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Qatar kicks back after post-World Cup slump

Set up companies Qatar Pexels/Chris Clark
The introduction of a 9 percent corporate tax levy in the UAE has some companies looking to relocate to Qatar
  • Rise in companies seeking move to Gulf state
  • Easier to set up business there
  • Non-oil sector expands

There has been a rise in international companies considering a move to Qatar following a post-World Cup slump.

Experts believe the spike in interest is partly due to the UAE’s decision to introduce corporate tax as well as an update to Qatar’s Single Window system, which was launched in 2019 to help companies set up operations.

The amendment has accelerated the time it takes to process the issuance of commercial registrations, trade licenses and immigration cards from six weeks to one day.

The number of queries has increased by 35 percent, according to Nazar Musa, CEO of PRO Partner Group for Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which helps international entities set up in the Gulf.

There was a dip during the first quarter following last year’s World Cup hype, Musa told AGBI.

Enquiries were mostly from the UAE, Europe and Canada – and from a diverse range of sectors but particularly IT, construction and oil and gas.

Musa said the UAE’s introduction of a 9 percent corporate tax in June had led to an increase in international companies looking to relocate to Qatar free zones, which are still tax exempt.

Wayne Merrick, managing director of CBD Corporate Services in Dubai, said he has also spotted the trend.

“We have seen an uptick in the number of company formation enquiries in Qatar this year, particularly with tech, sustainability-led and logistics businesses,” Merrick said.

Conditions for Qatar’s non-oil private sector continued to improve in July. Output, new orders, employment and purchasing all expanded.

The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), published in early August, reached 54.0 in July, up from 53.8 in June. Any score above 50 signifies growth and expansion.