Qatar residents will soon be able to have their mail and packages delivered directly to their homes, according to the Qatar Postal Services Company (Q-Post).
Several Doha-based courier and delivery companies have been invited to apply to run the service, Q-Post Marketing Officer Mohammad Ansari told Doha News. Shortlisting of bidders is expected to take place imminently.
The move – a huge step forward from the current PO Box system – is being made following the introduction of the Qatar Area Referencing System (QARS) project, under which every home and building in the country will eventually be identified by a unique blue address plate.
Currently, residents and companies are required to rent a PO Box at a Q-Post branch if they want to receive mail – a service that costs around QR300 a year for residents, and QR500 for companies. And customers need to visit the post office in person to pick up their mail.
Companies, however, have had the option of a premium service, Khazaz, through which Q-Post delivers their post directly to their offices every day, at a cost of QR4,500 annually.
A report in the Gulf Times today states that the home delivery service would be introduced “by the end of this year,” but Q-Post’s marketing officer told Doha News that no exact date has been set for the introduction of the home delivery service. This is because it can’t begin until the QARS address plate process has been completed, Ansari said:
“Each and every postal delivery has to be scanned, so we need to make sure each house has an identifier.”
So far, 90,000 plates have been installed on buildings across the country.
We are told that deliveries will initially focus on the Dafna (West Bay) area, but the intention is to eventually extend the service to all 99 zones across Qatar.
The Doha Postal Strategy, which was adopted at the Universal Postal Congress in Doha last year, notes that despite a worldwide decrease in the sending of letters, the demand for home delivery of parcels has grown due to the popularity of online shopping.
This is certainly the case in Qatar, where many residents choose to use shipping companies like Aramex and DHL to deliver international online purchases to their homes.
Credit: Photo by Simon Grieg