Qatar Privacy Law

The national level framework, Law No. 13 of 2016 and the National Privacy Law

Qatar Privacy Law: An Introduction

Qatar has, in addition to a specific comprehensive national level legal framework on data protection, a separate legal regime that applies to Qatar Financial Centre ('QFC') licensed entities. There are also various Qatari laws which set out certain rights of privacy and obligations of data protection.

The national level framework, Law No. 13 of 2016 Promulgating the Protection of the Privacy of Personal Data Law (only available in Arabic here) ('the National Privacy Law'), was issued by the Qatari Ministry of Transport and Communications ('MOTC') in November of 2016 and subsequently published in the Official Qatar Gazette on 29 December 2016. It is the first of its kind in the Gulf Cooperation Council ('GCC') region. The data protection regime that applies specifically to QFC-licensed entities is broadly modelled on the European Union’s Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) ('the Directive').

There are also a number of other laws at a national level that address (either directly or peripherally) matters of privacy and protection of personal information, some of which are very generic and others which are quite sector-specific. Please note that all national laws of the State of Qatar are published in Arabic and there is no officially binding translation in any other language. Commentary provided below has been based on English translations of these laws, but the original Arabic text will prevail in the event of any potential discrepancies in interpretation. From a QFC perspective, however, the relevant legal regime discussed herein was in fact drafted in the English language, which is therefore considered to be the official original text.


At the most fundamental level, the Constitution of Qatar (‘the Constitution’) provides for a general right of privacy for individuals. According to the Constitution, 'the sanctity of human privacy shall be inviolable, and therefore interference into privacy of a person, family affairs, home of residence, correspondence, or any other act of interference that may demean or defame a person may not be allowed save as limited by the provisions of the law stipulated therein.'

As such, the right to privacy is regarded as a fundamental individual right in Qatar, subject to such exceptions as contemplated in the wider Qatari legal framework.

The National Privacy Law sets out a number of new rules and requirements applicable to the processing of personal data of an identifiable individual. It applies in both electronic and non-electronic contexts.

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Our consultants are experienced trainers who can make your training on National Privacy Law interesting and enjoyable.

We can either train all of your staff or use a ‘train the trainer’ approach, the choice is yours. Either way, we will leave you with all of the training materials for you to use and review.

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We can train all of your staff so that everyone understands the National Privacy Law.

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