Tourism is a steadily growing industry in Qatar, and it's proving itself to be a worthwhile investment for both travel agents and developers. In part, this is because the Qatari government has given priority to tourism as a sector, to diversify their economy.
Travel and tourism are also some of the biggest employers in Qatari, which is hardly surprising when you consider the unique combination of tradition, history, and contemporary innovation that the country offers. Indeed, Qatar may be the perfect place in which to set up a travel agency, although some specific rules and regulations need to be followed to achieve this. Luckily, you can find out what they are and how to navigate them in the post below.
Submit a request to the CAA
To open a travel agency in Qatar the first step is to submit a request to the CAA. The CAA or Civil Aviation Authority as it is known in full is a government institution that deals with civil aviation, and policy surrounding this area. Among other things, the CAA facilitates data for Aeronautical Information Products, safety reporting, and categorizations of Air Cargo Agencies, tenders, and safety regulations. They are also to the organization to whom you will need to notify when intending to open a travel agency.
Notifications need to be addressed to the current chairman of the CAA and should include a copy of commercial registration, copy of the owners' ID, copy of the business’s commercial license, a list of employees, the technical design of the office that has been approved by a licensed engineering office, and a copy of the office’s lease contract.
Also note that the application should also contain an open-ended bank guarantee for the amount of QR200,000, and the application fees will need to be paid once the application is made. Opening a new branch v’s relocating an existing office.
It is worth noting that whether opening a new travel agency branch or business or relocating an existing office you will need prior approval from the CAA. Indeed, even if you are opening a new branch you will need to submit copies of the new commercial registration and license.
You will know that your application to the CAA has been approved when they send a letter to the Commercial Affairs Department at the MEC (Ministry of Economy and Commerce) ( and a copy to you) marked ‘ no objection. If you are opening a new branch your branch number will be the same as the one on the original license of the business. New agencies tend to operate within 3 months of the initial approval letter being received.
The QCAA inspector will also want to come and inspect your site during this time to check that it is up to code. Additionally, you will need to prove you have insurance against accidents that cover your business premises.
Travel agency fees in Qatar are yearly
Last, of all, it is important to remember that the fee will be due for your travel agency in Qatar every year. This must be submitted within the allocated period. You will also need to gain approval before you add a printer to your travel agency or make a change in the management of the business.