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.