The little-known country of Qatar has created a very good way for the world to get to know its cultures, its sights, its food, its shopping and more. Qatar Airways is offering free luxury hotels stays for one night to passengers who have a layover of at least 12 hours in the capital city of Doha.
(This post contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase,
at no additional cost to you.)
If you choose to visit Doha for two nights, your Qatar Airways booking will give you the second night hotel stay for only $100. All available choices are 4- or 5-star hotels. This offer, called +Qatar, lasts through the end of 2018. You must be flying Qatar Airways both into and out of the Doha airport to qualify for these hotel stays.
I travel not to see the sights or eat the food; I travel for the people. It is super hard to get to really know local people on a layover. But visiting a country on a layover is better than never seeing it at all. You can still meet people, experience a lot and learn a little too. Plus the country of Qatar is now offering a transit visa free of charge if you’re in the country anywhere between 5 and 96 hours. So if you’re into making friends in foreign locations like I am and you want to max out your free visa, you just might be able to make some long-term friendships. Here are details about how to get the free visa while making your Qatar Airways booking.
The Qatar Airways booking promotion and the visa-free entries are part of Qatar’s efforts to bring tourists back to the country after a diplomatic crisis in June 2017 adversely affected tourism. When it decided to allow visa-free entry to people from 80 countries, Qatar moved itself into the number one position of Middle Eastern countries most open to tourists.
So, if you want to explore a beautiful, glamorous and mysterious country while also saving money, Qatar is the place to go now.
I loved Qatar and its people when I visited the country several years ago on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and my partner likewise loved it when he was in Qatar on business for a couple of weeks in June 2017. I stayed in the city of Doha and really enjoyed Souq Waqif and the corniche, while my partner really liked the Islamic Museum and his travels in to the desert.
Qatar is located on the Arabian Gulf near Saudi Arabia and the UAE
Safety in Qatar
Contrary to very popular and deeply-ingrained belief, you do not have to worry about violent crime or terrorism in most of the Middle East, including Qatar. These dangers are not common. It is instead significant cultural differences of which you need to be aware. I know this sounds unbelievable, but it is true. Here is a brief, pretty accurate article which succinctly outlines some of the most important things you need to be careful about in Qatar.
Qatar Language – Arabic (English is widely spoken)
HOW TO GET A FREE HOTEL ROOM WITH YOUR QATAR AIRWAYS BOOKING IN 3 EASY STEPS
2. Now, to book your free hotel room for your Doha layover. On the Qatar Airways home page at the top click Discover -> Free Stayover. Then in the middle of that page click Book +Qatar and input your dates. You will see that up to approximately a dozen 4- and 5-star hotels are available for your free hotel stay. You also will see that the cost is zero dollars.
If you choose to stay for two nights, you will see a similar array of 4- and 5-star hotels listed for a 100 USD booking fee.
The Qatar Airways booking website states: “Before you book your hotel, please ensure that you have a confirmed ticket document start with “157” on Qatar Airways with minimum transit time of 12 hours in Doha and service is completely on QR carriers with no other airlines involved.”
3. If you want to take a tour of Doha and/or the desert, you can select a tour after you choose your hotel. Some of the tours are:
Each tour is three or four hours long, so even if your layover is not overnight you can still go on a tour if you like.
It is so easy to visit this beautiful desert country on a Qatar Airways layover with a free hotel stay and a free transit visa. I am definitely visiting Qatar again. I hope you’ll consider checking out this very fascinating country.
Photo Credits: Qatar Airways, NawalEscape, NordCapStudio, Walsarabi