French President Francois Hollande has arrived in Qatar at the start of a two-nation Gulf trip that will also include a visit to neighboring Saudi Arabia.

The centerpiece of Hollande's visit to Qatar on Monday is the signing of a 6.3 billion euro ($7 billion) deal to sell 24 Rafale fighter jets to the natural gas-rich nation.

He is expected to hold talks with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani during his visit before departing later in the day for Saudi Arabia.

Qatar is the third overseas buyer of the delta-winged Rafale, manufactured by France's Dassault Aviation. India announced plans to buy 36 Rafale jets earlier this month and Egypt bought 24 of them in February. The United Arab Emirates is also considering buying the plane.