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Ministerial Decision No. 55 of 2023: Permitted Commercial Activities in Residential Areas

By Aciel Kafu – Legal Researcher

The Qatari Ministry of Commerce & Industry (“MOCI”) recently issued Decision No. 55 of 2023 (“Ministerial Decision”) governing commercial activities in residential areas. The decision has entered into force on June 18, 2023, following its publication in the Official Gazette. With its foundation rooted in Law No. 5 of 2015 and its subsequent amendments, the decision aims to comprehensively define the activities and types of commercial shops operating in residential areas.

For the purposes of the Ministerial Decision, Article 1 defines the term “commercial shops”, also known as Emiri Grant shops, as any shop located in a residential area. These shops are established on a residential plot comprising either housing villas or residential blocks, and have obtained approval and licensing from the competent authorities prior to 2006. These shops are not subject to the requirements of commercial shops located on commercial streets or other previously designed spaces for commercial use.

Article 2 identifies the various commercial activity types subject to the scope of the decision, and includes:

  1. Grocery shops, cafeterias, bakeries, fruit and vegetable shops, pharmacies, and laundries.
  2. Libraries, bicycle reseller and repair shops, men and women tailors, women hairdressers, ice cream shops, sanitary and plumbing activities, houseware, toy stores, butcher and poultry shops, fish shops, herbs and apothecary shops.
  3. Electric and electronic devices, as well as phones and phone accessories, photography activities, shoes, perfumes and accessories, flower shops, gifts and artifacts, printing and photocopy services, as well as facilitation of transactions.

Article 3 also provides that licensing renewals for the aforesaid commercial activities must be submitted to the competent authorities within 6 months from the date of the enforcement of the Ministerial Decision.