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Law 12 on Associations and Private Foundations

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Al -Doha, Qa tar

The Qatari Law of Associations and Private institutions


His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa al -Thani, The Amir of the State of Qatar, issued
yesterday a law to govern the establish ment of associations and private institutions . The law
shall enter into force after six months of publishing it in the official gazette. Al -R a y a h
Newspaper publishes the law number 6 of the year 2004 concerning associations and private
institutions .

We, Hamad bin Khalifa al -Thani, The Amir of the S tate of Qatar, having examined the
amended provisional basic statues, particularly, Articles (23), (34) and (51) hereof, and law
number 8 of the year 1998 concerning associations and private institutions amended by law
number 3 of the year 2001, and law nu mber 7 of the year 1999, organizing the Ministry of
Civil Service and Housing Affairs and specifying its competencies, and the suggestion of the
Minister of Civil Service and Housing Affairs, and the draft law submitted by the cabinet, and
after consultati on with Advisory Council,

We have enacted the following L a w :

Section One


Article (1)

In application of provisions of this law, the following words and expressions shall have the
meaning next to each unless the context otherwise suggests:

Ministry: Ministry of Civil Service and Housing Affairs
Minister: Minister of Civil Service and Housing Affairs
Association: A group formed of natural or legal personality join together to perform a
Humanitarian, social, cultural, scientific, pro fessional or charitable activity
and do not aim to achieve material or political aims.
Association: An association of persons who work in one profession governed by one law.
Association: Any institution formed by one natural or legal person or more to achieve one
Charitable, private or public utility purpose or more for an unlimited period,
and who does not aim at making material profit or to involve in political

Section Two


Article (2)

1. The follow ing conditions shall apply in order for an association to be established:

1. The number of founding members shall not be less that 20.
2. A m ember shall pay an fee of 1000 riyals;

2. Founding or joining member shall:

a. Hold a Qatari nationality;
b. be above 18 years old;
c. not be convicted in a crime of honour or decency, unless if charges were dropped and
rights were restored.
d. have good conduct and reputation .

The condition of nationality stated in paragraph 2(1) of this article may be exempted by a
decision t o be taken by the Council of Ministers upon a suggestion by the Minister if the
nature of the activity of the association, achieving its aims, or practicing its activities require
the contribution of non Qatari citizens to establish or join the association . The percentage of
non founding and joining Qatari members shall not exceed 20 percent of the total number of

Article (3)

Founding members shall meet in a founding committee to prepare the founding agreement
and the basic law of the associa tion. They shall be alon e responsible, in solidarity, of the costs
of establishing the association.

Article (4)

Each association shall have its basic law which shall particularly contain:

1. The name of the association and the geographic area of its acti vities and the location of its
2. The purpose of the society and its rules.
3. The conditions of membership, the duties and rights of members and withdrawal,
expulsion and termination of membership procedures

Article (5)

The association agreement sha ll specifically include:

1. The date and place of signing the agreement;
2. The names of founding members, their nationality, and their place of residency;
3. The name of the association, location of its premises and its purposes ;
4. The organizational structure o f the board of directors, its term, its competencies, the
number of its members, election procedures and the date the board members were elected;

5. The competencies of the general assembly, procedures of convening, the schedule of its
meetings, the legal qu orum, voting and decision making procedures.
6. The beginning and ending of its financial year, its financial resources and means of using
these resources ;
7. Financ ial monitoring and supervision;
8. Rules related to the organization and endorsement of accounts, t he budget , the final
9. Rules for amending the basic law of the association, establishing branches or unions and
merging with other associations;
10 . Rules for dissolving the association and the parties to receive the funds after liquidation.

The basic law of the association shall not stipulate that its funds after liquidation shall be
transferred to association or private institutions other than those working in one or more of the
fields are involved in.

Article (6)

The founding members shall submit a registration application together with the following

1. Three copies of the founding agreement and the basic law of the association endorsed and
signed by founding members;
2. Minutes of founding members meeting and a list of temporary committee member s to
manage the association according to the provisions of article (16) of this law.

Article (7)

The Ministry may deny registration, within 30 days of submitting the registration application,
by a justified decision. I may ask to introduce amendm ents to the basic law relating to public
interest it deems necessary. The application shall be considered as implicitly not approved if
this period elapses without receiving a response from the Ministry.

Founding members may complain to the Minister wit hin thirty days as of notifying them o f
the disapproval , amendment or implicit disapproval decision . The Minister shall present the
complain to the Council of Ministers with his remarks on the complain within the following
thirty days. The decision of th e Council of Minister with regard to the complain shall be final.

Article (8)

The approval of the Ministry of the registration application shall be taken by a decision issued
by the Minister and endorsed by the Council of Ministers. The association shal l be registered
in a special registry at the Ministry which shows the name of the association, its premises, its
purposes, its duration, its financial year, the name of the temporary committee, the number of
the board of directors' members and the name of the legal representative of the association.

The Ministry shall declare the registration of the association by publishing its association
agreement and its basic law it the official gazette and by issuing a registration certificate
signed by the Minister .

Any amendment to the basic law of the association shall also be registered and declared
according to the provisions of this law.

Article (9)

The Ministry shall keep a file for every association, which shall include a copy of the
association agreemen t, the basic law, registration certificate and decisions taken by the

Section Two

Professional Associations

Article (11)

Provisions organizing associations in this law shall be applicable on professional associations,
where no special pr ovisions are stated in this section .

Article (12)

1. A registration fee of fifty thousand r i y a l s shall be paid in order to establish a professional
association in addition to ten thousand riyals as an annual subscription fee.
2. A founding or joining membe r of a professional association shall be registered in one of
the professional registers.

Article (13)

The profes sional association shall aim at :

1. Enhancing the level of the profession and developing it;
2. Spreading awareness among the members of the assoc iation, and maintaining the
traditions and morality of the profession;
3. Developing the scientific level of members;
4. Providing social and cultural services of the association members;
5. Strengthen relations between the members o f the association and enhancin g the spirit of
cooperation between them.

Article (14)

The professional association and its members shall not strike, call for a strike, instigate it or
participate in it . It shall not issue statements on issues not related to the profession.

Article (15)

Without prejudice to the provisions of article (8) of this law, licensing of the professional
association shall be given for 3 renewable years for one or more terms. The decision to
license the association and to renew the license shall be taken by the Minister. A fee of 50000
is required to renew the license.

Chapter Three

The Management of the Association

Article (16)

The association shall be manage d by a board of directors formed of not less than five
members and not more than eleven to be e lected by the general assembly from among its
members for a term of three years.

In exception to the above, the founders shall select a number of members not less than three
and not more than seven to form a temporary committee which shall manage the as sociation
until the first board of directors is elected within a period of not more tha n one year as of the
date of registration of the association and declaring it.

The board member shall not be a person whose service was ter minated for reasons related to
honour or decency. He shall not be accused of such accusations where a decision by
specialized investigation authorities has been issued indicating the difficulty of filing a lawsuit
against him due to lack of necessary evidence or where a verdict was i ssued declaring his
innocence for the same reason unless five years have elapsed as of the date of the termination
of the service or the issuance of the decision or the verdict.

Article (17)

The board of directors in its first meeting shall elect from among its members a president, a
vice president, a secretary and a treasurer.

The chairman of the association shall represent the association before the judiciary and in its
relations with others. He shall have the right to sign on behalf of the associ ation. The vice
chairman shall replace the chairman in his absence. If one of the seats of the board becomes
vacant for any reason, the person who attained the higher votes from among the nominees at
the general assembly meeting when the elections were h eld shall take over the vacant seat for
the remaining period of the term.

Article (18)

The general assembly shall be formed of all members who paid their due financial
contributions. The assembly shall be called to convene in an ordinary general assemb l y b y a
call from the board of directors once every year. The Ministry may, in case the board of
directors does not call the general assembly to convene, send the invitation. The general
assembly shall hold its meeting at the premises of the association. The meeting may be held in
another location after an approval is obtained from the Ministry.

Article (19)

The general assembly in its ordinary meeting shall look into the following matters:

1. The annual report of the board of directors;
2. Approve t he final budget of the previous year;
3. Approve the draft budget of the coming financial year;
4. The report of the auditor;

5. Assign an auditor and specify his remuneration;
6. Elect a new board of directors;
7. Discharge the former board of direct ors of their performance of their duties;
8. Other issues on the agenda of the meeting

Article (20)

The board of directors may call the general assembly to meet in an extraordinary meeting if
necessary. It shall call the assembly to convene upon a req uest by one third of the members
who are eligible to attend the general assembly meeting on the condition that they state in the
request the purpose o the meeting. If the board does not respond and call for the meeting, the
Ministry may send the invitation s for the meeting.

Article (21)

The general assembly in its extraordinary meeting shall look into the following matters:

1. Urgent and important matters the board of directors or the members want to discuss;
2. Take a decision with regard to the resignatio n of the board of directors or resignation s
submitted by some or all members of the board for reasons affecting the society or the
public welfare.
3. Expulsion of the chairman or some or all members of the board;
4. Amending the basic law of the association.

Article (22)

The general assembly in its ordinary or its ex traordinary meeting shall not loo k into matters
not on the agenda of the meeting.

The extraordinary general assembly meeting shall not convene to look into matters where a
decision ha s been tak en with its regard unless one year has elapsed as of the date of issuing
this decision.

The ordinary and extraordinary meeting of the general assembly shall not be considered legal
if the Ministry is not notified about the meeting at least 7 days prior t o holding it. The
Ministry may assign a representative to attend the meetings of the general assembly.

The Ministry, upon being notified of the date of the ordinary or extraordinary meeting, may
postpone the meeting and shall inform the association of th is decision within 3 days as of the
date of notification.

Chapter Four

The Finances of the Association and Supervision of its Activities

Article (23)

The funds of the association belong to the association and not to its members. A member who
withdra ws, who is expelled or whose membership is terminated shall not claim any right in
these funds.

Article (24)

The association shall abide to the rules, regulations and accounting models provided by the

Article (25)

The association shall keep at its management premises all registers, books and documentation
stated in the rules and regulations and according to standard accountancy rules .

Article (26)

The association shall deposit its cash funds in its name at one or more of the local banks t o be
chosen by the board of directors . No amount shall be withdrawn without the signature of the
chairman of both the board or his deputy and the treasurer.

Article (27)

The association, after obtaining the approval of the Ministry, and without violati ng its aims,
may invest the surplus of its funds inside the state to finance its activities.

Article (28)

The board of directors of the association shall submit to the general assembly the final budget
of the previous financial year audited by a certifi ed auditing office. It shall submit the
estimated budget of the coming financial year. It shall submit a copy of each to the Ministry at
least one month before the meeting. The Ministry may conduct a financial review of the

Article (29)

The as sociation shall not ra ise funds for a certain purpose and a certain period of time without
a prior approval from the M inister and in the way that does not contradict with the laws and
decisions in force.

Article (30)

The C ouncil of M inisters may , upon a suggestion by the Minister, grant the association a
financial assistance or a loan. He may exempt the association from any customs or fees to
assist it to achieve its aims.

Article (31)

No society shall be allowed to subscribe, join or enroll in any o ther association or body or
club which are located outside the State. It shall not receive or send any loans, grants,
donations , Awqaf money, or any other kind of funds from a person, association, body, or club
which is located outside the state prior to o btaini ng a written approval from the M inistry. The
association shall send a copy of the transfer voucher and rec eipt of transfer voucher to the
M inistry clarifying the name and address of the donor and the name and address of the body
who received the tran sfer.

Article (32)

The activit ies of the association and its accounts shall be subject to the supervision and
monitoring of the M inistry to ensure its compliance with the law, the basic law of the
association and the accountancy rules.

Article (33)

The M inister , by a decision taken by him, may approve open ing a bank account for a n y
association registered outside the State if it performs the same purposes the organized
associations perform s according to the provisions of this law.

The decision of the Mi nister shall clarify the procedures of such an account and means to
follow -up on it.

Chapter Five

Dissolving the Association

Article (34)

The association may be dissolved by a decision to be taken by the general assembly in an
extraordinary meeting at tended by one third of the members. The decision of dissolving the
association shall be taken with the approval of the majority of attending members.

Article (35)

The Minister, by a decision taken by him , may dissolve the association in the following ca ses:

1. If the number of its members becomes less than 20.
2. If it violates the provisions of this law or its basic law.
3. If it get involved in political issues.

The Minister, instead of dissolving the association may, expel its board of directors and assi g n
a temporary board for a period not exceeding on e year, if such a procedure protects the public
welfare and achieves the purpose of the association.

Rules stated in article (7) of this law shall be applicable in case the Minister decides to
dissolve th e association or to appoint a temporary board of directors. The decision of
dissolving the association or the appointment of a temporary board, after finalization, shall be
published in the official gazette.

Article (36)

When an association is dissolved its funds and its documents shall be treated as stated in its
basic law.

Section Three

Private Institutions

Chapter One

Establishing Private Institutions

Article (37)

Except where there is a special text stated in this chapter, private institutions shall be subject
to the provisions of the association law with the condition that the founding document of the
private institution shall replace the founding agreement of the association in these provisions.

Article (38)

The private institution shall b e established by a founding document by the founder or by a
founding agreement by the founders. It shall have a basic law, and its members shall be alone
responsible, in solidarity, for the costs of its establishment. The funds of the private institution
shall be owned completely by the founder or founders of the institution.

Chapter Two

The finances of the private institution, its management and its supervision

Article (39)

The amounts of funds specified by the founders for the private institution and funds attained
from investing them shall be considered as funds of the institution and its founder of founders
shall not be entitled to claim them.

Article (40)

The private institutions, in practicing its activities, shall depend on self generated fun ds. It
shall not receive assistance from the government. It may accept grants and donations.

Article (41)

The basic law of the private institution shall specify its method of management and

Article (42)

The Ministry shall supervise and m onitor private institutions according to rules and
regulations to be issued by a decision from the Minister. It may expel managers when it
proves that they ignored their responsibilities and used the funds of the association in means
that do not correspond with the aims and objectives of its founder or founders. It may assign

persons to replace them and it may examine the books of the private institution and its records
and documentation related to its work. It may also amend its basic law. The private
institution shall be obliged to submit any information, documentation or data, the Ministry
may request.

Section Four


Article (43)

Notwithstanding any severer penalty stated in any other law, anyone who:

1. Knowingly writes or submits a writte n document or record required by law, which
contains false information ;
2. Start s with an activity related to an association prior to its registration and declaration
according to the provisions of this law ;
3. Conduct s a banned activity, an activity which viola tes the aims of the association ,
spends its funds in activities that do not achieve the aims or use s the funds in financial
4. Continue s to participate in the activities of an association where a decision has been
take to dissolve this associat ion.
5. Raise s funds for as association or a private institution in violation to the provisions of
this law. Funds raised shall be confiscated ;

shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not less than one month and not more than
one year and a fine of not less than five thousand riyals and not more than ten thousand riyals
or both penalties.

Section Five

Concluding Provisions

Article (44)

The employees of the Ministry, assigned by a decision of the public prosecutor, in agreement
with the Minister, shall have inspection authority in investigating and proving violations to the
provision of this law or its executive decision. They may enter the premises of the association
or private institution and its annexes, to inspect them and to examine its docum ents and

Article (45)

The Minister shall issue the necessary decisions for the implementation of the provisions of
this law and a model founding agreement document and basic law for associations and private

Article (46)

Law nu mber (8) of the year 1998, shall be cancelled and any provisions contradicting with the
provisions of this law shall also be cancelled .

Article (49)

All concerned bodies; each in its capacity shall have to execute this law which shall enter into
force 6 months after publish ing it in the official gazette.

Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani Emir of the State of Qatar
Issued at the Emiri Diwan on 21/05/1425 A.H. Corresponding to: 10/05/2004 A.D