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Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Announces Details of Winter Camping Season 2023 / 2024

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change announced this morning the opening of online registration for the annual Winter Camping Season for 2023/2024 in all regions of the country. The registration period will be from 22 to 31 October 2023. The Winter Camping Season is set to begin on 1 November 2023 and will conclude on 30 April 2024.

This announcement was made during a press conference organized by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. All the updated requirements and commitments for the new camping season were announced during the conference. The event was attended by Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Al-Dahi, Director of Public Relations and Communications, Mr. Salem Hussein Al-Safran, Director of the Natural Reserves Department, Mr. Fawzi Al-Shammari, Head of the Winter Camping Team, and Colonel Jaber Mohammed Adeebeh, Assistant Director of Traffic Awareness. And several ministry officials, and all local media.

Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Al-Dahi, Director of Public Relations and Communications at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, stated, “The registration process will be conducted through the official website of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. The permit holder must pay permit fees and insurance fees within (6) hours of receiving the text message confirming the approval of the application. Otherwise, the application will be considered invalid, and re-registration will be required.”

He further explained that the Ministry has updated the conditions and requirements for camping in all regions of the country. This update is in line with the Ministry’s vision for the current camping season to be sustainable, with the aim of preserving the local environment in all regions of the country, including its distinctive plant cover and biodiversity. He emphasized that conserving the environment is a national duty for every citizen or resident, as this biodiversity is a national heritage shared by all citizens of Qatar.

Mr. Mohammed Al-Dahi called upon all campers and dessert enthusiasts to emphasize the importance of conserving the environment and safeguarding its natural resources. He stressed the significance of adhering to the conditions and regulations of the new Winter Camping Season 2023/2024. These regulations include compliance with designated coordinates for each camp and maintaining specific distances between camps, manors, farms, and villages. He mentioned that ministry teams would actively monitor the implementation of these conditions throughout the day to ensure the success of the camping season while preserving the local environment without any adverse impact on our local flora and fauna.

Furthermore, Mr. Mohammed Al-Dahi announced that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change would establish an awareness camp in the “Sealine” area within the Khor Al Adaid Reserve. This camp will be dedicated to awareness and recreational activities. Additionally, several programs and competitions will be organized, and prizes will be awarded to the best winter camp that promotes environmental conservation. Approximately 2,000 saplings of various wild plants will be distributed, along with 2,000 seed packets containing plants such as ” Ziziphus jujuba, Prosopis cineraria, Acacia tortilis, Lycium shawii, and Acacia ehrenbergiana” First aid kits will also be distributed to campsite owners.

Mr. Salem Hussein Al-Safran, Director of the Natural Reserves Department, explained that the Ministry had decided to conduct registration in three separate stages. Registration for the central regions will take place from October 22 to October 24, while registration for the southern regions will be open from October 25 to October 27. In the northern regions, registration will occur from October 28 to October 31.

He noted that the Ministry would also allow in-person registration at the committee offices in all camping areas across the country during the period October 22nd to 31st, 2023, in conjunction with online registration. Additionally, the registration process for in-person attendance at external departments of the Ministry will be open during the period from November 1st to 10th, 2023, subject to available spaces in case there are unreserved slots.

Mr. Salem Al-Safran mentioned during his speech at the press conference that the general conditions for the camping process were established to preserve all types of environmental diversity in the Qatari environment such as plants, animals, and trees. He emphasized that the ministry’s monitoring of these conditions is not intended to impose sanctions on violators but rather to provide guidance and assistance in following the instructions. He stressed the importance of campers adhering to these conditions to ensure a sustainable camping season where everyone can enjoy the environment and nature without any negative impact on our local environment.

Regarding the camping conditions, Mr. Fawzi Al-Shamari, the head of the Winter Camping Season team at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, explained that requesting the same camping location as in the previous season is subject to the availability of sites and priority in applying for the site. If the permit holder violates any of the ministry’s conditions, the relevant authority has the right to remove the camp. He also pointed out that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has the right to revoke the environmental permit in case of non-compliance with the mentioned conditions.

Permit holders are not allowed to obtain more than one permit, and they must allow inspectors from the relevant authority to inspect the camp when requested to ensure compliance with the permit conditions. If the inspection is denied, the relevant authority can withdraw the permit. He stressed the need to comply with the laws and regulations related to environmental protection, including adhering to the designated campsite and specified camp areas staying away from roads and valleys. In cooperation with the Ministry of Municipality, the Ministry will provide waste containers near the winter campsites.

During his speech at the press conference, he emphasized that permit holders must start setting up the camp during the camping period in coordination with the ministry’s inspector, who must be present during the setup. Renting or transferring the site is not allowed, as the permit is considered personal. It is also prohibited to use the permit for activities other than those authorized or to use materials harmful to the environment. He emphasized the importance of maintaining general cleanliness, not harming the wilderness or marine environment, ensuring that the camp is occupied and well-maintained, disposing of waste only in designated containers, and adhering to safety and security conditions issued by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Assistant Director of Traffic Awareness Department at the Ministry of Interior Colonel Jaber Mohamed Rashid Adeebeh stressed the importance of adhering to security and safety conditions when transporting cabins and “caravans” and transporting them after eight in the evening and using main roads and cars suitable for the size of the cabins to avoid any accidents.

He also advised on the need to maintain cabins and “caravans” and ensure their safety and readiness before the transport process, with the necessity of obtaining permission from the Patrol Department in the Maamoura area for large cabins to be transported under the supervision of the Traffic Department to achieve the required safety on the road.

He called on the owners of motorcycle rental companies and shops to provide security and safety conditions, for the rented bike to be appropriate to the age of the renter, and to provide security requirements such as helmets and traffic lights, noting that the Ministry of the Interior will monitor any dangerous behavior of visitors and will provide the necessary awareness to the camps and their owners.