DOHA: What was not fully anticipated, in the backdrop of political crisis that hit the gulf region; as the Saudi- lead coalition of gulf countries severed their diplomatic ties with Doha’s regime on the pretext of alleging Qatar to be supporting terrorist proxies, Qatar hits with a bang of granting permanent status to its expatriates, who dominate local population.
Qatar passed legislation that will be the land mark of giving elevated status to the foreigners, who otherwise do not enjoy the social welfare benefits, enjoyed by the tiny local population. They will also be given priority, after locals, for military and civilian public jobs and would be allowed to own property and run certain commercial activities without a local partner, sources add.
Qatar came under intense international criticism over its treatment of foreigner laborers after winning the right to host soccer’s 2022 World Cup. The government has since pledged to improve the workers’ living and working conditions.
The idea of allowing foreigners to reside in Gulf countries for longer periods has also been discussed in other countries as they seek to to bolster non-oil revenue after the plunge in crude prices.