Starting a Business in Qatar

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Starting a Business in Qatar

Qatar is considered as one of the richest countries in the world. Because of Qatar economic and stable political condition many entrepreneurs are interested about starting a business in Qatar.

Economy of Qatar

The economy of Qatar is one of the richest in the world based on GDP per capita, ranking between fifth and seventh on world rankings for 2015 and 2016 data compiled by the World Bank, United Nations, and IMF. The country’s economy has grown despite sanctions by neighbors, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Petroleum and natural gas are the cornerstones of Qatar’s economy and account for more than 70% of total government revenue, more than 60% of gross domestic product, and roughly 85% of export earnings. Qatar has the world’s third largest proven natural gas reserve and is the second-largest exporter of natural gas.

Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world

In 2012, Qatar retained its title of richest country in the world (according to per capita income) for the third time in a row, having first overtaken Luxembourg in 2010. According to the study published by the Washington-based Institute of International Finance, Qatar’s per capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) was $106,000 (QR387,000) in 2012, helping the country retain its ranking as the world’s wealthiest nation.

Qatar GDP Economic Sectors
Qatar Economic Sectors

Qatar Economic Indicators

Qatar GDP Growth Rate

Qatar is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita. Qatar’s economy is highly dependent on oil and gas extraction which accounts for more than 50% of GDP, 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues. Since proven oil and gas reserves are estimated to sustain current production levels only for the medium run, the government has been making efforts to diversify the economy into a sustainable long-term income model. This includes investments in the petrochemical sector, promotion of a business tourism sector and reforms in its financial sector.

Qatar GDP Growth Rate
Source: Qatar Statistics Authority
Qatar Interest Rate

In Qatar, interest rates decisions are taken by The Qatar Central Bank. The official interest rate is the QMR Lending.

Qatar Interest Rate
Source: Qatar Central Bank
Qatar Inflation Rate

In Qatar, the main components of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) are: rent, fuel and energy (21.9 percent), transport and communication (14.6 percent), entertainment, recreation and culture (12.7 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (12.58 percent). The index also includes: furniture, textiles and home appliances (7.7 percent), restaurants and hotels (6.1 percent), communication (5.9 percent), education (5.75 percent) miscellaneous goods and services (5.7 percent) and clothing and footwear (5.1 percent). The national index has a base of 100 as of 2013.

Qatar Inflation Rate
Source: Qatar Statistics Authority
Qatar Unemployment Rate

In Qatar, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.

Qatar Unemployment Rate
Source: Qatar Statistics Authority
Qatar Government Dept to GDP

Qatar recorded a government debt equivalent to 48.40 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2018.

Qatar Government Dept to GDP
Source: Qatar Central Bank
Qatar Balance of Trade

Qatar has been recording trade surpluses since 2004 mostly due to shipments of oil and liquefied natural gas (89 percent of total exports). Main imports are: transport equipment and parts; nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances and parts and base metals and articles thereof. Qatar´s main trading partner is Japan (28 percent of total exports and 8 percent of imports). Others include: India, China, United Arab Emirates and South Korea.

Qatar Balance of Trade
Source: Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics
Qatar Currency Riyal

The USDQAR spot exchange rate specifies how much one currency, the USD, is currently worth in terms of the other, the QAR.

Qatar Currency Riyal

Qatar Stock Market

The QE General Index is a major stock market index which tracks the performance of the 20 most liquid companies traded on the Qatar Exchange. It is a capitalization weighted index. The QE General Index has a base value of 1000 as of December 31, 1999.

Qatar Stock Market

Qatar Ease of Doing Business

Qatar is ranked 77 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings. The rank of Qatar improved to 77 in 2019 from 83 in 2018. The Ease of doing business index ranks countries against each other based on how the regulatory environment is conducive to business operationstronger protections of property rights. Economies with a high rank (1 to 20) have simpler and more friendly regulations for businesses.

Qatar Ease of Doing Business
Source: World Bank
Qatar Business Confidence

Business Confidence in Qatar increased to 23.20 Index Points in the third quarter of 2018 from 23.10 Index Points in the second quarter of 2018.

The Business Confidence in Qatar measures entrepreneurs’ sentiment about current business situation and expectation about business conditions. The questionnaire focuses on: volume of production; inventory volume of finished products; final products price, i.e. goods/services prices; business volume/ sales volume/ purchase orders; labour force volume; profitability ratios. The index value ranges between (-100) and (+100) points. It reaches its maximum (+100) if the views of all surveyed enterprises are positive, whereas it reaches neutrality(zero) when positive and negative views are equal. If the index value is below (zero), this indicates a negative assessment of enterprises situation.

Qatar Business Confidence
Source: Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics
Qatar Consumer Confidence

Consumer Confidence in Qatar increased to 184.50 Index Points in the first quarter of 2019 from 184.40 Index Points in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The Index of Consumer Confidence focuses on the evaluations of the current and predicted (over the following 12 months) changes concerning the household’s financial condition as well as the general economic situation and the job opportunities. The index value ranges from 0 to 200 points. It reaches its maximum if all the respondents’ opinions are positive. The index becomes neutral (100) when the positive and negative opinions are equal. If it is lower than 100 points, then it corresponds to a negative evaluation of the economic situation of Qatar.

Qatar Consumer Confidence
Source: Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics
Qatar Corruption Rank

Qatar is the 30 least corrupt nation out of 180 countries, according to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory’s rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories in the index.

Qatar Corruption Rank
Source: Transparency International
Qatar Credit Rating

Standard & Poor’s credit rating for Qatar stands at AA- with stable outlook. Moody’s credit rating for Qatar was last set at Aa3 with stable outlook. Fitch’s credit rating for Qatar was last reported at AA- with stable outlook. In general, a credit rating is used by sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and other investors to gauge the credit worthiness of Qatar thus having a big impact on the country’s borrowing costs. This page includes the government debt credit rating for Qatar as reported by major credit rating agencies.

Commercial District of Doha, Qatar
Commercial District of Doha, Qatar

Taxation in Qatar

Qatar does not have any individual/personal income tax, no sale and no wealth or capital tax. This is why Qatar is a very attractive place for many foreigners to work in. The only taxes payable are corporation tax, service tax (10%) , government levy (5%) on restaurant and hotel bills.

Corporate tax Personal income tax VAT or sales tax Social Security Rate for Companies Social Security Rate for Employees
10% 0% 0% 0% 0%

How to Start a Business in Qatar

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