Top 8 business
A highly developed nation with one of the richest economies and one of the highest GDPs in the world, Qatar hopes to become a global leader in the field of business. An investment-friendly country, the Gulf Peninsula has numerous opportunities and ventures where you can make the most of your money and time. To help you get started, here are 8 important organisations to be aware of:
The Qatar Financial Centre
Established in 2005, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is a financial and business centre created to attract financial services to Qatar. Aiming to foster the growth of local and international firms that operate in banking, asset management and insurance — while providing a suitable regulatory structure that is within the international best practice — QFC has built a notable reputation, making it one of the fastest growing onshore business and financial centres in the world. It has attracted more than 500 firms globally in a variety of financial and non-financial sectors and created a community that houses more than 3,500 people, with total assets under management reaching over $20 billion. Qatar is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and with QFC, businesses can have up to 100 percent foreign ownership, as well as 100 percent repatriation of profits with a competitive tax of 10 percent. QFC has its own regulatory system and a business infrastructure that follows the Common Law legal system, focusing on financial industry services in Fintech and Islamic Fintech, Cybersecurity, Capital Markets, ETFs, Green Financing, Private Equity, Investment Funds, Captive and vendor Equipment Finance, and treasury centres.
The Qatar Development Bank
A fully funded entity by the State of Qatar with an objective to help diversify the country’s economy, the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) offers opportunities to empower Qatari entrepreneurs and innovators by offering the following services: Enhancing technical skills and developing capabilities, supporting and promoting exports, giving opportunities for small to medium enterprises locally and internationally, housing initiatives and services in real estate and housing loans for their citizens, promoting SME development and hosting training and mentoring programmes for Qatar’s youth. QDB shifted its focus from just industrial financing to operating as a “fully-fledged development bank,” which has increased the banks’ capital from QR 200 million to QR 12 billion. This capital was not achieved through simply investing in the private sector, but also by investing locally in the Qatari workforce to help improve living standards and encourage more opportunities.
The Qatar Stock Exchange
Providing the opportunity for people to invest fairly and efficiently, the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) is part of the country’s strategy to become a world-class market and regional financial centre. Established in 1995, it started off under the name Doha Securities Market, where it traded listed securities and kept up regulation roles. The company later became QSE where it joined the stock market and transferred its regulation and supervisory duties to Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA). QSE is licensed to carry out all securities activities in the country.
Alongside helping the Qatari economy by raising capital for local companies and providing investors with a platform to trade, QSE offers credible market information for public access. In 2016, QSE became a signatory to the Sustainable Stock Exchange initiative, which promotes corporate investment in sustainable and ethical practices.
The Qatar Science and Technology Park
With a focus on innovation, the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) is a free zone and business park that gives tech companies, start-ups and rising tech ventures support and mentorship. This includes facilities and services like offices, meeting rooms and expert advice, all provided through investment programmes such as the Product Development Fund and the Tech Venture Fund. The industries that are of interest to QSTP are Energy, Environment, Health Sciences, and Information & Communication Technologies. For the development of businesses and ideas QSTP offers these incubation and acceleration programmes:
Innovation Mindset Education
This programme has the Arab Innovation Academy which is the largest tech entrepreneurship programme in the Middle East. Over the course of 10 days, students gain hands-on experience on how to develop and launch a tech start-up with customer feedback.
A ten-week programme that enables innovators and entrepreneurs to determine if their ideas are commercially viable by giving them the ability to analyse market fit, customer traction and investor awareness.
Research to Start-up Programme
This is one of the main programmes at QSTP that helps to develop technologies that have high potential with the collaboration of experienced entrepreneurs based in Qatar. The end goal is to develop the technology until it becomes viable for funding.
This programme focuses on developing the technology of local tech entrepreneurs and also provides a quick and affordable incorporation into the QTSP Free Zone.
The Qatar Investment Authority
A long-term investing company established in 2005 to help strengthen the Qatari economy by diversifying its assets, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) invests in a variety of sectors like real estate, health, infrastructure, TMT, financial institutions, industrials, commodities and funds (multi-sector private equity, private credit). For each investment QIA follows this four-stage approach for direct investments or fund investments: Organisation, Evaluation, Execution and Active Portfolio Management.
The Qatar National Bank (QNB) Al Watani Funds
The QNB Al Watani Funds is an investment opportunity for both Qatari and non-Qatari individuals, as well as local and international institutional investors. The aim of the Al Watani Funds is to outperform QE returns and to reduce the risk associated with investment. Some of these funds features include an effective way to invest in Qatar Equities — a professionally managed investment product — and lower volatility than the associated with a single share or direct trading. This is an investment targeted towards investors with a minimum of QAR 20,000 as a starting amount.
The Qatari Diar
Launched in 2005 by the Qatar Investment Authority, the Qatari Diar (QD) supports the country’s economy and is responsible for its real estate development priorities. QD has worked on real estate projects locally and internationally that gained it a reputation as one of the world’s most respected real estate companies. Their flagship project is Lusail City — a sustainably planned city that showcases Qatar’s development and progress. The city is equipped to house more than 200,000 residents and across its 19 districts it is expected to host 170,000 people for work. Other international projects include La Royal Monceau in Paris, City Gate in Africa-Egypt, and Conrad Hotel in the USA.
The Pearl Qatar
The Pearl is a flagship project by the United Development Company (UDC) that combines residential, retail and commercial features in one island. The project is built on reclaimed land and is located in the West Bay district. Inspired by Mediterranean cities, the Pearl became an iconic site for the country that includes sustainable features. The residential complexes can be rented and leased by both Qatari and non-Qatari individuals. It is a grand area to live with retail, restaurants and cafes, and entertainment outlets all nearby.
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