How to hire employees in Qatar

Shraddha Saxena
Discover the benefits of hiring in Qatar, where strategic geographic positioning and a dynamic business climate create ample opportunities. Boasting a competent workforce and flourishing sectors like mining, agriculture, and technology, Qatar provides access to varied talent pools and substantial growth prospects in Asia’s vibrant economic landscape.

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Qatar's strategic economic position, powered by its vast natural gas reserves, positions it as a top destination for skilled professionals, particularly in the energy sector. The nation boasts a high GDP per capita, indicating a strong economy and a high standard of living, which is attractive for top-tier talent. This economic prosperity is reflected in the thriving job market, especially in fields related to natural gas production and export industries.

Qatar’s commitment to infrastructure and technological advancement makes it a fertile ground for professionals in engineering, project management, and IT. The combination of wealth, strategic economic policies, and significant investment in national development projects offers businesses and professionals a lucrative and dynamic environment for career and investment opportunities.

What you need to know before hiring employees in Qatar

Job market in Qatar

When exploring how to hire employees in Qatar, the following trends can help you hire cost-effectively and pay talent correctly. 

  • Qatar's labor market is experiencing dynamic growth aligned with the National Development Strategies and Vision 2030. This includes significant investments in diversifying the economy beyond its traditional oil and gas sectors, fostering opportunities in emerging industries.
  • Qatar University and other institutions are key players in aligning educational outputs with market needs. This includes reevaluating study programs and enhancing training initiatives like the "Training Credit," "Bridge," and "Training Camps" programs to equip nationals with the requisite skills for burgeoning sectors.
  • The non-oil sector's growth, expected to rise by 5.2% in 2024, highlights increasing job opportunities in technology, renewable energy, and healthcare, reflecting Qatar’s shift towards a knowledge-based economy.
  •  With the GDP projected to reach new heights by 2029, there's a heightened demand for a highly skilled workforce to drive economic growth and innovation. This positions Qatar as a lucrative market for skilled professionals looking to contribute to a dynamic economic environment.
  • The implementation of labor reforms and systems like the Wage Protection System (WPS) illustrates Qatar's commitment to improving employment practices, ensuring a fair and transparent working environment for both nationals and expatriates. This makes Qatar an attractive destination for global talent seeking reliable and progressive employment landscapes

Qatar Hiring Trends

  • Qatar's job market is diversifying, with an increased emphasis on the technology and finance sectors. This shift is part of a broader strategy to reduce dependency on oil and gas revenues and stimulate economic growth in emerging industries.
  •  Despite diversification, the construction, hospitality, and healthcare sectors continue to offer substantial employment opportunities, driven by ongoing infrastructure projects and the expanding needs of the country’s large expatriate population.
  • The government is actively promoting entrepreneurship and small business development. Numerous initiatives aimed at supporting startups and small enterprises are creating new job opportunities, especially for locals and residents looking to start their own businesses.
  • The requirement for company sponsorship to obtain work visas remains a hurdle, potentially limiting access for overseas job seekers who do not have prearranged employment.
  • Despite these dynamic changes, the overall unemployment rate remains exceptionally low at 0.13%, with youth unemployment slightly higher at 0.63%. This stability suggests a resilient labor market, but also points to the competitive nature of job seeking within the country.

How to hire employees from Qatar

1. Set up an entity in the country

Setting up a legal entity in Qatar is a strategic move for businesses planning substantial growth or establishing a permanent presence. This setup enables direct control over operations and employees, offering sustained cost advantages.

The process involves choosing an appropriate business structure, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Public Shareholding Company, registering with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and securing a Commercial Registration and Tax Identification Number. Navigating this process can be intricate and costly, necessitating a thorough understanding of Qatari labor regulations and effective management of human resources and payroll. Businesses often benefit from expert advice to navigate these complexities efficiently.

2. Hire independent contractors

Hiring independent contractors in Qatar involves drafting agreements for specific tasks or projects, offering businesses flexibility particularly suited to short-term needs or specialized projects. It’s critical to correctly classify these workers to avoid legal issues and penalties. While this model provides operational agility, it's important to consider that contractors may not have the same level of commitment as full-time employees, which can impact project continuity and company culture.

3. Partner with an EOR in the country

Employing an Employer of Record (EOR) service in Qatar, Gloroots, provides a simplified entry into the Qatari market without the complexities of establishing a local entity. This approach reduces liabilities and enhances cost efficiency. An EOR partnership ensures compliance with all local employment laws, taxation, and regulatory requirements, significantly reducing legal risks and facilitating compliant business operations. This method is especially advantageous for companies seeking a quick and reliable market entry.

Employment Laws You Must Know Before Hiring in Qatar

Compliance risk while hiring in Qatar

Compliance risks in hiring in Qatar include navigating complex labor laws, ensuring adherence to visa and work permit regulations, and addressing potential cultural sensitivities in recruitment practices. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal penalties, reputational damage, and operational disruptions for businesses.

Key Aspects of Qatarian Labor Law:

Employment Contract: In Qatar, all employment contracts and records must be in Arabic, as mandated by labor law. When foreign languages are used alongside Arabic, the Arabic version is considered authoritative. Non-Qatari employees must sign a dual-language standard government e-contract in Arabic and typically English to secure work permits and residency visas. Often, more detailed employment agreements are also drafted between employers and employees for clarity and comprehensive coverage

Working Hours: In Qatar, the standard working week consists of up to 48 hours spread over five to six days, with daily hours totaling 8. During Ramadan, the working day may reduce to 6 hours. Fridays are commonly observed as a day of rest.

Overtime: Employees in Qatar are compensated for overtime work beyond the standard week, regulated by contracts or collective agreements. Overtime exceeding 48 hours weekly is paid at 125% of the average salary rate, rising to 150% for nighttime hours.

Minimum Wage: In Qatar, the minimum monthly wage is set at 1,000 QAR. Employers are also required to provide allowances of at least 300 QAR for food and 500 QAR for housing if these amenities are not provided directly to employees.

Payroll laws in Qatar

In Qatar, payroll is usually processed on a monthly basis, with employers required to make salary payments at least once per month.

Employment benefits in Qatar

Leave Policies in QATAR

Paid Time Off:

In Qatar, annual leave entitlement varies based on employee tenure. Those with less than one year's service receive a percentage determined by the employer. After one year, employees receive three calendar weeks of leave, and after five years, four weeks. Unused leave can be carried over with employer consent.

Public Holidays:

In 2024, Qatar has 9 public holidays, including National Sports Day, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, and National Day.

Sick Days:

Following three months of service with a single employer, an employee in Qatar is entitled to two weeks of fully paid sick leave. After this initial period, the employee can receive an additional four weeks of paid leave at 50% of their salary. Any sickness beyond this is unpaid, and the responsibility for sick leave coverage lies with the employer.

Maternity Leave:

In Qatar, female employees are granted 50 days of paid maternity leave, with a requirement to take at least 35 days following the child's birth. If complications arise during childbirth, the employee can extend their leave by an additional 60 days, which will be unpaid, upon presentation of a medical certificate. Eligibility for maternity leave requires a minimum of one year of service with the employer.

Paternity Leave:

While not mandated by law, it is customary for employers in Qatar to provide five days of paternity leave to fathers following the birth of their child.

Public Health Insurance 

QATAR's Unified Health System ensures that all QATARian citizens and legal residents have access to complimentary healthcare services. This system extends to every employee in QATAR, regardless of their job status, offering a range of medical services like surgeries, hospitalizations, and medications, all at no cost.

Filing tax in Qatar

Income Tax:

Income tax does not apply to the salaries, wages, and allowances of employed individuals.For comprehensive information on Income tax in Qatar, Please visit our comprehensive guide.

Other Tax and Social Security Contributions:

In Qatar, both employers and employees contribute to payroll contributions, which are regulated by Qatar Labor Law and QFC Employment Regulations. Employers typically contribute 10%, while employees contribute 5%-8%. These contributions cover social security and other taxes, ensuring compliance with labor regulations and providing support for various social welfare programs. For comprehensive information on tax and social security contributions in Qatar, Please visit our comprehensive guide.

Business culture in QATAR

  • Business culture in Qatar is distinctly hierarchical. Decisions are typically made at the top of the organization, and respecting this structure is crucial for successful business interactions. Understanding and acknowledging the importance of seniority and rank can facilitate smoother negotiations and partnerships.
  • Building personal relationships and trust is essential in Qatari business culture. Face-to-face meetings are preferred, and establishing a solid business relationship often takes several interactions. Patience and commitment to building long-term relationships are highly valued.
  • Business communication in Qatar is formal and respectful. It's important to address individuals with their correct titles and maintain a polite demeanor. Direct confrontation or aggressive sales tactics are generally frowned upon, as they may be seen as disrespectful.
  • Islam plays a central role in daily life and business practices in Qatar. Business hours and work schedules are often adjusted to accommodate prayer times, and the holy month of Ramadan sees a significant shift in business pace. Showing respect for these practices is important for building trust and respect in professional settings.

Top sectors to hire from in QATAR

1. Oil and Gas Sector

Continuing as the cornerstone of Qatar's economy, the oil and gas sector contributes significantly to the GDP, with the country holding a global leadership position in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. This sector offers robust job prospects in engineering, geology, and operations, reflecting its critical role in economic output.

2. Construction and Infrastructure

With 54% of the workforce engaged in industry-related activities, Qatar’s ongoing infrastructural expansion, especially highlighted by projects for major events like the FIFA World Cup 2022, demands expertise in engineering, project management, and urban planning. This sector's growth is pivotal in shaping Qatar’s physical and economic landscape.

3. Financial Services

Representing a key area of development, Qatar's financial services sector has flourished with the establishment of the Qatar Financial Centre, attracting global financial entities. Professionals in investment banking, insurance, and compliance will find growing opportunities here as the sector evolves to support Qatar's broader economic diversification.

4. Information Technology

As part of its National Vision 2030, Qatar is intensifying efforts to forge a knowledge-based economy. This sector’s expansion is critical, employing professionals in software development, cybersecurity, and AI, aiming to integrate advanced technologies across services, which constitute 38.45% of Qatar's GDP.

Top cities to hire from Qatar

1. Doha

As Qatar's capital and largest city, Doha offers a diverse talent pool across various industries. It serves as the economic and commercial hub of the country, attracting skilled professionals from both local and international backgrounds.

2. Al Rayyan

Located adjacent to Doha, Al Rayyan is known for its rapidly growing economy and infrastructure development. It offers opportunities to hire skilled professionals in sectors such as construction, engineering, and hospitality.

3. Al Wakrah

With its strategic location near Hamad International Airport and the new Hamad Port, Al Wakrah is emerging as a key center for logistics, transportation, and trade. It offers a range of hiring opportunities, particularly in logistics, supply chain management, and related industries.

Hire in Qatar compliantly with Gloroots

Gloroots, as an Employer of Record (EOR) in QATAR, offers a streamlined solution for these challenges. Our EOR platform accelerates candidate onboarding, ensuring swift operational initiation while adhering to local and global compliance standards. Designed for companies of all sizes, it simplifies payroll management, benefits administration, and tax handling, thus bypassing the need for a local entity. This allows companies to focus on building a remote team in QATAR efficiently. For more information on how Gloroots can facilitate your QATARian hiring needs, please contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the legal requirements for annual leave entitlement in Qatar?

Annual leave entitlement in Qatar varies based on employee tenure, with specific provisions for sick leave, maternity leave, and paternity leave. Employers must adhere to these regulations outlined in Qatar's labor laws.

Are there any regulations regarding overtime pay for employees in Qatar?

Yes, Qatar has regulations governing overtime pay, including compensation rates and maximum allowable hours. Employers and employees should familiarize themselves with these regulations to ensure compliance and fair compensation for additional work hours.

What is the minimum wage requirement for employees in Qatar?

The minimum wage in Qatar is set by law, with specific provisions for basic wages as well as allowances for food and housing. Employers must ensure that they meet these minimum wage requirements as outlined in Qatar's labor regulations.

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