Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Workers must be granted at least one paid day off each week, Qatar’s labor ministry has reminded employers.

In a tweet last week, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs cited Article 75 of the law, which states:

According to legal portal Al Meezan, the clause also states that people should be compensated for working on Friday in one of two ways:

  • By either getting time off another day of the week; or
  • Getting paid time and a half (or 150 percent of one’s regular wage for working on a Friday.

Additionally, with the exception of shift workers, it’s prohibited to require an employee to work for two consecutive Fridays, the law states.

Complaint kiosk.

ADLSA

Complaint kiosk

The ministry did not say what to do if an employer is flouting the law, but it does have kiosks set up in its branches for people to file complaints.

It has also recently pledged to establish a complaint hotline soon for abused expats.

Domestic workers

The no work on Fridays rule applies to all those who fall under the labor law.

For now, this excludes domestic workers, such as gardeners, cooks, drivers and nannies.

Mopaw Foundation/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

However, last month the Cabinet approved a draft law that would provide legal protection to these employees by bringing them under the labor law.

According to a document submitted to the International Labor Organization last month, the law would establish a 10-hour workday with periods for rest and food.

It would also mandate one day off a week. However, how officials will be able to enforce what goes on behind closed doors remains to be seen.

Thoughts?

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It’s likely going to be a few more years before Qatar’s economy begins to show signs of recovery, according to the nation’s wealthiest residents.

A recent study of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) across the Gulf found that only 42 percent of respondents in Qatar believed the economic situation in the country was improving.

A further 25 percent felt that it was getting worse, found the 2017 GCC Wealth Insight Report, which is produced annually by Emirates Investment Bank.

Ricky Majit/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Meanwhile, the remaining 25 percent of those surveyed in Qatar said they believed the economy was staying the same.

Sentiments were a lot more optimistic in the UAE, where 69 percent of HNWIs felt things were improving.

The forecast on Qatar’s economy comes following mass layoffs due to a drop in global oil prices, and ensuing government budget cuts.

Qatar also saw its first budget deficit in more than a decade last year, and is forecasting another (albeit smaller) one for 2017.

Regional gloom

Across the GCC, fewer respondents also felt confident about the region’s economy this year than in 2016.

Seventy-five percent of HNWIs interviewed said that they were optimistic about the economic prospects for the region over the next five years – down 8 percent from last year.

Maersk

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The main reasons for this growing pessimism included conflicts in the region, a global drop in oil prices, and general instability in the region’s economies.

Interestingly, the report’s authors noted that interviews for the survey were conducted between September and December 2016, with the majority of interviews completed before the US presidential election and the fall of Eastern Aleppo in Syria.

Global uncertainty

Wealthy individuals in the GCC remain fairly pessimistic about the biggest picture this year, too.

Almost half (47 percent) of those questioned think that the global economy is getting worse. And just 15 percent say the situation is improving.

 

photosteve101/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Among the 47 percent of respondents who felt the global economic situation was worsening, most said this was due to political instability, conflict and the threat of terrorism.

However, just over three quarters of HNWIs (76 percent) were optimistic about the economic prospects for the global economy over the next five years, a sign that they believe things will eventually get better.

Attitudes toward women

The report also revealed attitudes toward women in positions of power across the Gulf region.

Only 14 percent of the HNWIs interviewed were women.

When all respondents were questioned about promoting women in the workplace, only 59 percent supported the introduction of quotas to bring more women onto the boards of public GCC companies.

Meanwhile, some 73 percent of all respondents supported encouraging women to move into board-level positions in the first place.

Santiago Sanz Romero/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

And finally, 77 percent of those questioned supported moves to promote more women to high-ranking managerial positions.

A report released last year concluded that two out of every 100 people in Doha are millionaires, making the city home to the highest density of millionaires in the Middle East.

Thoughts?

Biju CG

Thunderstorms in Qatar

Thunderstorms rolled through Qatar yesterday, slowing down traffic on the roads as well as in the air.

Many people shared photos and videos of the downpours last night, focusing in particular on the dazzling electrical storms that lit up the sky:

The storm over Barwa City, by Dean Croucher.

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Lighting and Earth hour

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For some, the rain was a good excuse to spend the weekend indoors.

Others complained however of hours-long delays in flights to and from Doha, prompting Qatar Airways to warn flyers to check their status before heading to the airport:

More rain on the way

Many people also complained about an increase in traffic accidents due to waterlogged roads.

The downpours are expected to continue today, according to local forecasters, so the Ministry of Interior has been warning people to drive safe:

And for those struggling with flooding in their neighborhood, the government is asking residents report any problems by calling these numbers:

Al Sarayat

Rain in March is not that unusual, and inclement weather usually marks the country’s transition from winter to spring, a period called Al Sarayat.

According to the MET, this period goes from March 20 to mid-May. It is charactered by weather fluctuations, including warm and cold fronts, as well as dry and hot winds.

Severe weather such as violent lightning strikes, strong winds, heavy rain and dust are also common, forecasters added.

What are you seeing out there today? Thoughts?

All photos by Abdulla Almesleh

A new photography exhibition that highlights portraits of Qatar at dusk and dawn has opened at Katara Cultural Village.

The photos were shot by award-winning photographer Abdulla Al-Mesleh, who said he spent took countless hours capturing the best images.

The “blue” hour refers to the time before sunrise and the period after sunset. And the “golden” hour comes after the sun comes up or before it goes down.

Abdulla Almesleh

Qatar in the golden hour

Speaking to Doha News, Al-Mesleh said he was inspired to take the photos because colorful sky scenes make him reflect on the beauty of God’s creation.

“The other reason which keeps me determined to shoot is my love of nature – I love spending hours & hours outside the city,” he said.

He added that contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t take photos by drone. Rather, he requests access to the rooftops of tall skyscrapers.

The exhibition will be open at Katara’s Building 18 through April 13. The hours are from the morning to 10pm daily.

Thoughts?