Engineering Consultancy Offices

Posted on February 23rd, 2015

Engineering consultancy offices in Qatar are playing a key role in the preparation for FIFA World Cup 2022 and contribute tremendously to the achievement of Qatar National Vision 2030.

The practice of engineering professions in Qatar is governed by Law No.19 of 2005 -as amended by Law No.2 of 2014- (the Law) and Regulations No. 1 of 2006 implementing such Law.

Engineering consultancy services are defined by the Law as amended as “the work of preparing architectural and constructional drawings, diagrams, designs, and survey diagrams; supervising performance; giving advice; conducting feasibility studies; estimating costs and computing quantities; and managing projects in the various engineering professions”.

In order to provide engineering consultancy services, an engineering consultancy office must be licensed from the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP).

According to the Law regulating the practice of the engineering profession, engineering consultancy services can be carried out either by a local engineering consultancy office or by an international engineering consultancy office registered with the MMUP. The period of enrollment in the Offices Register shall be two years, and the enrollment shall be renewed within thirty days from expiration date.

Different sets of rules apply to local engineering consultancy offices and to international engineering consultancy Offices.

An International engineering consultancy office (IECO), is a branch of a main office based abroad and licensed to practice the profession in its country of origin for at least ten years prior to the establishment of an IECO in Qatar. The main office should have valid branches in at least four countries other than the country where the main office is located. The applicant should submit to the MMUP, among other things, a list of ten core projects that the main office or one of its branches has achieved in five countries other than the country where the main office is located, from which it earned more than 100,000,000 QR.

A company registered with the Ministry of Business and Trade to provide engineering consultancy services can be registered as a local engineering consultancy offices with the MMUP provided that:

(a) The contribution of the Qatari partners to the capital must not be less than 51%.

(b) The non-Qatari partners must be either engineers enrolled in the Register of engineers or offices working in the field of engineering consultancy.

A local engineering consultancy office must also fulfill a number of requirements as set out in the Law and Regulations No.1 of 2006 so that it can be registered with the MMUP.

A local engineering consultancy office can also be owned by a natural Qatari person.

Local engineering consultancy offices can only work in the specialization they are licensed to practice and in accordance with the category in which they are classified.

It is worth mentioning that the owner(s) of engineering consultancy offices, the partners thereof, and the engineers working therein are prohibited from engaging in the following activities in the State of Qatar: contracting works, trading in building materials or other materials related to the execution of projects of any size or kind or in any other profession conflicting with their profession, or from seeking to obtain any work in a manner inconsistent with the profession ethics or traditions. They are also prohibited from working in any ministries, governmental agencies, or public authorities and corporations.

As mentioned above, local and international engineering consultancy offices can only practice the engineering consultancy profession after getting enrolled with the MMUP and obtaining the final approval therefrom. Such enrollment is considered to be an authorization to practice the profession. Working in the field of engineering consultancy without being enrolled with the MMUP would constitute a punishable act. That being said, the law states that Engineering Consultancy Offices, to whom the State temporarily entrusts engineering works of a special technical nature required by the public interest under a special agreement specifying the nature of the work and the time required to perform it, shall be exempted by a resolution issued by the Minister, provided that the period of such exemption from the application of the provisions of this Law shall not exceed the period for performing the work agreed upon.

It is noteworthy that the process of setting up an engineering consultancy office requires diligent and strict abidance by certain requirements and may take several months.

Should you have any questions in respect of this article, please contact:

By Marc Moubarak - Senior Associate - Al Misnad Law - In Association with the Law Offices of Khalifa Al Misnad