I have flown through Doha many times, but not once have I stepped foot outside the airport. Now I have a compelling reason: instead of forking over $300 it will cost me nothing.
Visas for U.S. citizens once cost about $65 on arrival and a decent hotel will set you back at least $200. For overnight transits, I always opted to simply remain in the lounges. The Al-Safwa lounge even has sleeping rooms, which I have used twice now.
But in a bid to attract more visitors, Qatar Airways and the Qatar Tourism Authority are teaming up to offer +Qatar, a complimentary stopover package for guests transiting between 12 and 96 hours.
Explore the culture and attractions of Qatar with Qatar Airways’ new Transit Visa and enjoy a complimentary stay at one of the many international hotels in Doha as you treat your family and loved ones to an extended vacation, courtesy of Qatar Airways and the Qatar Tourism Authority.
Qatar Airways transit passengers can explore Qatar with our range of stopover options including a free hotel stay and two-night stay offers from 1 May to 30 September with +Qatar offers. Take this opportunity to discover Doha on your onward or return journey, club it with city tours, a desert safari adventure, museum visits, or dinner aboard a traditional dhow to truly experience and enjoy Arabian hospitality.
Three ‘+Qatar’ offers
When booking a +Qatar package, three hotel packages will be offered–
Book this offer for a two-night stay in a four-star or five-star hotel at a nominal booking fee of USD 50 per room.
Qatar Airways First and Business Class passengers receive a complimentary night’s stay from a selection of luxurious five-star hotels.
Qatar Airways Economy Class passengers enjoy a complimentary night’s stay at a premium four-star hotel.
Tomorrow I will publish a guide on how to secure these rooms. Essentially, business and first class transit passengers receive a free five star hotel while coach passengers receive a free four star hotel. If you need a second night, it costs $50. A discounted third night is not available.
For now, note the following terms:
- Sales validity: 24 April to 31 August 2017.
- Travel validity: 1 May to 30 September 2017. All travel must be completed by 30 September 2017.
- Offer is valid for flights booked with Qatar Airways on qatarairways.com with Multi-city ticket booking.
- Offer valid for Qatar Airways confirmed ticket holders only.
- Offer is available on Qatar Airways flights transiting through Doha during onward or return journey. (E.g. London – Doha – Bangkok).
- A minimum transiting time of 12 hours is required to be eligible for this offer
For now, the free hotel benefit will only run through 30 September 2017 for bookings made through 31 August directly with Qatar. That’s a bummer because it is not until October that weather starts to cool down in Doha. Hopefully this program will be such a success that it is extended. I look forward to stepping out of the airport during my next visit!
(H/T One Mile at a Time)