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Understanding Qatar Work Hours: Labor Law Explained

If you are new to Qatar or planning to move there and looking for information about work hours, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll provide a clear and concise overview of the working hours as outlined in the Qatar Labor Law, particularly focusing on Article (73). Our aim is to simplify these regulations for you, covering everything from standard working hours to special adjustments during Ramadan, and other key details.

The Standard Working Week

As per Qatar’s labor law, the standard cap on normal working hours is set at 48 hours per week and eight hours per day. This regulation applies throughout the year, except the holy month of Ramadan, ensuring a balanced work-life ratio for employees.

Special Consideration During Ramadan

Qatar acknowledges the significance of Ramadan and accordingly adjusts the working hours during this holy month. During Ramadan, the maximum working hours are reduced to 36 hours per week, and six-hour a day. This accommodation reflects the country’s commitment to respecting religious practices and the well-being of its workforce.

Commuting: Not Part of Working Hours

An important aspect to note is that the time spent commuting between one’s place of work and accommodation is not considered part of the working hours. This clarification is crucial for workers in planning their daily schedules and understanding their work commitments.

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Break Times

The labor law also mandates that the working hours must include breaks for prayer, rest, and eating. These breaks should be no less than one hour and not more than three hours in total. Importantly, these intervals are not included in the calculation of the working hours. Additionally, the law specifies that employees should not work for more than five consecutive hours, ensuring ample rest periods during the workday.

Exceptions to the Rule

However, there are exceptions to these stipulations. Article (73) does not apply to certain categories of workers, including:

  1. Workers involved in preparatory and complementary tasks that need to be done outside the standard working hours.
  2. Security guards and cleaning workers, due to the nature of their duties.
  3. Other categories specified by the Minister’s decision.

For these exceptions, the maximum working hours are determined by a decision from the Minister, acknowledging the unique demands of these roles.


Qatar’s Labor Law, particularly Article (73), aims to balance work commitments with the well-being of employees. By setting clear limits on working hours, ensuring breaks, and adjusting for religious observances, the law seeks to foster a fair and respectful work environment. It’s crucial for both employers and employees in Qatar to be aware of these regulations to ensure compliance and promote a healthy, productive workforce. Whether you’re a newcomer to the Qatari job market or a long-term resident, understanding these aspects of the labor law is key to a successful and fulfilling work life in Qatar.

Mohammed Ameen

Mohammed Ameen, a dedicated blogger with a postgraduate degree in business, has been writing since 2012 about expat life in the Middle East. His posts offer practical tips, comprehensive guides, and timely local updates to help fellow expats navigate life across the region.