Qatar relaxes expats regulations as it bids to fight Arab boycott

Qatar’s Central Bank has loosened its strict banking and foreign exchange regulations for expatriates, as it bids to make the country more attractive to foreigners following the sanctions against it from other Arab countries.

The under-fire Arab peninsular country is reacting to stem the flow of expatriate workers bidding to leave, following the move by a number of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia to sever political and eco­nomic ties on 5 June.

Land border crossing issues, a number of air routes have been restricted and access to the Gulf’s main ports has been affected after trade and travel ties were cut by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt over Qatar’s alleged support for terrorist groups and allegations of attempts to undermine their regional policies and domestic affairs.

Expat banking reform

The Qatar Central Bank has said in a statement on its website that it has ordered conventional and Islamic banks in the sheikhdom to allow residents with expiring ­visas to be able conduct all their banking operations throughout the official three-month period for renewing their residency after the visa expiry.

This order also applies to foreign exchange companies that are in possession of central bank licences and conduct activities including foreign exchange, and transfer and receipt of money, the statement said.

The central bank said this procedure is aimed at facilitating the transactions of residents and expatriates living in Qatar to help  smooth financial affairs.

Qatar has been undertaking a series of measures to help its economy and convince expatriates to remain.

As reported it announced in August visa-free entry for the citizens of 80 countries and became the first GCC country to create a permanent resident status for expatriate workers who have been deemed to have “given service to Qatar” or possess “skills that can benefit the country.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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