Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Qatar woos foreign talent with 5-year residency permit

Qatar hopes to lure skilled individuals and wealthy entrepreneurs Shutterstock/Sven Hansche
Qatar hopes to lure skilled individuals and wealthy entrepreneurs
  • Renewable residencies on offer
  • IMF recommends labour reforms
  • Nations compete for skilled workers

Qatar has launched a residency permit aimed at attracting talented individuals and entrepreneurs. 

The permit programme, which is expected to open in the next few months, offers five-year renewable residencies to people with expertise in specific fields including the arts and scientific research.

Applicants must either have a job offer in Qatar or demonstrate financial self-sufficiency.

Entrepreneurs are required to present a business plan approved by a Qatari incubator, reflecting a minimum investment of $68,000.

The Qatar residency permit mirrors efforts across the Gulf to attract global talent and secure an economic future beyond oil and gas.

It joins an intense competition – the UAE and Saudi Arabia have already relaxed visa policies with the same aim.

Traditionally, Gulf countries offered employment-based visas with limited duration, a practice that has been a barrier to long-term foreign investment and retaining talent.

Despite growth in non-hydrocarbon activity, Qatar’s economy still relies heavily on hydrocarbon exports and revenues. 

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest country analysis, published in February, recommends labour reforms to increase the proportion of skilled foreign workers in Qatar to address its economic challenges. 

These include lower labour productivity compared to its Gulf counterparts, a shortage of skilled workers and mismatches in the labour market.

“With some 90 percent of the workforce being foreigners, increasing the share of skilled foreign workers has the greatest impact on growth and labour productivity in the non-hydrocarbon sector,” the report said.

The IMF suggests improving labour market dynamics and attracting highly skilled expatriates by modernising visa processes, easing residency status acquisition for skilled workers and entrepreneurs and strengthening the social safety net for expatriate workers.

It said boosting the proportion of skilled foreign workers by 10 percentage points could elevate annual non-hydrocarbon GDP growth by 1.5 percentage points over five years. It could also improve labour productivity by 7.5 percent above the baseline level by 2028.

Latest articles

Aramco pipelines

BlackRock-led investors to refinance Aramco Pipelines stake

Investors in Saudi Aramco’s gas pipeline network, led by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, are planning to issue $3 billion in bonds to refinance a loan that backed their purchase of a stake in the network.   The consortium of investors took a $13.4 billion bridge loan in 2021 to acquire a 49 percent stake […]

Over the first half of the year Sanad Group signed deals with international airlines including Asiana Airlines and Deucalion Aviation

Mubadala-backed Sanad Group reports 53% revenue growth

Sanad Group, the Abu Dhabi-based global aerospace engineering and leasing company, has seen revenues increase by more than half over the first six months of the year. Figures released to AGBI show revenue totalling AED2.3 billion ($620 million) was reported in the first half of the year, up from AED1.5 billion over the same period […]

Malaysia’s HSS Engineers Berhad and its emirati consultancy HSS signed the deal top oversee construction with the Baghdad municipality

UAE company in joint venture to build Baghdad metro

A Malaysian engineering company and its UAE affiliate have jointly won a $316 million contract to oversee the construction of the new Baghdad metro. The building of the planned 148-kilometre network and its 64 stations across the Iraqi capital was slated to begin this month and end in 2029. This timeline might be delayed, however, […]