(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only). (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only).

Hotels across Qatar are expressing concerns about the recent decision to ban labourers from holding driving licences and the possible negative impact on hotels and tourism in the country.

Some hoteliers are now calling on the Department of Traffic to reconsider its decision or to make special exemptions for those working in the hospitality sector, reports The Peninsula newspaper.

Saad Abdul, a human resource director in one of the concerned hotels is reported to have complained of a lack of professional drivers in the hotel sector, with hotel employees such as bellboys and laundry staff also functioning as drivers. This staff shortage has been caused by the difficulty in hiring professional drivers from other countries with the current long and difficult visa process that can take up to a month.

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One solution suggested by hotels is instead of banning workers from holding a driving licence, the Department of Traffic could instead prevent them from buying their own cars in order to limit the number of cars on the roads.

Workers affected by the ban are reported to have complained of a lack of effective public transport in the country, adding that buses are not always available and do not arrive on time, while hiring Karwa taxis is not affordable for workers on limited incomes.