Well, this is very unexpected news for those who frequently visit Qatar. The country is now requiring incoming international visitors to purchase local travel insurance when visiting.
Qatar Requires Local Travel Insurance For Entry Effective February 1
While I was unaware of this new law, I just happened to check out the travel alerts on the Qatar Airways website and found a notice about the “Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme.”
This new regulation was in effect since February 1, 2023, and is applied to all international visitors visiting Qatar. This also includes those who book stopover hotel packages.
The travel insurance must be purchased by visitors with a valid visa, visa on arrival as well as visa waiver scheme.
Qatar Entry Local Travel Insurance Companies
The Visit Qatar website currently published 18 local and international insurance companies registered with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health. You can check out the lists here.
Keep in mind that ONLY insurance companies that are registered under the Ministry of Public Health will be valid for entry. All other international insurance companies such as AXA, Allianz or CHUBB will not be valid.
You can also get travel insurance upon arriving in Qatar however it is strongly advised to secure the health insurance prior to travel.
Cost & Policies Of Qatar Entry Travel Insurance
The mandatory visitors’ health insurance policy is QAR 50 or around US$14 and covers emergency and accident services.
The policy includes:
- Emergency medical treatment:
Up to QAR 150,000 for the policy period and within the State of Qatar.
- Emergency medical assistance with a sub-limit of QAR 35,000, includes:
• Emergency ambulance transportation within the State of Qatar, and where necessary.
• Medical evacuation to the individual’s country of residence.
- COVID-19 and Quarantine:
a) Sub-limit up to QAR 50,000.
b) Covid-19 treatment for positive cases.
c) Quarantine expenses (for confirmed cases) are up to QAR 300 per day.
- No waiting period is required under this document.
- Repatriation: In the event of the visitor’s death within the State of Qatar, the cost of repatriation is covered up to an amount of QAR 10,000.
- No copayment or deductibles are required for any covered services as per the terms and conditions stipulated in the visitor’s health insurance policy.
While the insurance policy seems fair for such pricing, I am quite speculative about whether paying a month’s worth of insurance is fair for visitors who have a short stopover in Qatar.
Qatar is now requiring visitors mandatory travel insurance purchased from local insurance companies or from the gulf region which is registered under Qatar’s health ministry. The coverage costs 50Qar or US$14 and it will be valid for 30 days.
While the plan to introduce travel insurance surfaced back in 2021, during the period when COVID-19 was spreading around the world, I don’t understand why Qatar now wants visitors to purchase additional insurance from its own registered companies when visiting.