Qatar to consider granting permanent residency to expatriates

March 29, 2011

Qatar will consider granting permanent residency to expatriates who meet “pre-determined criteria,” the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016 said.

The decision is part of a programme to attract and retain a highly skilled labour force, according to the strategy unveiled officially in Doha.

The government will implement a recruitment and retention programme targeting expatriate workers that will include a review and revision of Qatar’s sponsorship system, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Tuesday.

The controversial system allows employers in the Gulf to have full control over the residence and work of their employees as well as their entry into and exit out of the country. Several local and international rights organisations have called for the cancellation of a system that a Bahraini former labour minister likened to modern-day slavery.

Qatar’s National Development Strategy said that the current employment sponsorship rules are affecting Qatar’s labour market

“A rigid labour market hampers the development of a workforce commensurate with aspirations for a knowledge economy,” says the document. “The transition to a more diversified economy requires more high-skilled labour.”

Qatar will also set up a tribunal for resolving labour disputes.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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