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Qatar ID card

People living and working in Qatar must carry their ID cards “at all times” as proof of their identities and valid residency, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has warned.

It added that residents should present the ID card at the request of authorities, QNA reports.

The reminder is in line with Law No. 21 of 2015 on the Entry, Exit, and Residency of Foreign Nationals.

Chantelle D'Mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Article 15 of this law states:

“During his residency, the Foreign National shall submit his Passport, Travel Document, or Residency Permit to the Competent Authorities when requested. He shall answer any questions asked of him, and within the appointed time established for him.”

However, in the past officials have clarified that residents don’t necessarily have to present an ID card on the spot if a law enforcement official demands it.

For example, if someone is out running on the Corniche, he can go back to his car or home to retrieve the card.

But outright refusal to present ID to officers could lead to a fine of up to QR10,000, authorities previously said.

No more passport stamps

Qatar ID cards have become more important since officials began phasing out residency permit stamps in passports in 2014.

Once they have the new ID cards, expats must keep in mind that it is the only official document that proves their identity and residence in Qatar.

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That means residents who leave the country must present this card alongside their passport as proof of their identity.

This also applies to children who have been issued an ID card, another new step.

Likewise, people returning to Qatar must present their ID cards alongside their passports to get into the country.

Lost cards

In the event that an ID card is lost, the resident should report it to the General Directorate of Passports, QNA reported yesterday.

If the card is lost inside of Qatar, the resident or a company representative should head to one of the service centers and fill out a lost ID form, submit his passport for verification and pay QR200 for lost report fees and the new card.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

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It gets a bit more complicated if the card is lost outside of Qatar, according to Brig. Muhammed Saleh Al Kuwari, who heads the Residence Division of the passport directorate.

He said the resident must then file a report in the country where the card was lost, get it attested by authorities in that foreign country and send a copy to the resident’s representative in Qatar to be able to issue a Return Permit for Resident.

This permit costs QR200. It is then sent to the resident abroad to be able to enter the country.

Once he arrives in Qatar, the resident should head to the Expatriates Affairs Department to issue a lost report and get a new card.

Thoughts?

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Driving on Qatar’s roads appears to be getting less perilous, with the number of road deaths, accidents and traffic offenses all falling in 2016.

According to the Ministry of Interior (MOI), some 178 people in Qatar died in traffic-related accidents last year. That’s down 22 percent from the 227 killed in 2015.

Officials attributed the decline in deaths to better ambulance response, more police patrols and an increase in the number of radars around Qatar.

Fewer drivers on the roads could also be playing a factor, thanks to several licensing restrictions passed over the last few years.

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New speed radars

Meanwhile, even though they surged toward the end of 2016, overall traffic offenses dropped nearly 5 percent from the year before. These numbered 1,643,209, down from 1,720,735.

And the total number of road accidents also fell in 2016 by 7.8 percent in comparison with 2015.

Cause of death

According to the MOI, some 95 percent of the people killed in road accidents last year were men, while 5 percent were women.

Notably, though Qataris only account for about 10 percent of the population, they are dying in disproportionate numbers on the roads.

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QNA reports that 16 percent of the people who died last year in road accidents were Qataris.

Asians accounted for some 54 percent of the deaths, while non-GCC Arabs comprised 22 percent.

Officials cited speeding, lack of discipline and tailgating as key causes of road deaths last year.

Not wearing a seatbelt also contributed to injury and death.

Speaking to the Qatar Tribune, the head of the Traffic Department Brig. Mohammad Saad al Kharji said mandating seatbelt usage for backseat passengers is now under study.

Pessimistic view

Even though the roads appear to be growing safer, some residents continue to believe otherwise.

In November, a survey found that many Qatar drivers continue to engage in dangerous practices such as speeding, tailgating and using a mobile phone while behind the wheel.

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However, fewer people than in the previous edition of the Qatar Road Safety Monitor did say their morning commute was improving.

The observation comes as public works authority Ashghal builds new routes across Qatar and replaces roundabouts in Doha with signal-controlled intersections to make the junctions less dangerous.

Have you noticed improved road conditions? Thoughts?

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Authorities rescue man using a crane.

Qatar police and Civil Defense officers have successfully talked down a suicidal man who planned to jump to his death off of a high voltage power line, authorities said.

Officers, including from Lekwhiya, responded to a call about the man and tried to calm him down while the power supply was disconnected, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) said in a statement yesterday.

The man, described as an “Asian expatriate worker” was eventually brought down in a crane after speaking to officers “for a long time.”

Chantelle D'Mello / Doha News

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The expat also talked to his wife by telephone over a loudspeaker.

The MOI did not clarify when or where the incident happened, but did say an investigation has been launched into the “circumstances of the incident.”

Taboo subject

Suicide is not a topic openly discussed in Qatar, and there are no official figures on how many people have killed themselves in recent years.

However, anecdotally there has been an uptick in reported suicides in the past two years by expats who have fallen into financial trouble after being laid off.

Rights groups have pointed out that migrant workers are often especially vulnerable due to unique stresses, such as knowing family members back home are depending on them for financial support.

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Complicating matters is that attempting to commit suicide is illegal under Qatar’s penal code. A person convicted of this can face up to six years in prison and a fine of QR3,000.

And anyone who incites or assists with a suicide can face an even steeper penalty of seven to 10 years in prison.

Qatar has been working to improve its mental health services in recent years, acknowledging that depression is a prevalent problem in the community.

But care remains difficult to access for residents who are unfamiliar with navigating the healthcare system.

Thoughts?