No driver’s licenses for labor-class expats in Qatar as the list of barred professions expand.
It will become a lot harder for expats to get around in Qatar as the government barred some 240 professions from obtaining driver’s licenses. The list, first released about three years ago, has been modified with 80 new professions, according to several driving schools around Qatar.
In a national attempt to solve the country’s increasing traffic congestion on their overloaded roads network, the government released a list that barres people working within certain occupations from applying for a Qatari driver’s license.
The list includes jobs like grocer, newspaper vendor, barber, servant, cosmetologist, security guard, porter, shepherd, butcher, tailor, goldsmith, agricultural worker, decoration technician, mining technician, beautician, mechanic and many more. However, foreign workers in the country under private sponsorship are exempted, to allow Qatari families to employ foreign drivers to their household.
There is really no necessity for such laborers to obtain driver’s licenses since their employers should be responsible for their transportation to and from work. However, it seems like the plan did not take some major factors into consideration, like how would affected people commute during non-work related trips? Or the fact that many might start driving illegally.
Qatar is still developing its public transportation sector, which is currently limited to company operated taxi services and a some bus lines. The first, too expensive for low income laborers to afford regularly, and the second not very efficient as commuters might need to wait as long as 20 minutes for the next bus to arrive, and might have to transfer buses to reach their end destinations.
Another theory suggests that the initiative might force people to start driving without proper training and documentation, putting the lives of other driver’s, as well as pedestrian’s, at risk.
The initiative might in fact reduce traffic jams, given that around half of the population in Qatar are foreign laborers, but what effect will it have on the people barred?