Qatar reinstates sponsor’s approval rule for driving lessons

December 8, 2011

Qatar is reinstating a rule that requires the sponsor’s approval before a foreigner applies to take driving lessons, a local daily reported.

Driving school owners have been told that the application papers should now include the sponsor’s approval, Al Raya, an Arabic newspaper, reported.

The new rule reverses a decision taken six months ago to do away with the sponsor’s no-objection letter, resulting in a rush by expatriates to take up lessons.

Along with the application, the candidates had only to submit a copy of their valid ID card and an eye test certificate.

But now, with the endorsement letter mandatory again, expatriates will depend on the will of their sponsors to approve their aspirations while foreigners working in the unorganised sector will not be able to take driving lessons in a school.

“We expect the decision to result in the relapse of our business into stagnation after weeks of invigoration caused by the cancellation of the sponsors’ letter,” driving school owners told the daily.

Most schools had boosted the number of instructors and cars to deal with the rush resulting from the cancellation of the sponsor’s letter rule while six new schools were set to open to take up the total number to 16, they said.

“We hope that the Traffic Directorate will reconsider the decision so that our schools will operate smoothly,” they said.

No reason was given about the decision to reinstate the sponsor’s approval rule.

Under Qatar’s laws, all expatriates have to be sponsored to be able to live or work in the country.



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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