Construction Law in Qatar – What You Need to Know

Posted on August 20th, 2014

Qatar is a sovereign country which is extremely proud of its wealthy attributes. Despite having a small population, Qatar has huge plans for infrastructure development in the country. Such large scale development programs have, undoubtedly, attracted a large number of new entrants to the construction market. The ideas that you can make money easily in the construction sector and that there are no major risks involved in this field are completely wrong, especially for those who have newly entered this field. You need to first understand the construction law in Qatar to make sure that you fully comply with the state guidelines.

Major Points of Construction Law in Qatar

1. The owner and the contractor, under the construction law, are required to act in good faith in the performance of their contractual obligations.
2. According to the courts, the contractor owes the owner the duty to perform services in an appropriate manner.
3. The contractor should warn the owner if the construction specifications can have had damaging results.
4. The owner should fully cooperate with the contractor and should in no way try to delay the work of the contractor.
5. In case of injuries, the workers should be given due compensation.

During the process of drafting a clause of dispute resolution, the forum for solving disputes should be decided upon carefully. There are two main options available for the dispute resolution:

* Arbitration
* Litigation

Arbitration is a process which is commonly resorted to while solving disputes arising in the construction contracts, especially those involving foreign contractors. This is a private process in which both the parties have the option to choose experienced arbitrators and the timing of the process can be decided by both parties. The arbitration rules for disputes are decided by internationally recognized arbitration bodies, such as the Uncitral, ICC or the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI). However, according to the Public Works Ministry, the disputes should be referred to the Qatari courts. Qatari law governs the construction contracts, particularly in the public sector. Recently, some alternative procedures to resolve disputes have also come up such as mediation and few training sessions have also been conducted with people who would like to become mediators. The FIDIC Dispute Adjudication Boards have also been involved in the dispute resolution process.

Even though the courts in Qatar are regarded as reliable, they do not have much expertise in construction law matters. Therefore, the judges in the Qatari courts are dependent on construction specialists appointed by the courts. Although a construction contract has a clause giving jurisdiction to the Qatari courts, the fact that that the parties may, depending upon the nature of the dispute, agree upon an alternative dispute resolution process, should not be undermined.

Many new practices regarding entering into contracts have come up in Qatar. These practices include stamping or initialing each page of a contract. However, under the Qatari law, these practices are not necessary and do not affect the formation of a contract. Contract formation in Qatar is governed by the Civil Code Law.

Al Misnad Law offer assistance regarding all aspects of company formation in Qatar. Call +974 4016 7020 for Law and Legal Services/Consulting.