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Qatar – A Great Choice For Living And Real Estate Investment 

Posted by Alexander Hartmann on April 29, 2023

For decades, the economic powerhouse Qatar has been an afterthought by international investors. Whether small or big budgets, most international real estate investors with an interest in the Middle East chose to invest in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi rather than in Doha. International investors preferred the more glamorous and fast-developing city of Dubai for several reasons, be it the investor-friendly legislative, the highly regulated real estate market, or the attractiveness of local real estate developments.

However, the current economic situation in most of the “developed countries” what with double-digit inflation rates, the global energy crisis, and the Qatar World Cup 2022 has put Qatar into the spotlight of international real estate investors.

If one wants to understand the dynamics of the local real estate market, one needs to understand the country’s financial position. Qatar has one of the highest GDP per capita worldwide. It is a very wealthy country. Its wealth derives mainly from petroleum products and natural gas. Qatar’s proven gas reserves are the third largest in the world. Today, the gulf country’s industrial organization for the energy sector Qatar Energy is one of the leading energy companies worldwide and a respected business partner for oil giants such as Shell, Exxon Mobile, and Total. Qatar’s state income is forecasted to benefit from its gas export for the next decades.

Overall, Qatar’s economy is one of the most thriving in the Middle East. The main non-oil sectors of Qatar’s economy are agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and real estate. This year so far, the latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data continue to indicate an improvement in the non-oil sector confirming that the measurements taken by Qatar’s government are driving the country’s economy in the right direction. As a result of a healthy and self-sustainable economy, the assets that are held in the local banking sector have risen to +500 billion USD. Obviously, Qatar‘s strong financial position allowed the local government to refrain from introducing an income tax or value added tax as is the case in the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar Airways – A preferred international Airline

Other aspects that show Qatar’s great achievements in the past decade are the local infrastructure with modern highways and intelligent traffic management systems, the Hamad International Airport, home of Qatar Airways, the leading airline of the world according to Skytrax’s recent survey, a state-of-the-art metro system, a huge variety of prime healthcare centers with medical staff from all around the world, a well-developed school system with private and public schools, and a huge variety of local and international universities such as HEC, Texas A&M, and Georgetown.

High GDP growth and population influx, aided by job opportunities and government legislation, are some of the drivers propelling the country’s real estate market forward. As the average household income for both Qatari and Expatriate is quite high, the real estate market is seeing a huge demand for luxury and well-organized residential areas. The population growth rate, combined with a steady supply of expatriate workers, is expected to generate further demand in the medium to long term.

Most expatriates living in Qatar don’t own their accommodation. They prefer to rent their home instead. Therefore, landlords usually don’t face any challenges in finding tenants for their buy-to-let/ built-to-let properties resulting in them having a steady income stream from their real estate. Usually, the demand for investment properties is high so that resale values remain stable in the short term and grow with time.

As Qatar’s government aims to attract more foreign investors it has recently restructured the local real estate market allowing foreigners to invest in real estate across the city of Doha. The preferred areas for investors are West Bay, the man-made island of The Pearl, and the upcoming district of Lusail.

West Bay is the district where the eclectic skyline rises behind the promenade “Corniche” lining the Persian Gulf. It is the central business district of Doha, with a high number of headquarters, and ministries but also many international 5* hotels and luxury residential towers.

West Bay – The Main Business District

The Pearl Island was designed and developed on 4 million sq m of reclaimed land. The island is one of the largest mixed-use developments in the Middle East. The neighborhood is divided into ten architecturally distinct suburbs inspired by the most charming Mediterranean cities. The Pearl Island is considered an iconic site that embodies smart and sustainable features, offers an eclectic mix of residences, retail, F&B, and entertainment outlets, and houses Doha’s fastest-growing community.

Lusail City is another master-planned project in Qatar about 23 km north off Doha. Lusail is a sustainable and comprehensively planned city signifying Qatar’s social and economic progress on a grand scale. Once completed more than 200,000 residents will live in Lusail’s scenic surroundings, with 170,000 people expected to work in the city’s different districts, and 80,000 expected to visit its entertainment and recreation facilities daily. Lusail City’s 19 districts will encompass not only new residential, commercial, hospitality, and retail opportunities, but a full array of community needs, complete with schools, mosques, medical facilities, sports, entertainment facilities, and shopping centers.

The FIFA World Cup 2022 which was held in Qatar at the end of last year resulted in tens of thousands of football fans to visit the tiny gulf country. Millions of people were following the tournament from the comfort of their home and with friends at social gatherings but they all saw the beauty of the state. No doubt, the FIFA World Cup 2022 served the country as a “marketing springboard” and it is widely anticipated that the positive image from the event will attract international companies and drive tourism in the coming years.

Investors who get engaged in the Qatari real estate market won’t only enjoy the financial benefits from a stable rental income and future capital gains but also the advantages of the legal framework around an investment. The recently introduced investor-friendly legislation which among other aspects includes the right to obtain a title deed for the property in combination with the right to receive a permanent residence permit for the real estate owner and his/her immediate family are additional advantages that would comfort any investor.

One thing is for sure, Qatar has enriched itself with exquisite, sparkling, and beautiful construction. It has various property types such as luxurious villas, eye-catching townhouses, modern skyscrapers, breathtaking penthouses, elegant apartments, and studios to glamorous mansions. With more exquisite developments in the pipeline and based on the current economical and political situation, Qatar should be on every investor’s radar.

Porto Arabia Marina at The Pearl Island

Our team from The Loft Bureau Real Estate in Doha is well trained and available to help you to find a suitable investment.

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