from the desk

Qatar Today - - FROM THE DESK -

It goes with­out say­ing that the sav­ing grace for Qatar in these troubled times has been its ex­pa­tri­ates, who have ral­lied be­hind the na­tion and have hardly let any op­por­tu­nity go by to ex­press their sol­i­dar­ity for the na­tion. And the ef­forts have not gone un­no­ticed, with Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad Al Thani ac­knowl­edg­ing in his speech that “all those who live in this coun­try have be­come spokesper­sons for Qatar”.

So, what lies ahead for the ex­pat pop­u­la­tion (in Qatar) in the months ahead? Have they been backed up by the coun­try, which many re­fer to as their “se­cond home”? In a move aimed at help­ing em­ploy­ees, Sheikh Tamim is­sued Law No. 13 of 2017 un­der which a Labour Dis­pute Res­o­lu­tion Com­mit­tee will be formed. The law pro­vides that a dis­pute be­tween an em­ployee and em­ployer first needs to be con­sid­ered by the Depart­ment of Labour Re­la­tions, which must set­tle the dis­pute within seven days.

How­ever, what does the cur­rent job mar­ket have to of­fer the ex­pat pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try, which makes up the bulk of Qatar's work­force? Var­i­ous re­ports, con­ducted by con­sul­tancy groups in the last year or so, show for­eign work­ers in­creas­ingly leav­ing the Gulf. This trend, which some call ex­pat ex­o­dus, could have a tremen­dous im­pact on local economies, rais­ing the ques­tion of whether the GCC can man­age with­out them and how hard it would be to re­place them?

Our Cover Story analy­ses the global sukuk mar­ket, which af­ter three suc­ces­sive years of de­cline has started look­ing up with is­suances touch­ing $74.8 bil­lion (QR272.27 bil­lion) in the pre­vi­ous year. Apart from that, in an exclusive in­ter­view with Qatar To­day, Manateq CEO Fa­had Al Kaabi talks about the com­pany's Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones – Ras Bu­fontas, Um Al­houl and Al Karaana.

In a story which is sure to tickle your taste buds, choco­late chef Jean Galler pro­vides us with an in­sight into the con­fec­tionery mar­ket of the coun­try, and last but by no means least, the Spot­light in this edi­tion ex­plores the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor in Qatar, which seems to be go­ing from strength to strength with ev­ery pass­ing year.

Happy read­ing!

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