Guide to hiring employees in Qatar

Everything you need to know when expanding your Qatar workforce

Photo shows the skyline of Doha city centre in Qatar after sunset
Source: Shutterstock/Sven Hansche


With its liberal state policies, economic and political stability, and innovative infrastructural projects, Qatar has consistently attracted the attention of investors and businesses.
Growing investment in green energy has signalled that the country cannot be fully reliant on its oil reserves and this has led to the country diversifying its project scope to include technology, transportation, medicine, agriculture, tourism, and culture.
This continued investment in previously unchartered territories means that businesses keen on expanding their foothold in the Middle East can look forward to a dynamic economy that promises plenty of opportunities for growth. 
Capital Doha
Languages spoken Arabic
Population size 2.98 million
Payroll frequency Monthly
Currency Qatari Riyal (QAR)
VAT There is currently no VAT in Qatar

Taxes in Qatar

Employer Contributions in Qatar

In Qatar, employers bear a monthly contribution of 10% of the employee’s contributable salary.

Employee Contributions in Qatar

Employees bear 5% of the monthly contribution of the employee’s contributable salary. There is no personal income tax in Qatar.


Minimum wage in Qatar

Qatar adopts a non-discriminatory minimum wage policy that is applied to workers of all nationalities across all sectors. In addition to the minimum monthly wage of QAR 1000, employers are obligated to pay allowances of at least QAR 300 and QAR 500 for food and housing if they do not already provide these to workers.

Working hours in Qatar

Employees in Qatar typically work a maximum of 48 hours per week (eight hours per day for six days). During the month of Ramadhan, this is decreased to 36 hours per week (six hours per day for six days) for Muslim employees. Most public and private sector companies work from Sunday to Thursday with Friday being a rest day.

Employee Benefits in Qatar

Qatari nationals who are employed by the government after 15 years of service are entitled to the state pension scheme when they reach 60 years of age (for men) and 55 years of age (for women).

The pension scheme is only open to Qatari employees employed by the ministry, public institutions, agencies, joint stock companies and others as determined by the Council of Ministers at the GRSIA. Pensions are also issued to civilian and military retirees.

Qataris who work in the private sector are not eligible for the state pension scheme. It is the responsibility of the individual to negotiate a pension arrangement with their employer or to join the company’s pension scheme.  Healthcare in the country is also often free or heavily subsidized for Qatari nationals and expat employees based in Qatar will typically expect supplementary insurance from the company.

Additional benefits such as insurance, housing, and transportation allowance might be provided but this is often at the discretion of the company.

Further benefits may include housing and transportation allowance and health and life insurance.


Types of leave available in Qatar

Paid time off

The number of annual leave days employees in Qatar are entitled to is dependent on their years of service as follows:

  • Employees with one to five years of service are entitled to three weeks’ worth of paid time off.
  • Employees with five years od service or more are entitled to four weeks’ worth of paid time off.
  • For employees with less than one years’ worth of service, the number of paid of time off days will be determined by the company.

Public holidays

There are several major public holidays observed in Qatar. These include:

  • New Years’ Day
  • National Sports Day
  • March Bank Holiday
  • Eid al Fitr
  • Eid al Aldha
  • National Day

Sick leave

After three months of continuous service with a company, employees in Qatar are entitled to claim up to two weeks of paid sick leave. After the two weeks are up, employees can claim an additional 4 weeks of paid leave with 50% compensation of their salary. To claim sick leave, employees must be able to present a medical certificate.

Maternity leave

Female employees are entitled to 50 days of paid maternity leave in Qatar. 15 of which can be claimed prior to their delivery date and no less than 35 days following the birth of the child. Employees can choose to extend their maternity leave to include an additional 60 days of unpaid leave in the event of a complications relating to the birth but must present an official medical certificate. To be eligible for maternity leave, an employee must have completed a minimum one years’ worth of continuous service with an employer.

Paternity leave

There is no mandatory paternity leave in Qatar, but it is common for most companies to provide between three to five days’ worth of paid paternity leave to their employees.

Pilgrimage leave

Muslim employees in Qatar are entitled to two weeks’ worth unpaid pilgrimage leave. However, this can only occur once during their employment history.

Termination of employment in Qatar

Probation period

Six months is the maximum probation period for employees in Qatar and companies are not allowed to subject their workers to more than one probation period. If the employee struggles to fulfill their duties, the employer can choose to terminate the contract by providing at least 3 days’ notice.

End of service

An employment contract can be terminated by either the employee or the company. In either case, it is compulsory to submit a termination letter.

Companies sponsoring work or residency permits are responsible for bearing the costs of returning the employee to his or her own home country within two weeks of the contract expiration date.

End-of-service benefits (EOSB)

All employees who have successfully completed more than one year of continuous service with a company will be entitled to end-of-service benefits.

Under Article 54 of the Labour Law (Law No. 14 of 2004), eligible employees can receive a minimum of three weeks' basic salary as the end-of-service gratuity for each year.

The employee must receive the total sum within seven days of their last working day.

What are my options for hiring in Qatar?

For businesses that are ready to expand and have their sights set on Qatar, Airswift can provide a variety of employment solutions that are designed to help you recruit a global workforce without boundaries. Our offices are scattered across 60 countries and our experts are ready to help you handle various facets of global employment.

When hiring employees in Qatar, here are two major routes we can recommend:


Talent Acquisition

Whether you’re looking to hire skilled professionals or want to temporarily fill permanent roles, our talent acquisition solutions include contract hire and permanent placement solutions.

We know that results matter, which is why our recruitment specialists are highly focused on efficiently finding the talent you need to build an engaged workforce that can support you in achieving your business goals.


Employer of Record

Due to strict worker protections put in place, hiring a Qatari workforce often comes with a lot of complexities. For businesses that want to expand into Qatar but are reluctant to set up a physical entity, Airswift can help you simplify this process.

As your Employer of Record in Qatar, we work closely with you to source and hire top talent in the country, manage HR-related issues, navigate payroll and taxes and more.

All these solutions come under our Global Employment Outsourcing (GEO) services to provide you with the peace of mind and flexibility to focus on growing your business.

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Although the information provided has been produced from sources believed to be reliable, Airswift makes no warranties, whether express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, or reliability of any information herein. Accordingly, there shall be no liability attached to use of the information herein, howsoever arising. For the latest information and specific queries regarding particular cases, please contact our team.

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