This edition of the Qatar Law Update highlights new laws published in the Official Gazettes 3, 4 and 5 of 2012. We are also pleased to include highlights of other legal news.
Law No. 1 of 2012 Organising Advertisements
Regulating the requirements for advertising in Qatar. This law targets advertisements aimed at the general public including those for the promotion of products, activities, equipment and public information in any form including writing, drawing, images, sound and light. The primary text of the advertisement must be in Arabic, with translation into other languages permitted within the advert. A licence from the relevant Municipality is required to publish or display an advertisement and permission must also be obtained from the owner of the land on which the advert is to be displayed. There are restrictions on where and how adverts may be displayed, and adverts must be removed within five days of the expiry of the licence. Fines of up to QR20,000 are applicable for breach of this law.
Council of Ministers Decision No. 8 of 2012 Extending Leases of Non-Residential Property
Leases of non-residential property existing on 14 February 2012, and which are subject to the Lease Law No.#4 of 2004, shall be extended for two years from 15 February 2012, unless the lease contract provides for a longer period or the tenant does not wish to extend the lease. The extension is on the condition that the tenant is occupying the leased property.
This decision shall not apply to the following leases:
- Management headquarters for companies and entities involved in trading;
- Law firms, accountants and engineering offices;
- Veterinary surgeries, agricultural and animal land, experts in marine life, experts in animal life.
Qatar Financial Markets Authority Board of Directors Decision No. 2 of 2011
Decision to issue rules for offering and listing securities on the secondary market. The rules have been effective since 28 December 2011.
Launch of Qatar Interbank Offer Rate (QIBOR)
On 6 May 2012, the Qatar Interbank Offer Rate (QIBOR) was launched. This is a partnership between Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and Bloomberg. QIBOR uses the contributed offer rates offered by nine panel banks, which are calculated by Bloomberg. It is hoped that QIBOR will encourage a more active interbank market in Qatar. There are eight different tenures, ranging from overnight to one year fixings, and the rates are calculated and published on a daily basis on QCB's website.
Qatar 2022 World Cup
The State of Qatar has formed the legal entity which will be the vehicle that enters into contractual arrangements with regard to matters connected with Qatar's hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The entity is called the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee and its status is that of a private institution of public benefit, created by natural or legal person(s) in order to achieve a public benefit purpose. It is an institution with its own separate legal personality and independent financial account. The Committee is charged with "achieving the appropriate circumstances to organise and complete the 2022 World Cup, enhancing the overall development plans in Qatar and creating a post World Cup heritage for Qatar".
National Sports Day
Issued on 6 December 2011 and effective on 6 January 2012, Emiri Decree No. 80 of 2011 designated the first Tuesday of the second week of the month of February as a sports day for the State. The sports day is a paid public holiday for both private and public sectors. The public and private sectors are required to organise sports events in the State throughout the day to establish an awareness of sport and its role in the life of individuals and society.