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Qatar secretaries and cashiers join driving ban list

Qatar traffic authorities insist restrictions will ease congestion

Gulf News

Manama: Expatriate secretaries, cashiers and cooks will not be allowed to drive in Qatar under new regulations.

The country’s traffic department had earlier issued a circular limiting the issuance of driving licences to certain categories of expatriate workers in a bid to reduce the number of drivers and ease alarming road congestion. However, the official list of the professions that will not be allowed to apply for the local licence has yet to be officially announced.

On Thursday, local daily Al Raya reported that the list would include workers, builders, blacksmiths, farmers, hairdressers, cooks, electricians, tailors, waiters, salespeople and computer technicians. Skilled professionals such as doctors, pilots, accountants, engineers, lawyers, clearance agents, sales representatives and architects will not face problems obtaining the licence, the sources said.

“The full lists of those who will be issued the driving licence and those who will be barred from applying will be announced soon,” sources told Al Raya. “In the case of the people who cannot apply for the driving permit, their companies should arrange group transportation to ensure their movement. There is an urgent need to ease traffic congestions and problems. There is also the need to free up some parking space since, in some cases, the people who report to work in their own vehicles take up a lot of space to park them.”

Doha has been transformed from what was once known as a sleepy village to one of the busiest capitals in the Arabian Gulf, attracting and accommodating thousands of vehicles every day. The local media reported road problems on the first day of Ramadan that officials attributed to “the changes in work schedule of most offices in the country.”

An unexpected rise in the total population and massive construction work ahead of the 2022 Football World Cup has added to the pressure on the capital’s roads.