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Tue 3 Nov 2009 07:15 AM

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Qatar mulls expat salary rise to qualify for family visas

Ministry of Labour chief cites increasing rents as one reason for proposed hike.

Qatar mulls expat salary rise to qualify for family visas
SALARY REVIEW: Qatar is considering raising the salary limit for expats wishing to sponsor their family in the Gulf state.

Qatar is considering raising the salary limit for expats wanting to sponsor their families, it was reported on Tuesday.The Labour Ministry has hinted the salary limit for expats wanting their families to be included on their visas could be revised soon as part of a set of new regulations being put in place to regulate the recruitment of foreign workers.

The paper said officials justified the proposed raise of the salary cap from QR4,500 to QR7,000 saying the move was inevitable as property rents had soared.

The recruitment committee at the ministry was currently putting in place a new set of recruitment rules, according to comments by the Minister of Labour, Dr Sultan bin Hasan Al Dhabit Al Dosari, in an interview with Arabic daily Al Sharq.

“The committee is currently busy seeking the views of various departments to frame the new recruitment guidelines,” the minister is quoted as saying.

He defended the quota system for various nationalities and said it held the key to maintaining demographic balance.

The paper added that the ministry was also preparing extensive lists of trades and the different nationalities that are considered to be specialists in them.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

MA 10 years ago

Ok, I understand quotas for nationality (Dont agree with it, but do understand the fundamental premise behind it), but this: "the ministry was also preparing extensive lists of trades and the different nationalities that are considered to be specialists in them." ??? What exactly would the purpose of this list be? So if I'm a Pakistani mechanical engineer from MIT, I'm still less qualified (since my race / nationality clearly says more than my actual accomplishments) than a European / Arab from some regional institution? Or a Wharton educated Indian finance professional must be satisfied to be an accountant since Indians shouldnt be allowed to go to posts where they're not "specialists" (again, since your nationality determines this). I certainly hope I'm misreading the implication of these "extensive lists"

Johnny 10 years ago

Dubai is moving forward and Qatar is going backward...What are they talking about? "Extensive lists of trades and the different nationalities that are considered to be specialists in them." welcome the the Dark Ages of Qatar!

Suresh Kumar 10 years ago

If Qatar is so choosy and afraid of demographic imbalances in Expat population, they can stop issuing visas altogether......they should look at how Dubai progressed so rapidly in the last few years....they allowed the qualified people to come and work there which also attracted companies to set up their office and manufacturing hub there......see how fast infrastructure projects are coming up there and compare how long it takes in Qatar to finish such jobs? time lost is lost and it is one thing no one can reverse......if Qatar wants to move ahead and accelerate its progress, they should seriously examine their flawed policies on expat employment...

shivaraman Ravi 10 years ago

It is a pitty if hiring is done on the basis of a nationality and not his qualification and his experience. I hope and trust this will change as you could have seen less qualified people in some high positions just because of their nationality and this so called boss is seeking others help to hold on to his false clain of qualification and position , what a pitty

Dave 10 years ago

To be honest, nationality does matter! Why are there hardly any British drivers in Dubai? For that matter why are most of the construction workers Asian? Brits are generally suited for managerial positions just as the Lebanese are suited for Advertising and media, and so on... In fact you can often see a British manager who hasnt completed university competently managing a team of Asian Masters degree holders. Obviously this may not be true for all cases, but in general, nationality is a significant indicator of a person's ability.

hebz 10 years ago

To MA, you are absolutely correct. What is worse is for weeks this publication and others have been reporting on the massive drop in rents in Qatar so the entire premise behind this move is false. There is no 'soaring rent' issue so it is absolutely a nationality quota based on what the labor ministry finds appropriate. Some nationalities have little hope of getting a visa into qatar, arab, asian or western. It is left completely to the discretion of the ministry to see what suites their best interest.

SR 10 years ago

Well your opinion is yours Dave, but what a joke??? If nationality is an indicator of ability; do you mean to say that in UK everybody is a Manager??? Seriously, If I am as racist as you; I would be thinking what kind of idiots you should be having in UK to make a stupid comment like the one you made!!!

MD 10 years ago

I am a Brit like you and I am ashamed to have you, a fellow Brit, spout such rubbish. Have you really not met talented people from other nationalities? That too, here in the UAE, where there are more than 100+ nationalities. I have seen many incompetent Brit bosses and incompetent bosses from other nationalities as well. Saying that only Asians are drivers here is completely misleading. I have worked with many Indians and I have come to respect them. You have obviously not heard of Indians like Indra Nooyi (Head of Pepsi globally, an Indian woman) - was Pepsi thinking like you? I think not? Laksmi Mittal, Ambani brothers?? What about Gandhi? Did he not win freedom from us Brits without a war? And many other Indians. You owe an apology to all the nationalities you have offended here, my friend. Please do it soon before a war of words takes place here in this forum.

debbie 10 years ago

qatar is primitive when compared to dubai. just go there and you'll see what i mean. a country which requires its expats to seek an employer's permission before leaving has slave mentality. they will never achieve what the UAE has because of their wierd laws.

Mounir 10 years ago

Dave: The average salary for a driver in the UAE is anywhere between 2000 and 4500 dirhams. How many brits do you know are willing to leave everything behind and move to dubai and work as a driver (or as ANYTHING for that matter) for 332 - 748 GBP a month versus the number of indians who are willing to leave everything behind and move to dubai to work as a driver (or as ANYTHING for that matter) for 26,000 - 58,000 INR per month? The difference is not in the 'quality' of the british labour versus indian labour. Go to the USA and ull find that some of the top scientists, bankers, and other professionals are in fact of Indian background. So to say that someone's position is part of his/her fate is not only ridiculous, but laughable. People would not move across the world to get paid less than what they'd make back home. Oh by the way, I am an Arab (ethnicity) and Canadian (passport). Under your retarded classification system, under which category do i belong? Am I Arab to you, or Canadian? (see, if you say that Im arab, then you should change your statement to accurately portray your views: WHITE people are better managers than NON whites. yes?) Debbie: I dont know what is worse; your own country's inability to provide you with a job that is up to your standards, or your own willingness to move to a country that allegedly restricts the movement of its residents (and i say allegedly because i know plenty of people who work in Qatar and freely travel without anything from their employer). MA: The list was talking about Trades, and perhaps it meant 'tradesmen'? certain countries produce 'better' quality of artisans, plumbers, high-rise cleaners and so on.I dont think the report is talking about bankers and doctors and managers. Suresh Kumar: Qatar is doing the RIGHT thing by restricting its visas and purposefully slowing down its growth. Unparalleled growth is NOT a good thing; cultures and identities lost in favour of money is NOT a good thing. People will say "We just want to work in Qatar". 10 years later they'll say "we want to stay in Qatar". 30 years later they'll say "We've been here long enough, and even though we dont speak the arabic language or follow the official religion, we DEMAND to change the way this society exists..the way its been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years is not up to the standards we brought with us 30 years ago". I say Qatar should take a lesson from Dubai, and be more cautious about who it lets in. the money will still be there, the natural gas will still be there, its the culture that may change if too many foreigners are allowed to come in.