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Monday, May 10, 2021

Qatar eyes stricter rules for beauty and massage parlors

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

With reporting from Riham Sheble

Barber shops, beauty salons and massage centers in Qatar could be subject to tougher regulations in the near future.

A new multi-ministry committee is being set up to devise new rules for salons, the country’s health ministry reportedly said.

The move follows the temporary closure of a number of beauty salons across Doha this week, after spot checks found them to be using products that were past their expiration date.

Health officials are now responding to calls from the Central Municipal Council to tighten up safety and licensing procedures, Qatar Tribune reports.

Beauty salon in Bin Omran closed by MEC
Beauty salon in Bin Omran closed by MEC

A joint committee of representatives from the Ministry of Public Health (MPH), the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment (MME) and the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) will be established to study and revise existing regulations, the paper said.

While licensing is a requirement in beauty salons, the rules seem to be more flexible with massage parlors.

Dr. Mohammed Al Hajri, director of health protection and communicable disease control, and Dr. Ibrahim Al Shaar, director of the Medical Commission, has now recommended that all staff working in such shops have professional qualifications from their home country.

They also suggested introducing mandatory training courses for massage therapists, based on international standards.

Full records should be kept of all customers and these should be referred to if a customer has a resultant health issue following a massage, or if there is reported “immoral conduct,” the experts reportedly added.

Closures

Inspectors from the MEC, which licenses salons, shut down La Forme Beauty Lounge on Mirqab Al Jadeed (Al Nasr) St. on Sunday and the Diana Beauty Center in Bin Omran on Monday.

The first shop in Al Sadd describes itself as “the largest, full service, privately owned salon in Qatar” on its website.

No one was available at the salon to comment on the closure.

But in a statement, the MEC said it had been shut down “due to the presentation and sale of expired cosmetics.”

It was closed for one month, in line with article 7 of law no. 7 of 2008, Qatar’s consumer protection law, the ministry statement added. This article says:

“Where a supplier displays any commodity for trading, he shall clearly indicate on the packaging or container the type, nature, ingredients and other information relating to the commodity in the manner specified in the executive bylaw hereof. Where the use of the commodity involves a certain risk, the consumer shall be clearly warned against such risk. The supplier shall be prohibited from describing, advertising or displaying the commodity in a manner that involves false or deceptive information.”

The ministry said the recent closures were part of an intensified campaign of spot-checks on salons across the country, adding that it “will be resolute in the face of all of negligent in carrying out its obligations on consumer protection and implementing the regulations.”

Violations of existing regulations will result in “appropriate action” taken to protect customer rights, it added.

Customers can report suspected violations through the MEC’s consumer protection hotline by calling 16001 or email info@mec.gov.qa.

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