10 things you need to know about doing business in Qatar
The organisation of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has already attracted large amounts of foreign investors and there are still significant opportunities for foreign investment in all sectors. In this article, we provide a quick overview of the Foreign Investment Law and how investors can capitalise across all sectors in Qatar.
In keeping with the goals enunciated in its National Vision 2030, Qatar has worked to shift its economic and developmental focus away from the reliance on oil and gas by promoting a policy of economic diversification. The Qatari government recognises that the participation of foreign investors in the economy is an integral part of this policy.
Qatar continues to implement new legislation aimed at liberalising the business environment for foreign investors and to introduce additional incentives and exemptions. Foreign investors may only invest in Qatar in accordance with the provisions of the Foreign Investment Law (Law No. 1 of 2019). This Law provides for the establishment for 100% foreign owned companies. Historically, foreign investors could only invest in the Qatari economy provided that a Qatari national (or a company wholly owned by Qatari nationals) owned at least 51% of the share capital. The provisions of the Foreign Investment Law means that in many cases this is no longer required.
The Foreign Investment Law provides certain important benefits for foreign investors in Qatar. In particular, foreign capital is guaranteed against expropriation (although the state may acquire assets for public benefit on a non-discriminatory basis, provided the full economic value is paid for the asset), and foreign investors are entitled to make money transfers out of Qatar related to their investments. In addition, foreign investors have the right to lease premises for up to 50 years.
If you would like to know more about accessing the Qatar market and understanding the different business structures available, please contact Lee Keane. Our Qatar hub helps businesses and individuals ensure they are prepared to navigate the legal landscape ahead of the 2022 World Cup.