Traveling to India or USA via Doha? All You Should Know about Qatar Stopover, Doha City Tours, Visa-free Transit

Booked Qatar Airways’ flight tickets to India or USA via Doha for summer travel? You can now turn your transit into an exciting tour of Doha City if the layover/connection time is 8 hours or more at Hamad International Airport. Or, you can make the most of a Doha stopover in the event of a minimum 12-hour layover in transit. Qatar Airways’ Doha stopover is one of the best airline stopover programs for international transit travelers. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is much as beautiful as Dubai or Abu Dhabi. You can get to see an additional destination while in transit between USA and India at a very little cost, instead of spending a lump sum for a separate trip to Doha.

Qatar Airways Doha stopover, free Doha City transit tours, Hamad International Airport layover guide


Do I need a visa for a Doha stopover or a transit tour in Doha?

Usually, international transit travelers require a transit visa to enter Doha/Qatar. Nationals of both India and the United States are eligible for visa-free entry to Qatar. To be precise, Indian passport holders and US citizens can obtain visa waiver on arrival in Doha during their layover at Hamad Airport (DOH). They must have a passport valid for minimum 6 months and a confirmed onward/return air ticket. The visa waiver for them is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance.

Other transit passengers of Qatar Airways can apply for a pre-approved transit visa to enter Doha. The Qatar transit visa is available at no cost and for a layover of minimum 5 hours. It is valid for up to 96 hours or 4 days. In case a US or Indian citizen is barred from obtaining visa waiver on arrival in Doha, he/she can apply for a free transit visa to Qatar.

Doha City transit tours for Qatar Airways’ passengers

Qatar Airways’ Destination Management Company, Discover Qatar operates several Doha City tours for international transit passengers having a layover of 8 hours or more at Hamad Airport. You can choose either of the two paid Doha transit tours offered by Discover Qatar and pre-book online on the website of Discover Qatar. You can also reach out to the Discover Qatar Desk at Hamad International Airport.

“Discover Doha” is a 3-hour guided coach tour across the city. It takes travelers on a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art, Dhow Harbour, the Doha Corniche, the Katara Cultural Village, and Souq Waqif. The Doha Corniche is a scenic waterfront promenade stretching for 7 kms along the serene Doha Bay. Boat rides are available at the Corniche stop next to the Museum of Islamic Art. Dhow Harbour, one of the oldest tourist places in Doha, is where traditional sailing vessels are anchored. The place offers absolute serenity and scenic glimpses of beach life. The Katara Cultural Village is a must-visit place that offers a walk-through Qatar’s art, culture and cuisine.

Discover the Desert and Inland Sea is an exclusive 4-hour private tour for transit travelers with Qatar Airways tickets for business flights/economy. It is an exciting tour of the place where sand dunes of the Arabian Desert meet the pristine blue waters of the Arabian Sea and offer breath-taking views.

Hamad Int Airport tours for transit passengers

Neither Qatar Transit Visa nor the visa waiver on arrival in Doha is available for Indians and US citizens if their itinerary has less than 5 hours of connection/transit time at Hamad Airport. Without a visa permit or a visa waiver, they cannot step out of the airport for Doha City sightseeing. However, there are airport layover tours for them, and the tours are payable.

“Discover the Art of the Airport” and “Discover Squash at the Airport” are two Hamad International Airport tours for transit travelers. The former is a 2-hour tour exploring the remarkable art exhibits at Hamad Airport, DOH. Good for art connoisseurs among the transit travelers! The latter is also a two-hour tour that provides ample room to let you relax and enjoy a game of squash until boarding on to your next flight. It comes with access to the shower facility. The tour is available every two hours throughout the day.

Doha Stopover for Qatar Airways’ transit passengers 

Grabbing Indian Eagle’s best deals for Qatar Airways flights to USA or India, you can make the most of a Doha stopover for 12 hours or more. However, a Dubai stopover requires one-night accommodation at a 4-star or 5-star hotel. Discover Qatar offers cost-effective packages at bundle rates starting from $14 for standard 4-star accommodation and from $20 for premium 5-star accommodation per night. 

Hotel accommodation can be booked for up to 4 nights depending on the length of your Doha stopover. Your Qatar Airways boarding pass and stopover booking confirmation are the key requirements for hotel check-in on arrival in Doha. Your name on the boarding pass should match your name on the stopover booking document. In the event of flight schedule change or cancelation, you can contact Discover Qatar on +974-4144 5150 for a change to the stopover hotel booking.

What to do at Doha Hamad Int Airport other than paid airport tours?

You are in for a treat at Hamad International Airport. Among the things to do and see during a layover at Hamad Airport, the Orchard is a special mention. If you don’t wish to take a Doha sightseeing tour or spend on an airport tour, you can kill your wait time for the next connecting flight in the Orchard, a 10,000-sqm indoor tropical garden with spaces for relaxation, recreation, and shopping.

The Orchard with a 270-sqm water feature, among the key attractions of Doha Hamad Airport, resembles the Jewel Complex of Singapore Changi Airport. It offers lush greenery with tranquil ambience, so you can stroll or sit relaxed. Is shopping your favorite indulgence? You can go on a shopping spree in the sprawling retail area of the Orchard where there are more than 90 brands, including Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Burberry, and Louis Vuitton Boutique.

During a layover, Hamad International Airport offers plenty of things to do for family travelers with kids. There are Mac stations with lots of kids-friendly entertainment content. The play areas have various facilities to let kids channelize their energy. The passenger terminal has five activity nodes for family travelers with children: one in Concourse A, one in Concourse B, and 3 in Concourse C. Bronze sculptures in the concourses are worth clicking selfies with kids. Precisely, there is no scope for kids to get bored during a layover at Hamad International Airport, DOH.

12 thoughts on “Traveling to India or USA via Doha? All You Should Know about Qatar Stopover, Doha City Tours, Visa-free Transit

  1. Vijay

    I have OCI card – ‘Overseas Citizen of India’ , travelling on St. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) passport. Do I need to apply for VISA before travel?! [Site seeing purpose]

    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Vijay! Could you be a little more specific about where you are traveling to?

  2. Falgun Desai

    I am Falgun Desai wife and my self are going to India from U S A.we are having 13 hours halt at Doha .we are u s citizens.we have economy class ticket.can we use lounge free ,if I have to pay what is the price? What other activity I can do at what price? Thanks

    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Falgun! In our knowledge, there is no free lounge for economy class travelers. Given the 13-hour layover, you can go out for city sightseeing. Qatar Airways’ tourism partner, Discover Qatar, conducts reasonably paid Doha city tours for transit travelers. Being a US citizen and having a minimum 6-month valid passport, you are eligible for visa-free entry to Doha. You can obtain the visa waiver at Hamad International Airport during the layover. Kindly go through the article to get the information. Thank you!

  3. BS

    Hello. I have a laover of 21 hrs in Doha. I’m an Indian citizen traveling with my 2 kids. I’m unable to book accomodation via discover doha as it requires minimum of 2 nights. I
    Can you please confirm.

    1) India is qualified for visa free ebtry, so do I still need to get visa on arrival if I were to go out into the city?

    2) if yes, do I need hotel accomodation for visa. How do I book it?

    Thank you.

    • indianeagle Post author

      Hello! Yes, Indians having a passport valid for 6 months are eligible for visa-free entry to Qatar. You will get the visa waiver at the desk at Doha Airport.

  4. Kumar

    Hello, I understand Indians do not need a visa to enter Qatar. My layover is 13 hours. My question is do i still need to show a Hotel reservation at security gate or ?

    • indianeagle Post author

      Hi Kumar! In our knowledge, a layover of 13 hours will be considered as a stopover. A Dubai stopover requires one-night accommodation at a 4-star or 5-star hotel. Discover Qatar offers cost-effective packages at bundle rates. You can visit the portal of Discover Qatar.

  5. Sai

    I’m unable to book any of the transit tours (considering the ones in the city and not just within the airport) due to my flight timings. My inbound flight to Doha arrives at 8:30PM and the outbound flight is at 8:00AM the next day, making it a 11.5 hours overnight layover. However, there are some private tours (I e., not by Discover Qatar and available on site like Viator, GetYourGuide etc) that start a little late, around 11pm and are convenient for me.

    Would there be any immigration issues of I book and take these private tours? Is there any additional procedure other than that mentioned above that I’d have to follow? Would I require a hotel reservation if the tour is roughly 4 hours long?

  6. RRai

    Is india still under visa free stay ?

    I have a stopover of 23 hours , On Discover qatar website i see 2 hotel booking options “Stopover” and “Hotels for Hayya and Visa “ which option to use from .


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