Driving schools in Qatar face drop in revenues
With the ban imposed by the Traffic department on issuing driving licenses to certain categories of expatriate workers, many driving schools in Qatar have reported a drop in the number of students enrolling as well as their daily targets.
The ban, which came into effect on July 1 this year, applies to ‘labourers’ who are employed across all sectors, including private companies, government and semi-government entities.
The classification of ‘labourers’, however, ranges from cashiers and salesmen to clerks and barbers (see box). This ban also applies to foreign workers who are or will be in Qatar on temporary project visas. The only groups who were exempt from this ban are workers under personal sponsorship such as domestic help and drivers for Qatari families.
JustHere spoke to a couple of driving schools who said women under their husband’s sponsorships, employed or otherwise, would still be able to apply for license.
However, there’s still an uncertainty concerning the broad categories of workers who were subjected to this ban which have left driving schools in a fix – who to reject and who to accept. According to a report in Gulf Times, this has led to a significant drop in their revenues, for some a drop as high as 50% compared to the average revenue last month. In terms of number of students enrolling, a batch for theory classes that usually comprised 20-25 candidates in the past now sees only about eight in attendance.
“…women under their husband’s sponsorships, employed or otherwise, would still be able to apply for license.”
While schools wait for an official list of eligible candidates for driving licenses from authorities, below is an unofficial list that was released earlier.
|Eligible candidates||Ineligible candidates|
Workers under personal sponsorship
(domestic help and drivers for Qatari families)
Beauty saloon workers
According to the Traffic Department at the Ministry of Interior, the ban on new driving licenses is only a temporary move until major infrastructural development projects are completed. Currently, works are under process to convert major roundabouts around Qatar into traffic signals with intersections.
Have you had any difficulty signing up for driving classes or applying for a license?