Qatar Now Requires Mandatory Local Health Insurance For Entry (Effective February 1, 2023)

Effective today, February 1st 2023, all foreign arrivals seeking to enter Qatar must have valid health insurance that covers treatments in the country in case of illness.

The requirement includes travelers who enter Qatar either with a visa, visa on arrival, or those nationals entering the country under the visa (cost) waiver scheme.

It’s important to note that this will also affect guests who have booked a brief stopover while traveling via Doha’s Hamad International Airport with Qatar airways.

The official Visit Qatar website says that effective today (Feb 1), all visitors must hold a recognized insurance plan that can be purchased in advance or on arrival at a cost of 50 Qatari Riyals [US$14].

These are the accepted insurance providers:

The only accepted (listed) international insurance companies appear to be from the gulf region as well. Visitors from overseas apparently won’t have their insurance policies accepted.

Doha News elaborates that visitors can hold their own international health insurance as long as Qatar is included in the coverage but learning on the above that might be only for regional visitors:

Visitors to Qatar are required to have a health insurance policy, authorities confirmed, with the first phase of the requirement being rolled out as of February 1.

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced visitors must be covered by the required Health Insurance Scheme when entering the country and noted a health insurance policy can be purchased by MoPH registered health insurance providers.

The insurance plan for tourists, according to the ministry, only covers emergency and accident services and has a monthly cost of QAR 50 both at the time of first issue and when the visa is extended. …

Visitors must have health insurance when they apply for a visitor’s visa to Qatar as it is deemed a requirement. The same process applies when extending the visitor visa.

Travelers who have international health insurance must have a policy that covers Qatar, is valid while they are traveling there, and was issued by one of the insurance providers recognized by Qatar, authorities said.

There seems to be a discrepancy between what Doha News reports and what is explained on the official Visit Qatar website. It begs the question if international visitors can indeed use their own health insurance issued by companies such as Allianz, Aetna et al. as reported.

I have contacted the Qatar Ministry of Health to ask for clarification on the matter as I’m sure many (if not most) visitors are confused about this new rule as well.

Here is their website and how they describe the new requirements:

Travelers entering the State of Qatar are required to obtain health insurance with any insurance company that is registered with the Ministry of Public Health. You can get your health insurance upon arrival to Qatar, however we strongly advise you to secure the health insurance prior to traveling.

The mandatory visitors’ health insurance policy will cost QAR 50 per month and must cover emergency and accident services.

How To Obtain Visitors’ Health Insurance?​

  1. Visitors applying for a visit visa through the website of the Ministry of Interior (Qatar Visas), or via the Metrash App, will be directed to the website of the Ministry of Public Health where they can select one of the insurance companies registered with the Ministry to purchase the visitors’ policy after completion of all other relevant visa requirements.
  2. Once the insurance policy is issued by the selected insurance company, the Ministry of Interior will issue the appropriate visit visa.

  3. The effective date of coverage is the date of entry of the visitor at any border.

  4. If the visitor wishes to extend his/her stay in the State of Qatar, then he/she must purchase a new health insurance policy.

Visitors eligible for on-arrival visas at the border crossings of the State of Qatar:

In order to ensure speedy completion of your procedures upon arrival at the various border crossings (airport, land and seaports), please purchase a visitor insurance policy before arriving at these ports from the MOPH link provided above, and follow the same procedures mentioned.

Health Insurance Premium?

  • The premium for the Mandatory Visitors’ Health Insurance policy is QAR 50 per month.
  • The visitor can purchase additional coverage (Top-ups) as desired for extra premiums to be determined by the insurance companies.

What Is Covered By The Policy?

​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 required for any covered services as per the terms and conditions stipulated in the visitor’s health insurance policy.

Most travelers will already have an insurance plan since their final destination requires it, to purchase a one-month coverage for a 1-2 day stay while using the Qatar Airways stopover appear to be excessive and impractical.


Qatar has made it mandatory to purchase local health insurance in order to enter the country. The premium for this coverage is 50 Qatari Riyals or $14. This comes just weeks after the Worldcup ended and suddenly Qatar puts on the screws again as far as international travel is concerned.

On a positive note, they no longer require pre-registration and the app. I don’t have a problem with a foreign country requiring insurance but at least accept existing insurance coverage.

Most responsible travelers have an annual plan, private coverage that includes international travel, or credit card policies. This is just a money grab. Do they really need the $14 so badly? Who stays a full month in Qatar? Most visitors are there for just a very short time of their days.

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