Two yeast strains (INY29 and INY13) representing a novel yeast species were isolated from the hypersaline marine environment of the Inland Sea, Qatar. Phylogenetic analysis based on the D1/D2 domains of the large subunit (LSU) regions and internal transcribed spacer (ITS1 and ITS2) regions showed that the two strains represent a single species in the genus Naganishia that is distinct from other species. These two strains were classified as members of the genus Naganishia and clustered in a strongly supported clade represented by Naganishia albidus in the Filobasidiales order in the phylogenetic tree drawn from ITS and D1/D2 sequences. The novel species was most closely related to the type strain of Naganishia cerealis but the two species differed by 1 % sequence divergence (four substitutions and one gap) in the D1/D2 domains and (five substitutions and one gap) in the ITS regions. In contrast to the closest relative, N. cerealis, the novel yeast species assimilated melibiose, glycerol, meso-erythritol, dl-lactate, methanol, propane 1-2-diol, butane 2-3-diol, and grew at 35 °C. The name Naganishia qatarensis sp. nov. is proposed to accommodate these strains, with INY29 as the holotype.