When Total won Al-Shaheen, I spent an overwhelming summer welcoming the seconded in Doha!
By Farid Abdul-Wahab, published on March 29th, 2018
I have been working in Total Qatar as an immigration officer for the last 24 years. When we started in 1994, everything was done manually! After so many years in Doha, I created a strong network and I know the key persons in the Ministries and local administration who can help me in case of any emergency. I couldn’t succeed in my job without this large number of connections.
I am always available day and night. I am very efficient when any issue needs to be fixed. Thanks to my connections, I am able to obtain official documents in a very short period of time. Within all these years, the most challenging moment was in July 2016, when Total took over Maersk on the giant Al Shaheen oil field! In such a short amount of time, only three months, we had to welcome more than one hundred employees and all their families. Before the winner of the bid was announced, , it was fundamental to plan the whole visa process. I applied for seventy resident visas. Those documents would be available for a duration of five years and I could always use them. I requested resident visas for all kind of positions: head of finance, drilling manager, engineers, administrative employees, etc. The whole organization chart had to be completed. We were in a very blurry situation but I wanted to be fully ready in case of success. Thankfully, we won! When I heard the news, I was ready to complete all the visa policy from A to Z. I knew that it was going to be overwhelming for the following months! Around 110 employees arrived with their family, an average of four persons each. All the Total employees already entered with a resident visa. Afterwards, families had to follow the immigration process. I organised tours to the Qatari immigration department and took all of spouses to the medical check-up, the finger prints step and the office for final visa delivery. I was in charge of providing, in less than three days, all their paperwork: exit permit, health card, driving licence and medical condition certificate. In three months, the whole visa process for everybody was complete! We did such a great job as a team.
It was challenging and overwhelming but it had never been a struggle because I always do my best to fix any problem. I feel like I’m a guardian for all TEPQ employees and their family. From the moment, they arrive in Doha at the airport until their departure; I am here to take care of them.