Qatar Airways Extends Free Doha Hotel Stopover Program Through April 2018

One of the main goals of the Gulf carriers is to develop the infrastructure of their home countries and put them on the map. One certainly has to wonder where Doha would be without Qatar Airways, or where Dubai would be without Emirates. While these cities are known for being global hubs, the airlines are increasingly making an effort to have you actually visit, rather than just connect.

In May Qatar Airways introduced a new program called +Qatar, whereby passengers traveling on Qatar Airways in all cabins can get a 96 hour Qatar visa at no cost (though in the meantime Qatar has rolled out visa-free entry for 80 nationalities), one free night of hotel, and more.

Originally the program was just supposed to be valid through September 30, 2017, though it was then extended through December 31, 2017. Well, Qatar Airways has now extended this yet again. The Qatar Airways complimentary hotel stopover program is now valid for bookings through December 31, 2017, and for stays through April 30, 2018.

Through this offer you can get one night for free, and pay just $50 for the second night. The type of hotel you’re eligible for depends on the type of fare you book. Economy passengers are eligible for premium hotels (Holiday Inn, Radisson Blu, etc.), while business and first class passengers are eligible for luxury hotels (Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, etc.).

I recently wrote about my experience booking a hotel through this program, which was surprisingly straightforward. This past weekend I had my stay at the Westin Doha using this benefit, and the check-in process was seamless. I was just asked to forward my email confirmation from Qatar Airways and provide my boarding passes, and I was given a free room for my one night stay.


My room at the Westin Doha

Here are the basic terms associated with the +Qatar program:

  • Booking validity: 1 May to 31 December 2017.
  • Travel validity: 7 May to 30 April 2018. All travel must be completed by 30 April 2018.
  • Offer is valid for Qatar Airways tickets with transit in Doha.
  • Offer valid for Qatar Airways confirmed ticket holders only.
  • Qatar Airways E-ticket number is required to be entered at the payment page. Maximum of one booking is allowed per E-ticket number.
  • Offer is available on Qatar Airways flights transiting through Doha during on-ward or return journey. (E.g. London –Doha – Bangkok).
  • A minimum transiting time of 12 hours is required to be eligible for this offer.
  • Not applicable on codeshare flights.
  • Other terms and conditions apply. Please review at the time of booking.
  • A valid visa is required to enter the country. Nationals from a total of 80 countries can now take advantage of visa-free entry into Qatar. Entry into Qatar will be at the discretion of the immigration authorities. Discover Qatar is not responsible for the decision taken by the immigration authorities.


Museum of Islamic Art, Doha

Bottom line

It’s nice to see Qatar extend the +Qatar program yet again. The Westin I stayed at was great, and when you also add in the new visa-free entry for nationals of 80 countries, it’s easier than ever to plan a stopover in Doha.

(Tip of the hat to YHBU)

Comments

  1. Nice to see this. But this move surely has nothing to do with the airline wanting to introduce you to Qatar, and everything to do with the devastating impact that the various embargoes have had – and are continuing to have – on the tourism and leisure industries in the country.

  2. @ Michael — Sure, that may have been the catalyst in this case, but both Emirates and Etihad have offered similar concepts for years, so I don’t think it’s unfair to say that it’s intended to get people to actually visit the countries.

  3. Oops, didn’t refresh the page before commenting. How can we verify for sure whether this works with award tickets (specifically with AA Miles)?

  4. @Lucky

    Did you get Starwood stay credits at the Westin?

    Do all passengers have to travel in F or J to be eligible for luxury class hotels? Aka say 2 adults in J traveling with 2 mid to late teenagers in Y?

  5. I stayed at the Westin Doha last year. Nice hotel. Was there during Ramadan. I felt awkward when they offered me something to drink and the sun was still up during check in. I politely declined so as to not offend them as they were fasting. I would stay there again.

  6. Ben, did you receive the 250 QAR meal voucher at westin? Cuz they gave it to me when I stayed at Oryx Rotana for a 14 hours connection. Flying with QR next month, look forward to take advantage of this.

  7. I booked a stopover yesterday for an upcoming trip on Qatar (J) but was unable to select any of the ‘luxury hotels’ – it seems only the premium hotels are available, even for business passengers.

  8. @ Ben — For an 8 hour connection at DOH from 0000 to 0800, would you recommend buying a hotel room or staying on the airport lounge? We are flying biz.

  9. @ Ben — For an 8 hour connection at DOH from 0000 to 0800, would you recommend buying a hotel room or staying in the airport lounge? We are flying biz.

  10. @Gene, last year i had a layover at DOH between 0300-0800 and spent it in the Business class lounge and was perfectly happy. The lounge was quiet, the sound of the water feature was soothing and there weren’t many people in there until close to 6am. In one of the back rooms they even have sleeping pods (not fully enclosed, but relatively private).

  11. I am going to stay a night in Doha next week, using this offer.

    Once I had booked my flights, I asked the Qatar Airways Facebook folks whether I am eligible for a free hotel night. They said I am not, because they claimed there would have been an earlier connection, making the layover less than 12 hours. They also said someone will contact me – which never happened.

    However, I found no earlier connections. and on the Discover Qatar webpage I did manage to make a hotel reservation. I have also contacted the hotel to verify that the reservation is ok.

  12. The offer is valid for QR Privilege Club award tickets and it also works for one-way tickets. I just booked the package for such an award. As the redemption rate for two one-way tickets is the same as a for return trip, two one-way awards (with > 12 h connecting time) may qualify for the +Qatar offer on both outbound and “return” journey.

  13. @Mo, @No_Name

    The updated web site makes no distinction between J and Y transit passengers. It appears any available hotel is fair game.

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