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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Foreign ownership rules loosened as Qatar opens up to global investors


Qatar will introduce a new law that will allow residents and non-residents to own residential units and mall shops, allowing more foreign property ownership in the country. 

Non-Qataris will soon be allowed to buy real estate outright in a number of limited locations, including residential units and mall shops, the Ministry of Justice said in a statement on Tuesday.

The move comes in an effort to make real estate more attractive to expatriate residents, foreign investors, and real estate funds, opening up the country to foreign investments and revitalising the country’s economy.  

The new law will also allow owners of properties worth QR730,000 ($200,000) or more to obtain residency for themselves and their family for the duration of their ownership. 

In an effort to make the investment process easy and beneficial to the potential owners, Qatar’s justice ministry introduced a new system that allows non-Qataris to obtain their residency as soon as they complete the purchasing. 

“By allocating these areas as eligible for foreign ownership and investment, Qatar has created attractive opportunities that will benefit both domestic and international investors,” said Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry. “The changes will also help to grow and strengthen Qatar’s economic development.”

Read more: Qatar ‘dismantles’ its Kafala system and introduces major new labour reforms.

The statement also announced that owners of property of QR3,650,00 or more will receive the same benefits as those with permanent residents in terms of education, health care, and some commercial activities. 

Currently, the total number of areas designated for ownership and usufruct by non-Qataris is 25 – 9 of which offer ownership rights while 16 others are subject to legal rights.

The 16 areas subject to usufruct are Msheireb, Fereej Abdulaziz, Al Doha Al Jadeeda, Al Ghanim Alateeq, Al Rifa, Al Hitmi Al Ateeq, As Salatah, Bin Mahmoud 22, Bin Mahmoud 23, Roudet Al Khail, Al Mansoura, Bin Dirham, Al Najma, Umm Ghawlina, Al Khulaifat, Al Sadd, Al Mirqab Al Jadeed, Al Nasr, Doha International Airport.

Freehold areas are limited to West Bay, The Pearl, Al Khor resort, Al Dafna (areas no. 60 and 61), Onaiza, Lusail, Al Kharaej, and Jabal Thuaileb. 

Dr. Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, said that the 16 usufruct areas are valid for a period of 99 years. He added that with the new law introduced, Qatari and non-Qatari citizens, residents and non-residents, now have the right to free ownership of residential units, inside residential complexes and shops inside malls.

Owners can only enjoy ownership in malls and residential complexes if they do not modify or change the nature, shape or appearance of the unit, the law states.

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