A revised tourism visa scheme for passengers transiting through Doha is being introduced in a move to promote Qatar as a stop-over destination.

The new transit visa structure now allows passengers with a minimum transit time of five hours in Hamad international airport to stay in the Gulf state for up to four days without having to apply in advance for an entry visa.

This is double the previous transit visa scheme which limited travellers with a minimum layover of eight hours to spend a maximum of two days in Qatar.

The increase is designed to make stop-overs easier and more attractive to Qatar Airways’ passengers.

The free transit visa is available on arrival to passengers of all nationalities, upon confirmation of onward journey and completion of passport control procedures.

All visas are approved and issued at the sole discretion of the Ministry of Interior.

Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Whether travelling for business or leisure, we want to enrich the journey of all of our passengers and we are restructuring our fares to reflect this initiative and to promote stop-overs to travellers.

“We are excited to offer our passengers the opportunity to taste the cultural highlights that the city of Doha and the State of Qatar have to offer.”