Qatar is one of the most attractive destinations in the Middle East region, ranking fourth in the Index of Economic Freedom 2021 in the Middle East and Africa region. Low taxes and well-developed infrastructure are the main advantages of doing business in Qatar. Although it may seem like a paradise for any entrepreneur, there are also certain drawbacks that should not be forgotten, such as rigid labour market regulations, low R&D spending and extensive bureaucratic procedures for starting a business.
In this article we will present the main points that can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of doing business in Qatar.
Why you should start doing business in Qatar?
Qatar ranks 31st in the Index of Economic Freedom 2021, with the best results in the Tax Burden and Financial Freedom pillars, making it one of the most attractive countries in terms of low taxation and financing advantages.
In this regard, in 2021, the Qatari central bank interest rate stood at 2.5%, similar to other countries in the region, pointing to very favourable lending conditions for Qatari companies. In other words, business development is easier. However, it is expected that the global crisis may affect these rates, as inflation will be a determining factor for the country.
Qualified labour force in Qatar
One of the advantages of investing in the country and setting up in Qatar is the country’s labour force, as 12.3% of the Qatari population over the age of 15 had higher education in 2021, while the labour force participation rate stood at 80.7% of the working age population in 202. Therefore, job opportunities are numerous in Qatar and, if you are thinking of setting up a business in the country, you will probably not find it difficult to find qualified labour.
Excellent logistic performance in the country
One of the essential elements of any country is logistics, without which the transport of goods and people becomes more difficult. In this regard, Qatar has been investing for years in ensuring infrastructure that will help the country and the entire region develop. Qatar ranks 31st globally in the Logistics Performance Index 2021, registering the best results in the pillars of Ease of arranging international shipments and Timeliness of international shipments. In other words, it is one of the most important gateways for goods in the region, mainly due to its strong development.
If you send a container there, you can be sure that it will arrive on time!
Relaxing visa regulations and increase on the foreign investment in Qatar
In recent years, the government has eased restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI) and relaxed visa regulations to increase the country’s attractiveness and promote economic diversification. As well buying real estate is also expected to attract more foreign investors. In a global context, Qatar has a favourable tax regime, while offering SMEs a good financing environment, easy availability of venture capital and significant market capitalisation. In addition, Qatar’s central bank rate in 2021 was similar to other countries in the region at 2.5%, pointing to favourable lending conditions in the country.
The new regulations allowing foreigners to own a business without a local partner!
Internet in Qatar
Over half of businesses placed and received orders online in Qatar in 2021, one of the highest percentages in the world (94.4% of households had internet access). A high level of technological development and high participation in the networked economy resulted in the country ranking 35th and 36th in the world, respectively, in the NRI pillars of technology and governance in 2021. Towards the end of 2026, Qatar is preparing to launch its new Digital Government Strategy, which aims to improve people’s lives and business operations through the use of smart digital services, big data, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing technologies, as well as other initiatives in the public sector. As a result of low public funding (0.5% of GDP in 2021), Qatar’s R&D performance remains weak.