Qatar

Overview

Ministry of Health (MOH) Public Health Advisory

Please refer to the MOH COVID-19 website for updates on the latest precautionary measures implemented to further reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 to Singapore. These include travel advisories and further restrictions on travellers coming into Singapore. 

On 5 June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt announced the cessation of diplomatic and consular ties with Qatar. This was accompanied by closures of land, air and sea routes between these countries and Qatar. Although these closures are currently still in place, there are no major disruptions to flights to and within the region, as well as transits through Qatar. Singaporeans travelling to and within the region should still check with their respective airline or tour operator for more information before their travel, to avoid inconvenience.

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Singaporeans can visit Qatar for up to 30 days without a visa. As visa requirements often change at short notice, we advise you to contact your travel agency, or the Embassy of Qatar in Singapore for up-to-date information.

COVID-19

  

In view of the current COVID-19 situation, the Government of Qatar is only allowing Singaporeans with valid Qatar Residence Permits (QIDs) to enter Qatar from 1 August 2020. Returning Singaporean residents of Qatar will need to submit a return permit request via the “Qatar Portal” website in order to travel back to Qatar. 


As of 22 October 2020, Singapore has been added to Qatar’s “Green List” of low risk countries. In this regard, returning Singaporean residents of Qatar will be required to serve a 7-day home quarantine. As part of the quarantine requirements, they will also need to undergo a COVID-19 test on the 6th day of their quarantine at a designated health centre. The case status on the returning resident’s Ehteraz contact tracing application, which is mandatory for all residents of Qatar, will start out as yellow (“In Quarantine”), and will change to green (“Good Health”) after the individual has tested negative for COVID-19.

 

All other categories of Singapore nationals (business travellers, tourists, etc.) are not allowed entry into Qatar at present.

As entry restrictions may change at short notice, you are advised to contact your travel agency or the Embassy of Qatar in Singapore to ensure that you have accurate information for your specific purpose prior to departure.

 

 

 

 

 

We advise Singaporeans to maintain the usual vigilance in public, be aware of local events and take appropriate steps for personal safety at all times.  Although crime levels are low, female visitors should take extra care when travelling alone at night.

A key area is safety on the local roads. Due to ongoing road constructions, Singaporeans are advised to exercise safety precautions when driving in Qatar. Road discipline is poor; speeding and minor accidents are common. The driver and passengers should wear a seat belt at all times. You must not use a mobile phone while driving. “Road rage” like rude gestures or even minor expressions can attract significant penalties. Offenders may be fined, imprisoned or deported.

For those who prefer walking, please be extra careful when using road zebra crossings. The local driving culture does not require mandatory stopping or slowing down at zebra crossings for pedestrians. Pedestrians need to be extra alert and wait for cars to slow down before attempting to cross at zebra crossings. 

Qatar is a Muslim country. Singaporeans are reminded that they should respect the local traditions, customs, laws and religions and to adhere to them at all times while in Qatar.

It is illegal to import alcohol and pork products into Qatar. All luggage is scanned at the arrivals hall of Hamad airport.

Expatriates living in Qatar can buy alcohol via a permit system provided by the Qatar Distribution Company. It is also available in licenced restaurants and hotels which may sell alcohol to adult, non-Muslim customers in restricted areas.

It is an offence to drink alcohol or to be drunk in a public place. People breaking this law can be deported, fined or receive prison sentences.

  1. Alcohol should not be transported within the country, except to take it home from the Qatar Distribution Company on the day of collection.
  2. It is an offence to offer alcohol to Muslims and minors.
  3. Muslims caught drinking may be subjected to corporal punishment.
  4. It is illegal to sell, donate or give away alcohol.
  5. As is in most other countries, it is a very serious offence to drink and drive in Qatar. Driving under the influence of alcohol is punishable by a jail sentence, fine or both. Offenders will also be deported.

Penalties for possession, consumption and trafficking in illegal drugs are severe in Qatar, and offenders will have to undergo long-term imprisonment and pay heavy penalties. Depending on the severity of the offence, the mandatory death penalty may also be meted.

Qatar punishes and forbids the wearing of revealing or indecent clothes in public. This dressing-code law is enforced by a government body. Singaporeans in Qatar should take note of this requirement. In public places, women should be modest in their dressing and should avoid sleeveless or low-neck tops, tops with short sleeves that are above the elbows, as well as shorts or tight-fitting dresses above the knee.  Men should note that wearing shorts or sleeveless T-shirts in public is generally frowned-upon and considered offensive.

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims. During this time, Muslims will abstain from food, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk. Singaporeans should be aware of the strict level of observance and enforcement of this during their visits to Qatar on the month of Ramadan. Most restaurants will be closed during the daytime, including home deliveries, and will only open after dusk. During the Ramadan, non-Muslims should avoid eating, drinking, chewing gum or smoking in public during the daytime, including in your car. Pregnant and nursing women and young children are exempt from the provisions, but discretion is still advised. 

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Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]

In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.

Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.

In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities. 

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.

For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

·  Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.

·  Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.

·  Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.

·  eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

 

While travelling

·  Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.

·  Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.

·  Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.

·  Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.

In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]

There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas.  These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance.  The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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