Qatar bans labourers obtaining driving licences

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(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Qatar has issued a clampdown on labourers obtaining driving licences for some types of vehicles, in a bid to reduce traffic congestion in the Gulf state, it has been reported.

The Department of Traffic has issued a circular ordering driving schools to no longer register labourers seeking to obtain a driving licence and learn to drive light or heavy vehicles, The Peninsula newspaper reported.

The ban came into effect on July 1 and was applied to labourers across all sectors, including private companies, government and semi-government entities.

The only labourers not included in the ban are workers who are on personal sponsorship, such as domestic helpers and drivers for Qatari families.

However, some driving school officials said it was unclear what category of workers would be covered under the new ban.

“Sometime, a labourer is a graduate, and whether semi-skilled workers like electricians and technicians are to be treated as labourers,” Mohamed Zain Ibrahim, the manager of Gulf Driving School, was quoted as saying.

“This is not clear. For us, what is important is that workers on personal sponsorship have been spared.”

The move is part of various initiatives by the Ministry of Interior to try and control increased congestion on Doha’s roads.

The ministry has set up a committee to study various options to help improve the flow of traffic in the city and it has also ruled that foreign workers on temporary project visas will no longer be issued driving licences.

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