Doing Business in Qatar: Landscape, Culture, Advantages, and Challenges

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Qatar is among the world’s fastest-growing economies. Not surprisingly, foreign businesses and investors are interested in doing business in Qatar. High-quality infrastructure, political and economic stability, and low corporate tax rates are some of the reasons why it is a good idea to do business in the country. 

Business Landscape

The business landscape in Qatar is good, especially when it comes to innovation and competitiveness. The country consistently ranks among the top economies in the world in these areas. It is also home to over 85 different nationalities.

As it has a dynamic economy, Qatar offers foreign businesses and investors to grow. Qatar authorities have a welcoming attitude to businesses. Many people have developed businesses in the country and succeeded. New operations are encouraged. 

Qatar has a governmental financial and business entity known as the Qatar Financial Center (QTF) whose task is to help promote the country as an attractive business destination. QTF also works as a bridge that connects East and West, supporting foreign businesses and investors alike.

Business Culture

As an outsider, it can be difficult to navigate the business culture in Qatar. While Arabs are generally friendly and helpful when you ask them for some advice as they see it as a sign of respect, doing business with Arabs means that you will likely face hard bargaining, which Arabs are known to be experts at.

It is worth mentioning that when given a proposition, Arabs rarely say a direct “no”.  Instead, when you give them a proposition and they don’t agree to it, they might say something like “I will think about it later” or the like.

Advantages of Doing Business in Qatar

According to Qatar Market Research, doing business in the country will benefit you in various ways. First and foremost, the country has a fast-growing population. Qatar is one of the countries with the highest GDP per capita in the world, which means you will gain access to a growing market with strong buying power.

In terms of taxes, there is no personal income tax on the employees’ salaries. The country’s corporate income tax is one of the lowest in the world, only 10%. 

Foreign exchange controls are also absent and when it comes to repatriation of funds, there are no restrictions whatsoever.

As for foreign ownership, 100% foreign ownership is available for companies in the Qatar Science and Technology Park and in the Qatar Financial Center. In other areas, companies must have at least 51% Qatari ownership.

Challenges

As with any other market, there are challenges you will face when you do business in Qatar. If you want to succeed in the Qatar market, you will need a patient long-term strategy.

Just to give you an insight, before you start doing business in the country you must always secure the contract. Make sure that the contract is signed. 

As a foreigner, you will need a local sponsor to do business in the country. Also, since Riyal, Qatar’s currency is tied to the US Dollar, you must always keep this in mind when it comes to pricing.

Qatar provides opportunities for foreign businesses and investors to thrive. Before you start doing business in Qatar, you should not go in blind. Learning about the country’s business landscape, culture, regulations, and others will give you a competitive advantage.

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