Qatar, in a recent announcement, stated that it would grant residency to foreign investors for the first time, the latest in the series of measures designed to diversify the economy. The foreigners who are investing an unspecified level of ‘non-Qatari’ capital in the economy will be eligible for renewable five-year residency permits. Apart from this, real estate developers active in Qatar’s property market will also be available for the scheme.
Before this initiative, the investors were required to be sponsored by a Qatari business or individual to obtain the residency. This move has come at a time of political crisis in the Gulf, with Qatar under economic and diplomatic refuse by neighbouring countries for the past two years.
Qatar is currently the third-largest economy in the Gulf and has sought to secure new revenues to finance a budget deficit due to the slump in oil prices since mid-2014. The Emirate has increased business with existing trade partners outside the region, announced plans to produce more gas, and sought new markets.
Last year, Qatar’s Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) announced a draft law that allows foreign investors to own full equity in all the industrial sectors in the pending legislative assembly. The potential benefits of the new foreign investment rule were-
- Foreign shareholders can own 100% of the shares of the Qatari business
- Foreign investors may hold up to 49% of the share capital of Qatari-listed businesses on the Qatar Exchange subject to the support of the MEC
- Foreign shareholders can invest in insurance and banks companies through a decision of the Cabinet
- Land may be allocated for the formation of the project
- An immunity from income tax and customs duties is likely
- Ownership may be moved from one investor to another
- The draft law provides that foreign investments are not subject to expropriation
Declaration from Government is unambiguous in indicating that almost all of the areas of the economy will be built-up to foreign investments.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is currently the most awaited sports event forthcoming. The expectations for the first Arabic World Cup are enormous, also thanks to the growth made in the administration of the projects aimed to guarantee a successful event. After an initial doubtful approach to the practical capabilities of Qatar to organize such a vast affair, now even FIFA appears entirely self-assured of Qatar’s capacity to deliver. It is not a concurrence that FIFA is pushing to increase the number of the participating teams from 32 to 48 when such upsurge was initially planned for the 2026 World Cup (Canada, USA, and Mexico edition).
Qatar is now prepared to make the essential steps to transform its economy from being entirely dependent on energy supplies to a hub for foreign investments, not only in Qatar but also in other areas. For the same purpose, a free and expanded economy is required, and this legal intrusion is just the first step.
With the pro-business steps taken by Qatar, it is evident that the Emirates wants to rise above the expectations and make the city one of the best investment destinations. Should you decide to invest in Qatar, then we at Commitbiz can help you with it. Our business advisors are well-versed with the laws in Qatar and assist you in every step. Contact us today to learn more.