The State of Qatar is using its huge oil and gas wealth in other sectors of the economy, to expand the economic base and develop a private sector characterized by solid foundations through its full and active membership in the World Trade Organization and the issuance of lighter regulations on doing business in it, which allowed foreign investors to enter other sectors.
The State of Qatar enjoys many advantages that encourage investment, including the low cost of electricity, water and natural gas fees, and industrial lands that can be leased at a symbolic price starting at five (5) Qatari riyals per meter of leased land for the first three years of the contract commencement period, including the allocation period And the start of the implementation of the industrial project, provided that the rental value then increases to 10 (10) ten Qatari riyals annually, in addition to the absence of taxes on the import of large machines and their spare parts and raw materials, the absence of taxes on exports, and the absence of quantitative quotas on imports. There are restrictions on the exchange and transfer of profits abroad and the existence of flexible immigration and labor laws for skilled and unskilled workers.
Investment sectors and laws
Based on Law No. (13) of 2000 regulating the investment of non-Qatari capital in economic activity, the non-Qatari investor can invest in all fields by 49% and 100% in the sectors of agriculture, industry, health, education, tourism, development, and exploitation of natural resources, mining and business advisory services as well. Technical works, information technology, cultural services, sports services, in addition to entertainment services. As for the banking sector, a bank may be established by a decision of the Council of Ministers, and foreigners are entitled to own real estate in certain places only in the state. And Law No. (2) of 2000 regulating the ownership of a real estate by citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council states restricted this activity to 3 real estates for the purpose of housing with an area not exceeding 3 thousand square meters.
The law also requires five years to pass before those who obtain Qatari citizenship are allowed to own real estate in the country. In the context of the state’s encouragement of foreign investment in the Qatari real estate market, Law No. 17 of 2004 was issued regarding the regulation, ownership, and use of non-Qataris in real estate and residential units, and this law authorized the use of real estate on the Gulf Pearl Island, West Bay Lake Project and the Al Khor Resort project, and the law also permitted The use of the real estate for a period not exceeding 99 years, which can be extended for another similar period in investment areas that are determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers. Resolution No. (6) of 2006 issued by the Council of Ministers specified (18) areas of the country’s regions in which real estate may be used by non-Qataris.
- The foreign investor may import for his investment project what he needs in establishing, operating, or expanding the project.
- Exemption of foreign-invested capital from income tax for a period not exceeding ten years from the date of investing the project.
- Customs exemption for the industrial project on its imports of raw and semi-finished materials needed for production and which are not available in the local markets.
Incentives offered to investors
- Creating investment opportunities and preparing preliminary studies for industrial projects.
- Assisting licensed industrial projects to obtain loans from the Industrial Development Bank and other financial institutions.
- Providing the project with electric power, petroleum, water, and natural gas at a competitive price.