Any business operating in the field of “press and publications” in Qatar must have the necessary permits to do so, the Ministry of Culture and Sports has warned.
In an announcement printed in local newspapers today, the ministry’s Administration of Press and Publications said residents who have the following jobs must be licensed to “practice and perform these activities.”
“All working in the field of press and publications, including newspapers, magazines, and or any print or publication despite its circulation method, either on paper or electronically, publishing houses and distribution and all working in the field of publicity, advertising, public relations, artistic works and artistic/technical productions.”
Those who do not have licenses should contact the ministry to “adjust their situation,” the announcement added.
The ministry referred to decree No. 16 of 1993 on the organization of promotional activities, advertising and public relations as justification for its regulation of the market.
Authorities did not give a timeline for when people operating in these fields without permits should come forward.
It also did not outline any penalties for those who violate government requirements.
But the announcement comes about a month after officials suddenly blocked DohaNews.co in Qatar for apparently not having the appropriate licenses.
It also follows the Ministry of Economy and Commerce’s recent introduction of sweeping new requirements for home businesses.
The arena was previously fairly unregulated. But this has prompted health and safety concerns from some, especially with regards to food-related businesses.
Now, entrepreneurs who work from home are required to have commercial licenses. These can only be obtained after meeting a series of government requirements.
Some say this move and other new attempts at regulation seem at odds with officials’ desire to boost Qatar’s private sector, as it only adds bureaucracy to the process.