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Qatar help desk

28. July 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is there a change to the national numbering system? Why do we need a digit added to our phone numbers?
With the population estimated to double by 2015 and businesses expanding, the existing numbering system won’t meet the future demand. In addition, competition has driven growth in the demand for telephone numbers with many customers having more than one mobile handset. By expanding all existing and new telephone numbers to eight digits, Qatar will be able to meet the growing demand for more network services for years to come. Changing the numbering system for mobile and fixed line services will increase capacity for available telephone numbers tenfold. This, in turn, will create sufficient capacity for the next 10 to 15 years.

2. When will the number change take place? Will there be any interruption of service?
The transition will happen seamlessly and automatically. on July 28, 2010 at 00: 00: 01 (GMT +3). There will be no interruption of service.

3. What is changing about phone numbers in Qatar?
For both fixed and mobile users, the first digit of the number will be repeated, so that numbers that currently begin with 3 will now start with 33, those starting with 5 will now be 55 and so on. The only affected numbers will be those starting with 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. These changes will be in effect for both Vodafone and Qtel customers.


a. 3152145 becomes 33152145
b. 4856986 becomes 44856986
c. 5319734 becomes 55319734
d. 6226881 becomes 66226881

4. What about the emergency telephone numbers and the numbers used for SMS services?
All emergency telephone numbers within Qatar, including 999 and 112, will not be affected by the change. Numbers used for SMS, toll free and paging services, short codes, and the numbers owned by the Ministry of Interior will also remain the same. These are numbers beginning with 1, 2, 8 and 9.

5. How will this affect public services, such as hospitals? Will there be an automated message or will the call be automatically redirected?
Emergency numbers will not be affected by this process (112 and 999) will remain unchanged). However, government facilities and public services will change their main office lines with the exception of the Ministry of Interior.

6. What happens if I dial a number incorrectly?
Customers will receive an automated message asking them to dial the correct number. This message will remain in place for three months, after which customers will be informed that they are dialing an unknown number. Customers calling from outside Qatar will also hear an automated message.

7. I will be out of the country when the numbers change. Is there anything I need to do? What will happen if I call someone in Qatar?
People dialing from outside Qatar will receive an automated message asking them to redial with an added digit. The international code for Qatar (+ 974) will not be affected. You will simply need to add the additional digit to the original number.

8. Who can I contact for more information?
Qtel has dedicated customer support staff capable of answering any questions around the change process. They can be reached on 111 or 800 8000 for business customers.

9. What should business customers do and who can assist them?
Business customers should contact their respective key account managers at Qtel Business Solutions. They can also call 8008000.

10. Is there any quick way I can update phone numbers stored in my phone?
Different models of phone will have different facilities for updating your phone directory. Consult your device manual for further details.

11. What can companies do now?
Qtel advises individuals and companies to put together a carefully studied time plan to change numbers on stationery, websites and marketing material to be ready by July 28, when the new numbering system goes into operation.