Expats hail new residency plan
August 06 2017 01:14 AM
Expats hail new residency plan


Residents from different nationalities and walks of life have welcomed Qatar’s plans to allow some expatriates to obtain permanent residency in the country

Greg Loayon

Expats have been one with Qatar in nation-building and have been part of its history and growth. 

Across different nationalities, Qatar has attracted a pool of talented individuals who has a role to play in the future of the country.

The granting of permanent residency is a great testament to Qatar's recognition of the people’s contribution towards its economy and society, and will serve to cement this relationship and integration as the country works towards achieving its long term vision.

It also ensures that there is continuity and sustainability of these individuals’ contributions because with permanent residency and its related benefits, it makes them feel as being an integral part in the development of their second home.

(Greg Loayon is the chairman of the Philippine Business Council - Qatar)

Farhan Mujahid Chak

The ongoing and unlawful siege of Qatar has been a blessing in disguise. It has allowed Qatar the liberty to take steps that it was always in favour of but was constricted due to GCC official and unofficial pressures.

The new permanent residency law has been in discussions for many years. Qataris are well-aware of the importance of equality and freedom in line with their socio-cultural and religious boundaries.

It is an excellent initiative to reward those expats who have proven themselves sincere and committed to the well-being of society. This is another manifestation of the far-sightedness and sagaciousness of Qatari leadership.

(Farhan Mujahid Chak has a Doctor of Philosophy degree and is an associate professor of International Affairs of the Department of International Affairs at Qatar University)

Walter Dias

I remember when we arrived on the shores of Qatar our dreams were to be successful and either move to Canada or Australia. 

Some 30 years on, we have embraced Qatar as our home as we have weaved a carpet of success.

Qatar’s recent announcement on expatriates’ eligibility to obtain permanent residency in the country, simply allows us to consider looking forward to realising a dream of enjoying the growth of Qatar and being a permanent part in sharing our aspirations and achievements.

Our children, who were born here, have integrated into the society and will be able to unroll this carpet and look beyond, for Qatar as a nation has limitless opportunities in all walks of life for all people of the world.

(Walter Dias is Portugese citizen of Indian origin and a member of the Indian Business and Professional Network under the aegis of the Indian Embassy, Qatar)

Dr Shahzad Anjum

The recent decision by His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, about permanent residency in Qatar has really brought lot of excitement and happiness for many expats like me who are born here and are involved in country progress.

I believe this decision will open up a new chapter in the country’s development. Qatar has always taken steps that are unique and exceptional, and this is the reason Qatar has always stood at the top in the region and has achieved extraordinary milestones.

The leadership in this country is visionary, which helped Qatar to be recognised as the most vibrant and dynamic country in the world.

I always felt proud being the ‘First Qualified Emergency Physician’ in the country but, on the other hand, have feeling that one day I may need to move from here. But this new decision has given me new spirit and confidence.

(Dr Shahzad Anjum is the Senior Consultant Emergency Department at the Hamad General Hospital and programme director for Emergency Medicine Residency Training. He is also vice chair for education at Hamad Medical Corporation and assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar)

Girish Kumar K R

The permanent residency initiative is a highly remarkable one, a great move and a thoughtful decision from the country’s wise leadership. I congratulate and thank His Highness the Emir for this historic move.

I recall my casual discussion with India’s federal Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Dr) V K Singh (Retd) in New Delhi last month who had shared some thoughts on this issue. We had discussed that such a provision would help expatriates and they would be able to share their experiences and competencies for the greater benefit of the country.

Qatar is the first and only GCC nation to move in the direction and I am optimistic that the new residency system would help for further the development of Qatar.

The permanent residency system certainly will contribute for increased productivity among the residents in the country.

Several provisions such as educational and medical benefits that come along with the permanent residency system, will motivate them to work harder.

Providing permanent residency for professionals and highly-skilled expatriates, will bring long-term economic benefits to Qatar. This policy would also lead to increased entrepreneurship in the country.

(Girish Kumar K R is a former president of the Indian Cultural Centre)

Ressie Fos

Being the first country in the Gulf region to implement such an initiative, I consider this move as a milestone for the Qatari government. It offers advantages and benefits for both sides such as expanded opportunities, rights, and privileges for expats becoming permanent residents of Qatar. 

This will also open many doors for foreign investments and promote stronger diplomatic relations with the expats’ countries.

I’m excited to read the law and the implementing rules in full detail.

I’m happy to see various reforms and opportunities that the Qatari government is opening to expats such as reforms in the labour and residency laws, which truly become instrumental in the improvement of working conditions of expats and workers.

Hence, there is no doubt that most, if not all of us, consider Qatar as our ‘second homeland’.

(Ressie Fos is the chairman of the United Filipino Organisations in Qatar)

Zainul Abideen

I appreciate the Qatar government for coming up with this excellent initiative where expats can become permanent residents. This wise initiative has given new hopes for every expatriate in the country. Qatar is the first country to grant such a privilege in the region. Expats, like me, who came to Qatar four decades ago and has seen Qatar developing from the grassroots level, are indeed happy with this new rule. It is a wonderful gift by Qatar government to expats who have worked tirelessly for the development and benefit of this country.

One of the benefits of the initiative is that more expatriates can now start business as Qatari sponsorship is not mandatory under this provision. This can bring great boom in the development of the country as more people will start investing in different industries. It’s totally commendable on Qatar government’s part that even during a crisis, they are concentrating on the development of the country.

We, Safari Group, respect the government’s decision and will support the country as always.

(Zainul Abideen is the Director and General Manager, Safari Group)

C V Rappai

Qatar’s recent decision to consider expatriates for permanent residency in the country will further contribute to national economic development. 

For more than 36 years now, I have been living in Qatar and involved in entrepreneurial activities in this country. Since my arrival in Qatar, I have been living with my family and raised my children here. We consider Qatar our home.

Although we do visit our home country India occasionally, we are sort of strangers there as we consider Qatar our home.

We have lots of friends here including many Qataris and they are kind to us and treat us with love, affection and respect. We too are happy that we have been able to contribute to this society in ways we can.

Now that Qatar is opening the doors for permanent residency to expatriates, we can certainly look forward to living in this peaceful and prosperous country and contribute to further nation building.

For many expatriates, getting permanent residency means they don’t have to worry about RP renewal. Ease of doing business will also be facilitated through the decision.

Overall, it is a very good decision and will certainly benefit Qatar, a nation we all love.

(C V Rappai is a Doha-based entrepreneur, director and CEO, Video Home and Electronic Centre and Jumbo Electronics and former chairman of Birla Public School, Qatar)

Hafiz Junaid Amir Sial

The decision to grant permanent residency has been welcomed with open arms in public circles. It will give a new energy and resolve to add to the progress and prosperity of the state of Qatar. 

It was a long desire of people living for decades in Qatar to have their contributions acknowledged and owned in a manner that they really deserve. At present, there are a lot of people from different nationalities that have completed a considerable period of time living in the state of Qatar and have children born here.

There are others holding huge business investments. The decision for giving priority to permanent residents in the field of education, healthcare, and in holding public offices, including military and civilian jobs, will have a positive impact on these people as their sense of ownership enhances.

The new generation born in Qatar will find space in finding new jobs. The unique bond will ultimately culminate into more loyalty and faithfulness towards the national interests. From an aspirational point of view, the decision is going to address positively the long outstanding queries and demands of people from different nationalities living for decades and contributing valuably to the country.

Pakistani citizens are very happy over the decision and looking forward to its early implementation. They view it as an excellent step by the outstanding leadership of the state of Qatar that will help the Pakistani community to join hands with Qatari people in the progress of the country in a more strengthened way.

(Hafiz Junaid Amir Sial is the Community Welfare Attache at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the State of Qatar)

Hafeez Ullah

Qatar’s decision to allow permanent residency to the expatriates is a welcome move. From a Pakistani expatriate’s perspective this is an amazing announcement by the state.

By this kind gesture, His Highness the Emir has indeed rewarded the great work done by generations of expatriates from different countries and recognized their contribution towards nation-building. It is great news for expatriates that holders of the new permanent residency can access free education, healthcare, and much more facilities.

The move to give permanent residency to expatriates will definitely encourage many of them to contribute in a big way to boost Qatar’s economy through improved productivity. It will give the expatriates a better sense of belonging to this nation, which has been their second home all these years.

Now the expatriates will feel more attached to this country. The guarantee of a lengthy tenure of stay in this country will help the expatriates plan better for long-term future, be it setting up businesses or settling down here with their full family, and even admit their children for higher education in many of the world-class universities here. In return it will help Qatar to identify a bigger talent pool and draw the best of it for the country’s human resource requirements.

Overall I feel this is a great initiative, which will have several positive impacts on Qatar’s economy and overall growth and development. I am sure almost all the expatriates will be feeling indebted to HH the Emir and the government of Qatar for adopting this more liberal path.

Long live Qatar. Kulluna Qatar and kulluna Tamim.

(Hafeez Ullah is the branch manager of Commercial Bank Umm Lekhba branch)

Last updated: August 06 2017 01:16 AM

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