By: Hani Dabash

Deputy Group CEO
Ezdan Holding Group

The Qatari real estate sector is largely overseen by the state as one of the vital sectors that underpin the national economy, for that reason it receives massive support to revive the property market. However, during 2020 the real estate market has witnessed an array of drastic changes, like all sectors in Qatar. Despite the large-scale lockdown imposed to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, which has stormed global markets in various fields and rendered all global economic indicators to be crisis- stricken, yet signs of revitalized movement have appeared.

Consequently, based on Qatar’s insightful vision, the state promulgated a package of legislations that would contribute effectively to trigger the market up. These newly enacted laws cover property brokerage and registration, in addition to facilitating legislations that are meant to attract local and foreign capital in.

Perhaps the most prominent legislation issued regarding the real estate sector is Cabinet Resolution No. (28) for the year 2020, which defined areas in which non-Qataris may own. It also defined the conditions, controls and benefits of their ownership. Such laws are gratified with attractive packages of advantages that are incentivizing for local and foreign capital.

In fact, the launch of freehold ownership in 9 regions, as well as the right of usufruct over real estate for non-Qataris in 16 regions, brings the total to 25 areas, the matter which triggered sale and purchase transactions by investors and residents who are pursuing to settle and obtain residency facilities to landlords and those who own properties worth no less than USD 200,000. On the other hand, owners of the property from this category obtain residency for himself and his family without a sponsor over his ownership term for the property, while the owner of the property value is not less than USD 1 million gets permanent residency benefits that include health, education, and rights to invest in some activities.

Perhaps the changes in the real estate market are not only confined to legislation, but there is a remarkable development in light of the great growth in infrastructure and real estate projects. These projects are expansive across Qatar and include the construction of new main roads, intersections, and bridges to serve diversified regions, especially outside Doha and mainly in far-flung areas. Such a boom in infrastructure contributes to the expansion of urban areas. This will also be luring to develop new cities outside Doha. It also reflects the volume of property sale/purchase transactions that have begun to take an upward trend, as well as the size of the mass demand for residence in new cities, which provide integrated residential units at competitive rental rates in addition to a stress-free environment away from the crowds and its traffic congestion in Doha.

In 2020, the rental sector which entails residential, office plan and commercial properties, the market witnessed
a state of correction that contributed to pushing real estate developers to propound unconventional ideas and innovative procedures that would bring activity, credibility and strength to the real estate market and its customers. Needless to say, market mechanisms have evolved depending on well-studied policies, and are devised to conform to the goals of sustainable development, not temporary or short-term, however, they should meet the aspirations and requirements of various customer segments.

Hence, we believe that 2021- 2022 will be really the next biennium of improved growth, especially in the real estate sector in light of the completion of a large number of infrastructure projects that include the giant road network and bridges and advanced means of transportation, which will motivate investors to pump huge funds and benefit from such a big boom. All these expectations are gleaned from the fact that Qatar became a huge global sports arena that hosts first-rate tournaments and receives millions of sports supporters and cheerleaders, generating lucrative investments, which ensures that the real estate demand index continues at its high rates.

Almost everyone is certain that growth and recovery are inevitable according to the global reports on the economy and its various sectors. They all affirm the robust position of the Qatari economy and the continued growth of the real estate sector as one of its main components within an integrated system of other sectors.

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