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Doing Business in Doha

The InterNations expat guide offers you key information regarding the economic climate in Qatar’s capital, women in the workforce, and different business models. Read on to learn all about working in Doha and to make your transition to Doha’s business world as smooth as possible!
New construction projects spring up like mushrooms across Doha.

Urban Economy

Doha is known as Qatar’s economic center. The headquarters of the country’s major petroleum producing companies are located here. Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Gas and RasGas employ a considerable number of people working in Doha and all over Qatar.

The city’s economy is largely built on revenues from this sector. Yet, as mentioned before, the government is currently trying to invest in other branches in order to move away from the nation’s dependence on oil and gas. Many employees are now busy with new real-estate or construction projects, which seem to appear all over the city.

New projects, such as The Pearl, are designed to offer all kinds of luxuries to visitors and residents alike, with shops, hotels, restaurants etc. They will make lucrative projects for international investors.

Business Models

Those who move to Doha in order to open their own business, e.g. their own office or a branch of a company, can choose from different business models.

  • joint venture must be partially owned by a Qatari business partner. With an ownership of 51% the company is, at least theoretically, controlled by them. At the end of the day, however, it is the owner’s choice if they want to look for a business partner with a silent advisory function or one who is actively involved in the business. If the company is investing in agriculture, healthcare, education, tourism or the development of natural resources, energy or mining, no business partner is needed.
  • branch of a foreign company may only be established if this company has substantial investments in Qatar. For this, it must first acquire an authorization by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. The company must contribute to projects which facilitate the development of public services. This business model does not require a Qatari business partner.
  • branch of a Qatari company can be run by a foreign company as well, which will in turn receive a fee or commission. The disadvantage of this business model, however, is that the foreign company loses control over its name, which has to be registered by the local company. In addition to this, this type of business is not considered a local entity and may therefore be legally vulnerable.
  • commercial agency, on the other hand, does not establish an office in Qatar. Instead, it appoints a local company to take care of business, and market goods and services for them. All agents must be registered and fall under Qatar Agency Law.
 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Juan Garcia

"The Persian Gulf is a long way from home, so I was especially glad to discover this super expat community for Doha. "

Amarilis Castillo

"I loved the InterNations expat gatherings in Doha, and I hope we'll have another opportunity to meet up at 'La Villa' or the golf range. "

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