By Nizar Kochery/Doha
QUESTION: What are the residency rights of a foreigner owning real estate in places like the Pearl-Qatar? Is it possible to register them in the registry of real estate? How is visa granted to those coming under such category? How do the amendments to the sponsorship law affect the ownership?
ANSWER: Under Law No 17 of 2004, Qataris and non-Qatari nationals may own real estate of any description in the Pearl- Qatar, West Bay Lagoon or Al Khor Resort project. According to the law, non-Qatari nationals may have the right of usufruct for a term of 99-years, renewable, in respect of real estate of any description in the investment areas.
Right of usufruct is usually granted by way of a lease, hence the right of usufruct for a term of 99 years mean “the grant of a 99-year lease”. Non-Qatari nationals may have the right of usufruct for a term of 99-years, renewable, in respect of one or more apartments located in multistory building in residential areas.
All rights of ownership and rights of usufruct referred to above can and must be registered at the Department of Real Estate Registration of the Qatar government.
As per Article 44 of the prevailing entry and exit rules, Law No 4 of 2009, owners of such property will be issued with residence permit for five years renewable.
Residence permit may be granted to wife, children and parents irrespective of work permit condition.
The holder of the residence permit may leave during the validity period of his residence permit without having to get an exit permit. According to Article 30-37 of the Law No 21 of 2015, the amended entry & exit law carry all those rights to property owners.
Punishment for bribery
Q: My friend, working with a governmental department, was offered some money for some assistance but he did not do anything. It was a trap. A woman gave him the money. Now he is in prison. How can he be punished since he did not demand any money? What punishment will he receive?
A: According to Article 140 of Qatar’s Penal Laws, whoever asks for or accepts, for himself or another party, money, benefit or a simple promise of something against undertaking any act or abstaining from any act included in his office shall be considered as receiver of bribery. The penalty of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years and a fine not exceeding what he was given or promised to be given shall apply to him, provided that it shall not be less than QR5,000.
No provision for minimum wage
Q: I came to know that the labour law has been amended and the wage protection system has come into being. Under this, will there be a minimum wage for workers? Does it warrant any equal pay for equal work’?
A: No minimum wage has been prescribed under the Qatar Labour Law and no amendments were with regard to minimum wages.
The labour law has amendment and the Wage Protection System (WPS) introduced and it is a comprehensive electronic system designed to monitor the process of worker payments in accordance with the Labour Law.
As per Article 66 of the Qatar Labour Law No. (14) of 2004 to require employers to transfer salaries to employee bank accounts in Qatar to ensure proper and timely payment.
Q: Our company is engaged in some construction projects in Qatar and many of them are executed using sub-contractors to other companies. Now, one of projects has been delayed and we have idle work force. Therefore, the management has decided to terminate one sub-contract agreement and engage our people in that project. Can we do this without their consent and without any reason?
A: Subject to the provisions of the contract, the employer has the right of termination at will but compensation is payable to the contractor. Article 707 of the Civil Code provides that an employer’s entitlement to terminate a contract for convenience at any time, provided that he compensates the contractor for the expenses he has incurred, the works he has performed and completed and for the profit the contractor would have gained if he had completed the work.
♦ Please send your questions by e-mail to: [email protected] (Mobile:55813105)
LEGAL SYSTEM IN QATAR
As per Article 597, the holder of the cheque shall reserve his right of recourse to the drawer, even when he has not presented the cheque to the drawee or does not make a protest or any alternative action within the legal period, unless the drawer has provided the required fund for payment and such funds remain with the drawee until the expiry of the prescribed period for presentation of the cheque, after which the funds ceased to exist through an act not attributed to the drawer.
If force majeure beyond one’s control prevents the presentation of the cheque or the making of a protest or any alternative action within the prescribed periods, such deadlines shall be extended.
The holder shall notify immediately the person who endorsed the cheque of any event of the force majeure and record such notification with a date and signature on the cheque or on the paper attached to it. The notices shall succeed one another until it reach the drawer.
Once the event of force majeure has ceased, the bearer shall immediately present the cheque for payment without delay present the cheque for payment and if necessary, make protest or any alternative action.
If the force majeure continues for more than ?fteen days calculated from the date of notification by the holder to the endorser, even if such date falls immediately before the expiry of the prescribed period for presentation of the cheque, recourse may be exercised against obligors without the need for presenting the cheque or making a protest or any alternative action.
Personal affairs of the holder or the person who authorised by him to present or to make the protest or any alternative action, shall not deemed to constitute a case of force majeure.
According to Article 599, the holder of the cheque can institute legal actions for recourse against the drawee, drawer, endorsers or other obligors within six months from the date of expiry of period for presentation of the cheque, otherwise these actions shall be barred by limitations.
The time limits prescribed for actions for recourse by other obligors shall be expired after six months from the date on which obligor paid the amount of the cheque or from the date on which the legal claim is made.
As per Article 603, without prejudice to any severe penalty provided for in the Criminal Code or any other law, any drawee who commits one of the following acts shall be punished by a ?ne of not less than ?ve thousand riyals and not more than twenty thousand riyals: (1) wilfully and contrary to the truth that there are no funds against payment of a cheque, or that the funds against payment are less than it actually holds; (2) Refusing in bad faith to honour a cheque drawn on its treasury that has funds against payment and a valid objection has not presented regarding it; (3) Refusal to record the statements on refusal to pay; (4) Failure to write the customer’s name and account number on every cheque.
This shall not prejudice the compensation due to the drawer for damage sustained as a result of such non-payment.
If the court has passed a judgment of conviction on any of the cheque related crimes provided in the penal law, it may order withdrawal of the cheque book from the convicted person and prevent him from being given new cheque books for a period not exceeding one year.
In the event of a conviction for one of the crimes regarding a cheque recorded in the penal law, the public prosecution shall publish the names of the convicted persons in the Official Gazette, with an indication of their professions, their addresses and the imposed penalties.
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