Qatar’s Interior Ministry has announced a relaxation of the requirement to register their national address for nationals and residents. The relaxation means nationals and residents who are abroad for education or treatment reasons and cannot return to the country because of the anti-Coronavirus measures being implemented worldwide. It means they will not be fined for submitting their national address details late. However, they will have to provide a certificate verifying this. Those who do not fall into this group will have to submit their national address details by 26 July.
Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority has announced it has issued a Class License for Wireless Home Area Networks. The license was issued in line with Chapter 3 of Qatar Decree-Law No. 34/2006 (the Telecommunications Law as amended). It covers anyone in this category and they do not have to request this license. This Class License relates to wireless networks which facilitate communication between groups of devices and equipment in or near homes. Among other things, the class license covers clock devices, speakers and home theatre systems. It also covers lighting control systems, doorbell control systems, security cameras and monitoring systems. In addition, it covers window and window blinds systems, cooling, air conditioning and water heating systems in homes, kitchen appliances, metre reading systems.
Qatar’s Emir has approved a Cabinet Decision establishing a real estate development committee. Under Qatar Cabinet Decision No. 10/2020, the committee will be chaired by the Municipality and Environment Minister. A representative from the Interior, Finance, Justice, Municipality and Environment, Commerce & Industry, Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Ministries, Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Financial Markets Authority and Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry will be members. It comes into force on its issued date and will be published in the Official Gazette.
Islamic Banks are expected to activate a service for electronic cheques in the near future in Qatar. The service is a smart banking service which would contribute to reducing and facilitating financial transactions. The service would also reduce the time needed to execute and clear cheques which have been traded in the market especially rent cheques and some of the other trade transactions where the value is high which renders using cheques necessary. The electronic cheque would be the equivalent of paper cheques.
Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority has announced it has launched a public consultation on a draft Cloud Policy. The consultation ends on 23 April 2020. The Cloud Policy has been developed as part of the Authority’s 2020-2024 Strategy and in line with the National Vision 2030 and Qatar National Second Development Strategy 2018-2022. The Policy will provide a regulatory framework for Cloud Computing in the country. It will apply to Government entities. Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with Consultation on Cloud Policy Statement as the subject.
Implementing guidelines issued by the Emir of Qatar on countering the spread of the COVID-19 including the decision to cancel customs fees, the Qatari Customs Department has cancelled fees on certain products. Customs fees on food and medicine will be cancelled for six months. The list of exempt items includes 905 items such as meat, dairy, fish, oils, juices, facial masks, sanitizers, soap products, detergents, wipes, and other products.
Qatar’s Central Bank has announced it is finalising a trial for a regulatory Sandbox environment to boost FinTech innovations and tackle possible cyber risks using Blockchain strategies. The Bank is using FinTech strategies to boost financial innovation which is the second objective of its strategic plan for developing the financial sector by 2022. The Sandbox will be an experimental lab enabling for testing programme software and financial and commercial services in an experimental environment to be evaluated later.
The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has prohibited service providers from putting conditions and clauses in subscription contracts which are vague or do not clearly list the administrative fees. The Authority said if the service providers don’t keep a record to show the agreement of the customer to the terms of the contract, the providers lose their right when there is a dispute regarding the service. The customer’s agreement will be considered unavailable if the record is not kept. The Authority added the sale conditions for telecommunications services listed in its amended charter for protecting customers provide customers should be provided with documents to explain the terms and the fair usage policy and tariffs. Service providers have been urged to redraft their contracts and amend them if they don’t comply with the Authority’s regulatory framework.
Qatar’s Transport and Communications Minister has announced the country will issue a first of its kind guide in the region to protect marine assets and information about ships and goods from cyber attacks. The announcement was made at the Qatar Maritime and Logistics Summit. The guide will facilitate greater cooperation between the national navigation companies and the National Information Security Centre, Q-cert to improve cybersecurity in this area.
Investors in Qatar will be able to apply through the Single Window platform at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to secure industrial licences and plots of land in the Small and Medium Industrial Area and complete financing procedures via the same application. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) together with Qatar Development Bank has launched the Land and Industrial Loan initiative to enable this. Investors will fill out and submit the application electronically through the Single Window Services website on singlewindow.gov.qa. They will also provide all the required documents (a complete feasibility study, the engineering plan and a copy of audited financial accounts) and any other documents which may be requested during the application review period. After submitting the application and the required documents, a technical team from the Ministry and QDB will review the application and there will then be an application review by the Land Commission.