A landmark law with the potential to ultimately transform Gulf societies by granting permanent residency cards and new rights to some of the foreigners who dominate its population.
Under the new law, cardholders will be treated like Qatari nationals and will benefit from elements of the state’s generous welfare system, including education and health-care services, the official Qatar News Agency reported late Wednesday.
The Interior Ministry will set up a department to consider applications, QNA said.
The legislation was approved after Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, instructed officials in a July 22 speech to expedite measures to lure investments and reduce the economy’s reliance on energy in the wake of the boycott. He said opening up the economy was no longer a “luxury” but an obligation.