Qatar population diminishing due to expat exodus

Published:  3 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: Immigration, Dubai, UAE, Euro
According to statistic issues by the Ministry of Development Planning, the emirate’s population declined faster in July than in June, mostly due to expats relocating.

The ministry’s figures show that a decline of a further six per cent was noted for July, bringing population levels down to just over 2.3 million people, Since February this year, population levels have fallen dramatically from a total of 2.54 million. A proportion of the decrease is being put down to locals leaving the country for holidays in European capitals, as well as to expats leaving on vacations in their home countries.

However, insiders believe much of the decrease represents expats not renewing their expired contracts and sponsorships, preferring to look outside the emirate for new positions. It’s believed that the new labour laws due to come into force later this year have a a lot to do with the diminishing expat presence in the UAE. Under the new rules, expats who leave Qatar may be granted re-entry if they secure sponsorship, without having to undergo the previous two year embargo on returning.

Meanwhile, Dubai is getting tough on expat avoidance of paying traffic fines, with a new plan expected to increase the department’s revenue by stopping the flow of expats leaving on holiday or permanently without first settling their debts to the traffic department. It’s expected details of unpaid fines will be linked with departure immigration counters at the airport, and ATMs will be made easily available to those caught during questioning.

The plan is also intended to persuade expats to take more care whilst driving, thus avoiding being fined in the first place. Formerly, fines were allowed to accrue until the annual vehicle license renewal, a common practice across the GCC. The new law is similar to one introduced in 2015 in Oman, and seems to have been successful.
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