By: Eng. Nasser Al Ansari

Just Real Estate

Government regulatory reforms and economic incentives coupled with the ability to attract major international events is driving professionalism, growth, and positive transformation across Qatar’s real estate sector. The surge in initiatives is building investor confidence and trust and stimulating foreign direct investment by allowing foreign property ownership and increasing demand across both the commercial and residential real estate segments and heightened appetite for well-rounded offerings.

The rise in confidence was evident on December 8th of last year when auction bids for Qetaifan Island plots in Lusail were oversubscribed. The law came on the heels of other legislation regulating non-Qatari capital investment in real estate.

The market was boosted further last summer when the public-private partnership law no. 12 was issued in May 2020 by HH the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. This law enabled the private sector to merge with the public sector. This enhanced the private sector’s contribution in mega projects such as but not limited to education, food security, and increased economic activity whilst stimulating diversity with the country’s cultural sector.

The government has also improved sector compliance with a brokerage law delivering enhanced trust and stipulating that agency Qatari operators must qualify as a licensed real estate broker with a non-Qatari working as a broker under a Qatari manager. Heightened transparency is delivered by requiring all licensed brokers to maintain mediation tracking records.

In keeping with governmental procedures, I was one of the first to qualify for the license allowing all JRE employees to legally provide brokerage services. These laws will encourage Qatar residents to seek out licensed operators and that a requirement for signed agreements, cheques, or deals be signed by a registered broker gives a greater sense of security to clients. The Ministry has disclosed stiff penalties for any illegal brokerage activity. These brokerage and appraisal services are fundamental to business growth and subsequent greater investor demand for a fully rounded real estate offering.

It’s no longer just about selling and renting properties. It’s about delivering experience-based advice to assist investment decisions, provide sound and continuously monitored market research, quality facilities and amenities management for improved living and working standards to satisfy residential and commercial needs, and the ability to assist in the processing of all the legal requirements  of residency applications. This is our focused approach which helps develop a more mature real estate offering in line with the Government’s vision of transforming Qatar into an advanced society capable of achieving sustainable development by 2030.

Legal and regulatory enhancements aside, Qatar is massively benefitting from its host status for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2030 Asian Games, and not just from improved infrastructure. These mega events deliver huge global awareness of Qatar as a tourism and investment destination, while equipping local companies with the knowledge to mount world-class events and stamp Qatar as a nation committed to sporting endeavour with all its social and health benefits. These are remarkable opportunities to boost Qatar’s status on the world’s mega events and sporting stage and gives us a superb showcase for the country and what it offers as a largely tax-free business and leisure destination.

For the hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar has ploughed billions of dollars into infrastructure, building stadiums, enhancing transport links, including the Doha Metro expansion, and new hospitality outlets and its impact is stimulating investment in the tourism sector. Qatar is now inviting participation in establishing large beach resorts, under the public private partnership (PPP) model. The PPP Law of May, 2020 regulates the operation of PPPs in Qatar expanding its use to projects beyond the water and power sectors. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), in association with the National Tourism Council (QNTC), are encouraging investment opportunities in beach resorts in Ras Abrouq, Fuwayrit and Bin Ghannam as part of the State’s efforts to achieve its National Vision 2030, aimed at consolidating economic diversification and supporting the non-oil sectors. All the signs are good, and all segments of the economy will benefit, including real estate.

This article was published as part of the fifth edition of Property Finder Qatar’s Trends Report