As the influence and popularity of the ‘Big Three’ Gulf carriers; Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways grows, far more people are transiting Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha than ever before.

Superb premium cabin products coupled with impressive pricing particularly during sale periods has seen many people departing the UK agreeing to include a short stopover in these cities in exchange for enjoying a far superior and enjoyable flight experience.

Except, these airlines want you to do more than just spend 6 hours in the airport in transit, they want you to get out and explore the city.

Qatar Airways introduced complimentary 96-hour transit visas back in November 2016 as a means of persuading people to incorporate another city into their holiday itineraries.

Now though they have taken this a step further with the launch of the +Qatar programme.

The idea being that while booking your free transit visa, you can simultaneously book and take advantage of a free night at a 4*/5* hotel.

New +Qatar programme 

There are essentially 3 packages being offered to passengers and here is how it works:

  1. +Qatar Premium

    This is available for Qatar Airways Economy class passengers to book a complimentary night at a 4* hotel like the Radisson Blu Hotel Doha.

    Radisson Blu Hotel Doha
  2. +Qatar Luxury

    This is available for Business and First Class passengers and offers a complimentary night at the likes of the Four Seasons, St. Regis or the Sharq Village & Spa by Ritz-Carlton.

    St. Regis Doha
  3. +Qatar Ultimate

    This is available to passengers travelling in any class. You can add an extra night on top of your complimentary one for a nominal $50 fee. This is a great deal considering the calibre of hotels included in this list.

How to book 

EDIT 08/09/2017: This has now been extended until the end of 2017. 

There are a couple of conditions that you need to be aware of with this offer:

  • Book between: 1 May to 28 December 2017.
  • Travel between: 7 May to 31 December 2017. All travel must be completed by 31 December 2017.
  • You must have a minimum transit time of 12 hours to use this offer



This new scheme is a really interesting chance to visit a different city en route to your main holiday destination while staying at fabulous luxury hotels at minimal or no cost.

This would combine nicely if you managed to book the terrific £1500 business class deal to Auckland that I covered last week.

Etihad runs a similar scheme, but that is only available for Business and First Class passengers. Details of that scheme can be found here.

Overall, I think this an impressive offer that will hopefully be extended beyond the current 30th September 2017 cutoff date.