The number of residents enrolling in driving schools in Qatar has increased in the past three weeks after the Traffic Department issued a list of non-eligible applicants on August 1, Gulf Times has learnt.
An employee of a driving school said many expatriates had been allowed to take the course despite the ban on 162 specific categories of workers, including labourer, butcher, hotel service worker, welders, cook, gardener, shoemaker, security guard and other low-income jobs.
Some schools have contacted and urged applicants who were rejected before to re-apply again.
Since the new list was printed in Arabic and some terminologies have remained “vague”, the employee admitted that they would normally advice applicants to seek the approval of the Traffic Department first.
“We ask for the applicants’ Qatar IDs and if the profession given in them does not match the one on the list, then we tell them that they are eligible. But if we are not clear, we tell them to go to the Traffic Department to make further enquiries,” he said.
The source also disclosed that housewives sponsored by their husbands were eligible to secure driving licences; so were cabin crews, journalists and students aged 18 years and above (under the parents’ sponsorship).
Some categories like photographers, electricians, technicians and cooks are ineligible. “But it would all depend on the approval of the Traffic Department,” the driving school employee added.
An “unofficial list” of categories was released in May and some professionals were banned from applying for driving licence.
The source said some terminologies used were “too broad” like “labourer”, “steward” and “sales”. It reportedly confused driving schools and their clients, causing a significant revenue drop for one month at least .
“But the latest list has helped us in identifying categories that are not entitled to have the driving licence,” he said.
Labourers still constitute one third of the total number of clients of driving schools. Out of 30 applicants, about 10 fall under the labourer category.
With the new list, flight attendants come under the category of eligible applicants as well as household service workers who are under Qatari sponsorship.
List of professions not eligible to apply for driving licence
The following is the unofficial translation of the full list of professions not eligible to apply for the Qatari driving licence, as announced by the Traffic Department:
Gypsum worker, technical assistant, service worker, watchman, horse trainer, labourer, sailor, servant, nanny, farmer, blacksmith, bakery worker, painter, herdsman, fisherman, tailor, calligraphy technician, shoemaker, grocery worker, tiles worker, builder, butcher, service worker, nutrition worker, industrial service worker.
Hotel service worker, financial services worker, vegetable seller, plumber, sea shipment worker, land shipment worker, jeweller, air cargo worker, cook, typist, boat carpenter, beauty saloon worker, welder, translator, painter, welding technician, installation technician, maintenance technician, mechanical technician.
Barber, baking mixer, cook, meat, shawarma and sandwich griller, falafel maker, sweets maker, waiter, laundry worker, prayer caller (moazin), rescue worker, security guard, gate guard, lift worker, shipping worker, carrier, packing and grinding worker, irrigation worker.
Gardener, agricultural worker, wood seller, horse hostler, fodder worker, machine operator, tailoring worker, plaster worker, tents tailor, embroider, general typing, stamp maker, crusher machine operator, glass technician, marble technician, metal-casting technician, tiles technician.
Pastry maker, vinegar maker, general manufacturing worker, ice maker, plumber assistant, lathing worker, AC technician, whitesmith, electric welder, pipes welder, oxygen welder, general equipment mechanic, glass installer, installation electrician, general electrician, lift electrician, telephone central electrician, installation technician, general carpenter, construction carpenter, décor carpenter, upholstery worker, furniture upholstery worker, curtain installer, curtain upholstery worker, assistant builder, connections technician, digger, bricks builder, mixer operator, concrete blacksmith, manufacturing worker, designing technician, civil technician, construction technician, juice maker, kebab maker, henna maker, goldsmith, grave digger, animal caretaker, milkman, plaster technician, ceramic worker, tyre worker, cook’s assistant, bar keeper, key technician, massage worker.