Law No. 21 of 1998 Transforming Qatar Public Telecommunications Corporation into a Qatari Shareholding Company 21 / 1998
Number of Articles: 18
Table of Content

We, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Emir of the State of Qatar,
Having perused the Amended Provisional Constitution, particularly Articles 23, 24, and 51 thereof;
Law No. 11 of 1981 promulgating the Commercial Companies Law, as amended by Law No. 9 of 1998, in particular Article 90 thereof;
Law No. 13 of 1987 establishing the Qatar Public Telecommunications Corporation, as amended by Decree Law No.34 of 1995;
Decree Law No. 25 of 1990 regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital in the economic activities, as amended by Law No. 9 of 1995;
Decree-Law No. 11 of 1993 concerning Income Tax;
Law No. 14 of 1995 establishing the Doha Securities Market;
Law No. 11 of 1997 establishing the Qatari Public Organization for Broadcasting and Television,
Emiri Resolution No. 16 of 1995 re-forming the Board of Directors of the Qatar Public Telecommunications Corporation, as amended by subsequent Emiri Resolutions;
The Proposal of the Minister of Finance, Economy and Commerce;
The Draft Law presented by the Council of Ministers,

Part 1


Article 1

In applying the provisions of this Law, the following words and expressions shall have the meaning hereby assigned to each of them, unless the context requires otherwise:
“The Minister” means the Minister of Finance, Economy and Commerce
“The Corporation” means the Qatar Public Telecommunications Corporation (hereinafter referred to as “Qtel”).
“The Company” means Qatar Telecom Q.S.C. (hereinafter referred to as “Qtel. Q.S.C.”
“Telecommunications” means, inter alia the delivery, transmission, emission and reception of writing, signs, signals, sounds, pictures, data or information of any kind by wire, radio, optic or electromagnetic means of communications.
“Public Telecommunications Network” means the telecommunications system or setoff telecommunications systems offering telecommunication services to the public and includes all media, supplies and equipment necessary therefore.


Part 2

The Transformation of the Corporation into a Shareholding Company

Article 2

The Corporation is hereby transformed into a shareholding company known as Qatar Telecom (Qtel), a Qatari Shareholding Company under the provisions of Article 90 of the Companies Law No.11 of 1981 referred to above. The Company's head office shall be in Doha; it may also establish branches, offices or agencies within or outside Qatar. The Company is to be registered in the Commercial Register, and its shares shall be listed on the Doha Securities Market. The Company is bound by the provisions of this Law and its Articles of Association.


Article 3

The duration of the Company shall be fifty (50) Gregorian years, commencing as from the date of entry of this Law into force. This duration may be extended by a decision of an extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly.


Article 4

The Company shall be granted an exclusive concession for a period of fifteen (15) years during which the Company shall have the exclusive right to provide telecommunications within and outside the State of Qatar. In consideration for this concession, the Company shall pay the government an annual fee equivalent to Twenty-Five Percent (25%) of the net profit of the Company.
The aforementioned fee shall be inclusive of licensing fees, fees for the use of frequencies and any other fee prescribed for telecommunication services. The Company shall be exempt from paying the above fee for a period of three (3) years from 1 January 1999. If the government cancels the above concession or amends its conditions, the Company's obligation to pay the fee shall cease as from the date on which the concession is cancelled or the amendment is made.
*See Decree-Law No. 34 of 2006 promulgating the Telecommunications Law, which canceled the concession granted to Qatar Telecom (Qtel)



Article 5

The Company shall own and operate public telecommunication networks to provide telecommunications within and outside the State of Qatar. To achieve its objectives, the Company may carry out the following activities, in particular:
1.      Owns, operates, maintains and develops telecommunication networks pursuant to Article 8 of this Law;
2.      Establishes and operates all types of fixed and mobile telephone networks and telegram, telex, paging systems, leased circuits, data transmission and other similar facilities;
3.      Owns, establishes and operates transmission and reception stations relating to the activities of the Company;
4.      Owns, establishes and operates cable television stations in various forms to receive and re-transmit broadcasting and television services;
5.      Provides telecommunication services to subscribers and manages, leases and deals in such services;
6.      Subscribes to, or participates in, international telecommunication systems or organisations, such as submarine cables, satellite systems and the like, and acquires capacities and circuits in such systems for its own use, or for the purpose of leasing them to others;
7.      Expands and develops telecommunication systems using the latest technologies, equipment and instruments;
8.      Publishes and distributes the telephone and other services directories;
9.      Deals with, enters into contracts with or participates with bodies, corporations or companies having similar or related activities to those of the Company, or which may help it to achieve its objects within or outside the State of Qatar;
10.      Invests or employs funds in business that increases and enhances such funds or that realizes profits for the Company, or helps it to achieve its objects;
11.      Establishes companies with third parties or own established companies or hold shares in companies;
12.      Borrows money from any source within or outside the State of Qatar.



Part 3

The Company’s Capital

Article 6

The capital of the Company shall be One Billion Qatari Riyals (QR 1,000,000,000), divided into ninety-nine million nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine (99,999,999) ordinary shares each of a nominal value of QR 10 to be wholly-owned by the government, and one special share with a nominal value of QR 10 also to be owned by the government. As from the date this Law enters into force, an amount from the general reserve shall be allocated to pay all the unpaid part of the Company's capital so that all of the shares in the Company will be fully paid-up. The remaining balance of the general reserve shall be paid to the government by way of a special dividend distribution on 31 December 1998.
Furthermore, all profits relating to the 1998 financial year shall be paid to the government after having been calculated, whether the government has sold some or all of the Company's offered shares before the end of the financial year, or prior to the distribution of the Company's profits.


Article 7

Non-Qataris shall have the right to purchase, own and sell the Company's shares. They shall also have the right to carry out all legal transactions associated with these shares.


Article 8

As from the date this Law enters into force and subject to Article 6, all the Corporation's assets and liabilities, including, in particular, buildings, installations and land owned by the Corporation, and land on which facilities owned by the Corporation are built, together with telecommunication networks, stations, lines, equipment and materials and other such assets, shares, rights, cash, debts, investments within and outside the State of Qatar shall continue to be the property of the Company.


Article 9

The Government shall offer Forty-Five Percent (45%) of the Company's shares to the public through a public offering. The Council of Ministers may offer further shares for sale, as it deems appropriate.


Article 10

The Minister shall carry out the task necessary to complete the registration of the Company and the sale of the shares. The Minister shall have full authority to do so, in particular with regard to the following:
1.      To assign any task to any person or body relating to the registration of the Company or to the sale transactions;
2.      To approach experts, consultants and banks to finalize the sale of the shares and to enter into contracts related thereto;
3.      To issue an introductory statement clarifying the objectives of the Company; duration, capital, and the financial status thereof. Such statement shall also clarify all the conditions of ownership of the Company's shares; the rights associated with such shares and all matters affecting the status of the Company;
4.      To fix and announce a date for the commencing and closing of sale transactions;
5.      To call, within Ninety (90) days of the closing date of the sale of the shares, for a meeting of the General Assembly in order to elect the Board of Directors and to appoint an auditor.


Article 11

All the consequences of the Minister's acts carried out within his authority and competence provided for in Article 10 of this Law shall be assumed by the Company and the costs associated therewith shall be deducted from the Company's 1998 profits.


Part 4

General and Transitional Provisions

Article 12

Subject to the provisions of Decree-Law No. 11 of 1993 relating to Income Tax, the profits of the Company shall be exempt from Income Tax for a period of Ten (10) Gregorian years commencing from the beginning of the first taxable year. The exemption shall extend to the dividends received by non-Qatari shareholders. In addition, non-Qatari shareholders shall be exempt from taxes imposed by virtue of Income tax Law No. 11 of 1993, and any other tax legislation, for the same period provided for in this Article.


Article 13

Subject to the provisions of Article 10 herein, the Corporation's Board of Directors and its General Manager shall manage the Company until the completion of its registration and the appointment of its Board of Directors. This Board of Directors shall have all the authorities of the Board of Directors provided for in the Company's Articles of Association.


Article 14

All current employees of the Corporation shall continue to serve in the Company with all their existing status, salaries, allowances and other benefits, until the management of the Company is taken over by its own Board of Directors who shall take the appropriate decisions in this regard.


Article 15

The Law No. 13 of 1987 referred to, and any provisions conflicting with the provisions thereof are hereby repealed. Notwithstanding the above, and until the issuance of legislation regulating telecommunications in the country, the provisions of Parts 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and Articles 59, 60, 61, 62 and 63 of Part 13 of Law No. 13 of 1987 shall remain in force. The Company shall assume all the functions and authorities that were vested in the Corporation by such provisions, including the collection of fees on behalf of the government and payment into the government account after deduction of expenses.


Article 16

The Company shall represent the government in regional, Arab or international telecommunication organizations, unions and entities until the issuance of legislation regulating such matters.


Article 17

Until the date on which the company issues its own internal by-laws, the current by-laws, resolutions in effect within the Corporation shall continue to be in force to the extent that their provisions do not conflict with the provisions of this Law and the Company's Articles of Association.


Article 18

All competent authorities, each within its field of competence, shall enforce this Law, which shall come into force on the date of its issuance. This Law shall be published in the Official Gazette.


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