Let’s get ready for Ramadan
Can you believe that it’s already May? Not only are we almost half way through the year, but Ramadan is also quickly approaching. For those of you who have been living and working in Qatar for several years, you would have come to understand what to expect during the holy month. However, for those of you who are less familiar with the rules of Ramadan and how this celebration affects business, we’ve prepared a short summary of what is to come.
Ramadan is expected to begin on 26th May 2017, however since the commencement of the celebration is determined based on the sighting of the crescent moon, this start date could be different by a day or two. Ramadan will continue until around the 25th June, when Eid-al-fitr (end of Ramadan) will then be celebrated with three days public holiday for the private sector, and 10 days holiday for government sectors.
Kindly note that during the month of Ramadan, working hours in Qatar will be shortened to a maximum of 6 hours a day, which may delay processing of certain documents and impact delivery timelines. With the summer holidays also following closely after Ramadan, we encourage you to ensure that all your official documents such as Residence Permits (RPs), “exit permits/Leave Notifications”, and passports are valid to avoid facing complications or delays.
The points below provide some information on the validity of your official Qatar Documents:
- If you have not entered Qatar for a consecutive sum of 180 days (6 months), your RP will expire automatically.
- If you are abroad when your RP expires, please note that you will not be able to return into Qatar on the expired RP.
- The renewal process for the Residents Permit may take between 3-5 working days to complete and can begin three months prior to the date of expiry.
- When planning your travel from Qatar, please see to it that an appropriate Leave Notification (previously termed “exit permit”) is in order and valid.
- Leave Notifications (exit permits) can only be renewed after it expires, and you will need to be in the country for the renewal. The process takes around one – two working days to complete. Expired Leave notifications will not hinder your entry to Qatar, provided your RP is valid for entry, as they only have an influence on your exit from Qatar.
- Please also note that when travelling, you may need your QID (or a copy of the QID) in order to travel back to Qatar. It has come to our attention that airlines will ask for it when checking in for flights and you may not be able to board without it.
As a rule of thumb, it’s worthwhile preparing your business with the expectation of experiencing interruptions to the usual workflows, starting from the beginning of Ramadan until mid-July. However, if you haven’t experienced a Qatar summer and intend to be here for this one, you’ll soon understand why many seek to escape the heat during the months of July and August, too. As such, business tends to slow down during these months due to many people opting to take annual leave over this time.
If you’re ready to start your business in Qatar or the UAE, get in touch with our team today who can walk you through all you need for your business venture.