism authority stated, “The visa exemption scheme will make Qatar the most open country in the region.”

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar while also imposing air transport ban, citing Qatar’s support of terrorism as reason.

The four Gulf countries had put in several demands, one of them being shutting down of Al Jazeera, ahead of Qatar to uplift the ban but the latter has refused to meet them.

First Published | 10 August 2017 1:11 PM
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Web Title: Qatar announces visa-free visit to citizens from 80 countries

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