Samia Zekaria, the Ethiopian ambassador to Qatar, has confirmed that Qatari tourists can visit Ethiopia following the easing of coronavirus travel restrictions for the country. Visitors from Qatar are also now able to visit Ethiopia for a range of other purposes, including for business activities.
Zakaria made the announcement at a dinner reception hosted by the Ethiopian Embassy in Doha, which was attended by a variety of ambassadors, representatives of international organizations, professors from Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and business promoters.
She urged citizens of Qatar to take advantage of the relaxed restrictions to visit Ethiopia’s wide variety of tourist attractions and explore the rich heritage of the country. “We have many tourist areas in Ethiopia, and we want to invite businessmen, ambassadors, academia, and other visitors”, Zekarkia added.
Measure Aims to Boost Qatari Tourism in Ethiopia
During the reception, Zekarkia confirmed that the primary aim of the event was to promote Ethiopian tourism in Qatar. “I would like to invite you to visit Ethiopia, the land of origins, to taste the Ethiopian cuisine, enjoy Arabica coffee from its origin, and walk on the footprints of your ancestors, ”she told the crowd.
Tourism makes up a large percentage of Ethiopia’s GDP, with a total contribution of over US $7bn in 2018 alone. Therefore, kickstarting Ethiopia’s tourist economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is a key objective for the country’s government.
Nevertheless, Zekarkia also highlighted Ethiopia’s location on the horn of Africa as a major draw for investors and business travelers. “’Ethiopia is a country in motion with positive energy for investors. Thanks to its strategic location in the crossroads between Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, Addis Ababa is an air transportation hub of Africa”, she said.
eVisa to Travel to Ethiopia from Qatar
The Ethiopian government previously implemented another measure to facilitate tourist entry from Qatar and boost tourism to the country: the Ethiopia eVisa.
This electronic system was introduced in 2017 and allows citizens of Qatar to easily obtain a tourist eVisa for Ethiopia exclusively online. It removes the need to visit an embassy or consulate in person or wait in long border lines to submit a visa on arrival application.
Travelers from Qatar can simply complete an online form in a matter of minutes to receive an approved tourist visa sent by email. This can then be printed to present on arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa to gain expedited entry to the country.
An approved eVisa for Ethiopia permits Qataris a single entry to the country, and allows a total stay of either 30 or 90 days, depending on the needs of the individual. To travel to Ethiopia from Qatar for purposes other than tourism, it will be necessary to contact the Ethiopian embassy in Doha for further visa information.