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Six Reasons to Open a Business in Qatar

Perched on a small sliver of land on the northeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar is one of the 21st century’s greatest success stories. With consistent double digit growth rates, a dynamic economy and a rapidly expanding private sector, Qatar is definitely open for business. Interested in starting a business in Qatar? Here are six reasons why we think you’re on the right track.

  1. Abundant capital
Boasting a GDP per capita of $98,000 in 2013, Qatar has currently claimed the title of the wealthiest country in the world—thanks to its resources. Although small in size, Qatar is situated on the world’s third-largest natural gas reserves, is the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and has 25 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. Wealth generated on the back of strong oil prices has created a dynamic local consumer market, driving growth in industries such as hospitality, real estate, retail, healthcare and leisure.
  1. Stellar growth
Qatar has averaged a stunning growth rate of 10% since 2009. Estimates based on this rate predict Qatar to emerge as the region’s second largest economy. The reform-minded Qatari government is looking to the future with the Qatar National Vision 2030, an ambitious plan to create an advanced, sustainable and diversified economy, transforming the peninsula into an international hub for tourism, finance and education.
Along with the ecomony, Qatar is experiencing rapid population growth at a rate of over 7%, as it becomes a magnet for global talent.
  1. Excellent infrastructure
Qatar has impressive infrastructure, with well-developed electricity, healthcare and telecommunications systems, many of which are highly subsidized by the government. Its transportation systems are a modern network of roads, ports and airports that includes the world’s largest LNG port terminal and a new aiport with an annual capacity of 50 million passengers. In expectation of rapid growth, as well as in preparation for the 2022 World Cup, Qatar is investing further in its transportation infrastructure, creating an integrated passenger and freight rail system, a four line metro and extensive highway systems.

Qatar’s financial infrastructure offers investors a mature and sophisticated banking environment with a rigid regulatory framework and modern banking services that range from personal to corporate and SME banking facilities.
  1. (Don’t we all love...) tax incentives
With no personal income or export tax, Qatar’s tax system is one of its strongest investment incentives. Corporate tax on foreign companies remain at a low rate of 10%, and import duty tax is 5%. Besides this, Qatar has set up tax free zones, such as the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), which offer benefits such as unrestricted repatriation of captial and profits, zero tax duty and duty free imports of good and products.
  1. Regulatory efficiency
Qatar currently ranks 10th on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Scale, thanks to its efficient public and private sectors and strong economic performance. Launching a business in Qatar is a relatively straightforward affair and takes slightly more than a week. Acquiring residence and business visas are also well-institutionalized with clear and simple requirements. Visa processes vary depending on the type of visa, but in most cases, visas can be obtained within a week from providing all required documents. Additionally, Qatar grants visa on arrival for business travelers and tourists from over 30 countries around the world.
  1. Great investment climate
As a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international financial bodies, Qatar has improved its investment climate by removing unnecessary restrictions and barriers to trade, reducing tariffs, and expanding opportunities for foreign investment. To catalyze the growth and development of Qatar’s economy, the Qatar Investment Promotion Department (IPD) works to create an attractive business climate for corporate and private investors.

Qatar’s foreign investment law allows non-Qatari investors to invest in all sectors of the Qatar economy, provided that 51% be held by a Qatari partner. A ministerial approval can be obtained, which allows the percentage of foreign ownership to be increased to 100% in sectors such as agriculture, industry, health, education, tourism, extraction of natural resources, energy, distribution services, consulting, cultural, sport and entertaiment services. Additionally, Qatar has several tax-free zones, which allow 100% foreign ownership, and duty free import of goods and services, among other benefits.

Although some sectors currently do not permit foreign investment, such as banking, insurance, commercial agency and real estate, investment is still possible if approved by ministerial resolution or if the activity falls under an applicable tax-free zone. There are also certain exceptions in regards to real estate which allow for the provision of land necessary for government approved investment projects.
In short, businesses in Qatar can expect stability, infrastructure, an efficient public sector, minimal tax and a fast growing market at the center of one of the world’s future economic hubs. While Qatar’s young economy promises a host of opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs, QShield’s global mobility solutions are the perfect partner, providing an expert range of consultancy services and technology platforms to assist new businesses in establishment and expansion. Get in touch with us for more information, updates, step by step guides and support for opening and operating your business in Qatar.

Disclaimer: While efforts have been made to make this blog helpful and accurate, information and figures provided on this website are subject to change without notice. Qshield is not responsible for the contents of any linked sites. Such links are provided for your convenience on an ‘as is’ basis and with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided.
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