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If you've ever wanted to explore Doha -- Qatar’s stylish capital city -- now is the time to do it. Qatar Airways is offering a free stopover in this glittery destination on the Persian Gulf, including a complimentary hotel stay for one night and a free 96-hour transit visa. You can use it from May 7 to September 30, as long as it's booked from before August 30.
The best part? There are quality hotels to choose from for your free overnight stay, no matter which class you’re flying. (And, you can add a second night at the hotel for just $50).
First-class and business-class passengers can choose from a list of luxurious five-star hotels, including the Four Seasons, Shangri-la Doha, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, and Concorde Hotel Doha. It’s quite a savings, since rates during this travel period at the Four Seasons can run around $305 (on September 22-24, when the worst of the summer heat is over); the Shangri-la costs $218 on the same weekend.
Economy-class passengers, too, can choose from a list of four-star hotels, including Holiday Villa Hotel & Residence, Adagio Aparthotel Premium, Al Liwan Suites Doha, Amari Doha, and Radisson Blu ($129 per night the weekend of September 22-24).
Remember that a transit visa is necessary to enter Qatar, but it’s easy to apply for a complimentary pre-approved one through Qatar Airways’ stopover program (they’re good for a stays up to 96 hours). You should allow at least seven days for processing, and you must enter Qatar within 30 days of being issued the visa, so plan accordingly.
If you do jet over, make sure to explore the Souq Waqif for a glimpse into the city’s social center and marketplace, or the Museum of Islamic Art -- built on its own island -- for the largest collection of its kind in the world, then take a stroll along the nearby al Corniche waterfront promenade and marvel at the sparkling waters of Doha Bay.