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Will Avios redemptions to Dubai on Qatar Airways restart?

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You will probably have seen in the national media that Qatar has reached an agreement with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to end the three year blockade of Doha.

I will focus on the aviation benefits of the detente rather than the political elements.

Qatar Airways A350 Doha

Qatar Airways will now be allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia again. As the only country sharing a land border with Qatar, the removal of flying rights meant that many Qatar Airways routes involved a lenghty detour. The detour involved flying over Iran – for a substantial fee – which ironically strengthened the regime that Saudi Arabia and the UAE wanted to weaken.

More practically, we should soon see Qatar Airways resuming flights to the UAE and the other countries involved.

It will reopen a route to Abu Dhabi on Avios, as British Airways has now dropped the route, as well as increasing Avios options to Dubai. We may even see the Doha to Ras Al Khaimah route coming back, which I reviewed a few years ago.

It will be especially useful to readers outside London who may find a Qatar Airways redemption to the UAE more convenient than flying British Airways with a connection in Heathrow.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (47)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • babyg says:

    Oh this would be great (QR to DXB/AUG), especially with BA dropping AUH, hopefully QR will have some reward availability by the end of the year to either AUH/DXB, any crystal prediction on dates?

    • Blenz101 says:

      Assuming Qatar reopens its borders (post Eid would be my guess) I would be fairly confident flights will be back around the time of the rescheduled Expo2020 in October in DXB.

      EK/EY (i.e. the UAE Gov) don’t have a great incentive to encourage QR to compete with them as an extra hub delivering passengers to AUH/DXB meanwhile whilst Doha itself remains closed.

      Also the UAE was far more keen on keeping the blockade vs KSA.

      • babyg says:

        Thanks for the input Blenz101.. that could work out nicely for the Abu Dhabi F1 in December. I would much rather fly QR to AUH vs BA to DXB (plus the QR cabin/service benefits)

      • Aston100 says:

        Which Eid? The one in May after Ramadan, or the one in July after the Hajj?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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