Qatar is in a process of transformation and diversification. As one of the world’s most successful economies, it is now preparing for its next phase of partnership with, and encouragement of, private business and foreign investment.

Please note that due to Covid-19,
some circumstances in this country may be inaccurate.

Welcome to Qatar

Already a major transport hub, particularly in aviation, Qatar is on its way to becoming a centre of business, innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship. Its sophisticated blend of modern luxury and traditional culture, all in a low-tax, high-tech and business-friendly environment, attracts smart businesses from around the globe.

HSBC has a proud history of more than 120 years in the MENAT region and is the leading international bank in Qatar, providing a full product offering across all sectors.

With an unrivalled global network and a rich heritage, HSBC is well positioned to play a leading role in the local economy and continue its commitment to the country’s development. We have an experienced team on the ground in Doha, and partners in different HSBC balance sheets across the globe.

Our dedicated team of professionals is well equipped to support your trading needs in this opportunity-rich market.

I look forward to offering my personal service as we discuss how we can support your business growth in Qatar.

Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Qatar

Al Matar Street, Street No. 950, Building No. 150, Umm Ghuwallina, Area Code No. 27, Doha, Qatar


Map Qatar
11,490 square km (4,436 square miles)
Main languages
Commercial capital city
Other major cities
Al Khor, Al Wakrah, Al Khuwayr
Qatari Rial (QR)
Dialling code
US$61,000.83 per capita2
Top exports
Mineral fuels, plastics, fertilisers, aluminium, ships and boats
Top imports
Industrial machinery, electrical machinery, motor vehicles, aircraft, iron and steel articles
Unemployment rate
Corporation tax
Typical office hours
8.30am or 9am to 5.30pm or 6pm Sunday-Thursday
Time zone
GMT + 3hours
Emergency numbers
999 (police, ambulance, fire services)

1 CIA, 2022
2 Trading Economics, 2021
3 Trading Economics, 2022
4 PwC, 2022

Qatar: Where tradition meets modernity

  • Reserves of wealth

    Qatar is the fourth richest nation in the world in terms of GDP per capita. The nation’s two largest exports are petroleum gas and crude oil, which comprised 81.1% of total exports in 2020.

  • On a peninsula

    The State of Qatar is located on a peninsula on the northeast coast of Saudi Arabia. Surrounded by the waters of the Persian Gulf, the nation shares only one land border with Saudi Arabia.

  • Political system

    Qatar’s political system is a constitutional monarchy. The Emir holds executive power and appoints the Prime Minister. The nation has been ruled by the Al-Thani family since 1868. H.E. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani became Emir in 2013.

  • Football frenzy

    In 2022, Qatar became the first Arab nation to host the FIFA World Cup. It is estimated that hosting the football tournament cost the nation $200 billion, including direct costs associated with the competition and wider infrastructure. The games are predicted to create 1.5 million new jobs in the country.

  • Up, up and away

    The success of state-owned Qatar Airways has seen Qatar become a major aviation centre. The airline flies to over 150 destinations in more than 200 aircraft. In 2021 Hamad International Airport in Doha was voted the best airport in the world by Skytrax.


# 77

for ease of doing business (in a survey of 190 measured economies by The World Bank)

Country profile

Emerging from modest beginnings, Qatar has used revenue from the oil and gas sector to fund its regional and global ambitions, including winning a bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Qatar is an Arab emirate located on a peninsula on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf. Its capital, Doha, is located on the country’s east coast. The state religion is Islam and the official language is Arabic. Qatar shares maritime borders with Bahrain, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It joined the United Nations in 1971 and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1996. It withdrew from OPEC in January 2019.

The world treated Qatar as part of Bahrain until the British Government recognised Qatar’s autonomy in 1868.

In 1916, Britain signed a treaty with Qatar. The emirate became a British protectorate with the United Kingdom overseeing the nation’s trade and foreign policy.

Oil was first struck in Qatar in 1939. Before this time, Qatar’s economy relied on pearling. Large-scale oil production and the exploitation of natural gas reserves in the 1950s transformed Qatar into one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Qatar was granted independence from Britain on 3 September 1971.

Today, Qatar offers a strong economic foundation, world-class infrastructure, and excellent connectivity. While it is in the process of transforming itself into a modern business hub, the culture in Qatar is still underpinned by centuries-old traditions and classic hospitality. It is a country bursting with opportunity for innovative businesses with an eye toward long-term goals and success.

Qatar is planning to showcase the first carbon-neutral World Cup in the event’s 92-year history.

5 reasons to do business in Qatar

  1. Taxes … or lack thereof
    The Qatari government not only offers certain tax exemptions for foreigners investing in the country, but also takes no import duty on machinery and spare parts. What’s more, personal income is not taxed, and, at 10%, Qatar has one of the lowest rates of corporate tax in the world.
  2. Infrastructure
    Spurred on by winning the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has spent $200 billion on the construction of apartments and hotels, roads, rail and metro systems and malls. The nation is also home to four airports and what has been recognised as the best airline in the world.
  3. Strong economy
    During the three-year diplomatic blockade by its neighbours, Qatar’s economy became stronger and more stable. The nation’s Emir approached the blockade as a challenge to become self-sufficient and global in outlook, rather than regional.
  4. Growth sectors
    Qatar boasts many growth sectors, including manufacturing, energy, health care and education. Even agriculture is promising, with agritech creating opportunities for vertical farming and other innovation in Qatar’s arid environment.
  5. National vision
    Qatar National Vision 2030 outlines the pathway to economic diversification in Qatar. Progress has been steady over the past decade with increased activity in local manufacturing – especially in steel and cabling as well as rapid development in local food production.

5 key challenges when doing business in Qatar

  1. 1


    Although the government has instituted laws in 2019 that allow foreigners to own 100% of a company in many sectors, the red tape involved in starting a business remains a challenge.

  2. 2

    Hiring practices

    Qatar ranks well in Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index, placing 30th in the world. However, when it comes to business contracts and jobs, preference is often given by Qatari companies to the small population of nationals.

  3. 3

    Government procurement

    A lack of clarity is evident in the conditions and criteria of government tenders.

  4. 4

    Import duties and restrictions

    Due to the lack of clarity around policies and regulations, foreign companies must be ever mindful that correct import duties are paid. In general, no import quotas apply; however, there are exceptions that companies must be wary of.

  5. 5


    As is the case in many parts of the world, cyber crime can be an issue in Qatar. It is not unheard of for foreign firms in Qatar to be contacted by potential investors requesting private information or payments. Many of these are fraudsters posing as Qatar-based investors or entities.