December 2012 – New Qatar Central Bank law enacted

H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has issued a new law, Law 13 of 2012, relating to the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and the Regulation of Financial Institutions.

His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Saoud Al Thani, Governor of the Qatar Central Bank and Chairman of QFCRA and QFMA said: “The new Law is an important step in continuing to build a resilient financial sector for the State of Qatar that operates to the highest international standards of regulation and supervision and best practices. Importantly, the new Law also formalises, through the Financial Stability and Risk Committee, the excellent level of co-ordination and collaboration that exists between the Central Bank, the QFCRA and the QFMA.”

The Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Financial Markets Authority, and the QFC Regulatory Authority have issued a joint statement including a summary of some of the important provisions of the new Law and detail on the objectives for the Financial Stability and Risk Committee established under the new Law, which can be read in full at: Click here



September 2011 - QFCRA issues warning to unauthorised financial services firms

The QFC Regulatory Authority has issued a statement emphasising the importance of consumers ensuring that the firms they deal with are properly licensed and regulated. The Regulatory Authority's concern has been heightened recently by reports of a number of firms and individuals who are operating in the State without a license to conduct financial services. Such firms are outside the scope of the State's regulatory framework and present a risk both to consumers and to the reputation of the State's financial system. The Regulatory Authority stressed that consumers can only be confident that they will be treated fairly if they deal with a firm that is licensed and supervised by one of Qatar's financial regulators.

The purpose of financial services regulation is to ensure that firms offering financial services operate to high standards and with integrity. Licensed firms are subject to detailed codes of conduct setting out their obligations to consumers and their activities are subject to scrutiny by the financial regulator that has licensed the firm. If a consumer encounters a problem with a licensed firm (for example if a product has been misrepresented), the consumer will have effective recourse against the firm and, importantly, the firm's regulator is in a position to ensure that the consumer's complaints are addressed. If the firm is not licensed, the consumer may have no such protections. 

The Regulatory Authority's Chairman and CEO, Phillip Thorpe said: "A robust regulatory regime requires not only vigilant regulators, but also vigilant consumers to ensure that they receive the full protections afforded by the State and its regulatory framework."

If a consumer is offered financial services or advice by a firm, it is important that they confirm that the firm is properly licensed to conduct financial services, and that they will benefit from the applicable protections afforded to consumers. A firm that is properly licensed will be able to provide that confirmation quickly by referring the consumer to the public records maintained by their regulator.

If a firm states that it is licensed by the QFC Regulatory Authority, that fact can be confirmed by checking the Public Register on the QFC Regulatory Authority's website, which is located at:

The Regulatory Authority also emphasised that consumers should be particularly cautious in responding to cold calling or unsolicited approaches from persons offering financial advice and should always obtain the names and addresses of the individuals concerned and the company they represent.

Mr. Thorpe also commented: "The savings and investment cycle is essential to a growing economy and, in that regard, it is critical that the confidence of consumers and investors in the financial system is maintained. Financial services providers who are not licensed present a significant risk to consumers and to the system. The regulatory framework provides the necessary protections where firms are licensed, but we must remain on guard to ensure that all financial services firms are properly part of the regulatory framework. If consumers encounter a firm offering financial services without a license, the firm should be reported to the relevant authorities."
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2 December 2010 - Qatar chosen to host 2022 FIFA World Cup

Qatar has been chosen to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals having fought off stiff competition from amongst others Australia and the USA to bring the tournament to the region for the first time in its history.

Qatar will see a continued burst of economic growth from its successful bid with stadium development, increased tourism and the advancement of Qatar’s infrastructure all creating a range of opportunities for foreign and domestic companies within the already rapidly developing Gulf state.

Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. The figures :

  • $62.5bn: the amount to be spent on infrastructure projects over the next five years to include: $25bn metro rail network to connect all 12 stadiums; the $11bn new international airport; an additional $20bn to be spent on constructing new roads; $5.5bn constructing a new deep water seaport and a $1bn crossing linking the new airport with mega-projects in the northern part of the capital Doha;
  • $3 - 4bn: the cost of the stadium construction and refurbishment program with the construction of nine new state of the art stadiums and the renovation of three existing stadiums, all to be eco-friendly and carbon-neutral. The flagship Lusail Stadium, with a capacity of 86,000 and surrounded by water, will take four years to build and is expected to be completed by 2019
  • $645.5m. The budget submitted by the Qatar bid team to run the Confederations Cup in 2021 and the FIFA World Cup the following year;
  • 2,900,000: The amount of tickets Qatar expect to go on sale for the 2022 FIFA World Cup;
  • 170,000: The number of stadium seats to be donated to developing countries as part of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Legacy;
  • 90,000 – 95,000: The number of hotel rooms which the Qatar bid team have promised will be available by 2022. Qatar currently has about 50,000 hotel rooms and will need at least 60,000 to meet the requirements of FIFA;
  • 320: The length in kilometers of the metro rail network that will link all 12 stadiums;
  • 320: The length in kilometers of the metro rail network that will link all 12 stadiums;

Source :



November 2009 – Emiri Approval of new Taxation Regime for Foreign Companies

The Deputy Emir of Qatar has issued a new Income Tax Law - Law No 21 of 2009. The new 2009 law replaces Law No. 11 of 1993 and dispenses with the multi-band structure currently in force where tax liability for foreign companies can be up to 35%. The new 2009 law introduces a single band income tax rate on foreign companies at 10%.

The new 2009 law will come into force on 1 January 2010. The new 2009 law can be seen as part of the government initiative to attract foreign investment and diversify the economy moving the focus away from dependency on oil, gas and other natural resources.



October 2009 - Amendments to the Lease Law makes it easier for tenants to dispute unfair lease agreements

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has issued a new law amending certain provisions of Law No. 4 of 2008 (the 2008 Lease Law) on rented properties and lease agreements. The new law (Law No. 20 of 2009) allows tenants to request a hearing at the Rental Dispute Resolving Committee where their lease has not been registered in accordance with the provisions of the 2008 Lease Law.

Under the 2008 Lease Law landlords were required to pay an annual fee of 1% of the annual rent for the registration of a lease agreement which resulted in some landlords not registering and leaving tenants without recourse to the Rental Dispute Resolving Committee.

The new law also contains a provision for the benefit of landlords where housing space is required for the landlord’s family and/or dependants. Under the 2008 Lease Law a lease could be terminated where a landlord leased part of the premises they occupied if the entire premises was later required for his family and/or dependants.

The new law extends this termination right to any properties which the landlord owns if the property is required for occupation by their family and/or dependents. Under these circumstances the landlord must give the tenant 6 months notice in order to legally terminate the lease.



March 2009 - New Sponsorship Law Sponsors can no longer keep workers' passports!

The new law regulating the entry, exit, residence and sponsorship of foreigners was ratified by the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was issued on 26 February 2009. The law was then published in the official gazette of the Ministry of Justice on 29 March 2009 and came into force 30 days afterwards.

In summary:

  • Residence permits for foreign workers previously employed in Qatar can only be issued after 2 years from the date of last departure
  • The sponsor of foreign workers must contact the immigration department of the Ministry of Interior within 7 days in order to initiate the procedures of applying for a residence permit for their employees
  • Renewal of residence permits must be done within 90 days from the date of its expiration
  • Sponsors can not insist on keeping workers passports with them unlike under the old sponsorship law
  • 1Foreign female workers can now sponsor their families in Qatar
  • The Minister of Labor can transfer the sponsorship temporarily if there is a pending court case between the sponsor and their foreign employee
  • Foreign workers now have an alternative way to get an exit permit if the sponsor dies or disappears by “standing guarantee”
  • Foreign workers can not be out of Qatar for more than 6 months continuously without official authorisation;
  • Expelled foreign workers who did not object to the court or their objections have been dismissed can enter Qatar only after 4 years from the date of their departure
  • Foreign workers can work only for their sponsor but the Ministry of Labor can permit secondments to the another employer for 6 months which can later be extended
  • A foreign worker who has business in Qatar and has been condemned to leave the country may be granted a term of 90 days by the Minister of Labor in order to liquidate their business



Febuary 2008 - New Lease Law

The new law regulating lease agreements and rental contracts was ratified by the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was issued on 15 February 2008 and came into force that day. In summary:

  • Lease agreements must be written
  • Where a written agreement has been entered into but it cannot be produced by either or both of the parties, then evidence as to the existence of a lease may be adduced
  • Lease agreements must be registered in order for the landlord to bring a claim before the Rental Dispute Resolving Committee (the “Committee”) or the court
  • The landlord must pay an annual fee of 1% of the annual rent for the registration of a lease agreement
  • The landlord has to carry out the maintenance work of the leased premises but upon their failure to do so, the lessee may approach the Committee for permission to carry out the maintenance and have the costs deducted from the rent payable
  • The landlord may not take a deposit from the lessee for more than 2 months rent
  • If the duration of the lease agreement expires while the lessee is still benefiting from the leased property and the landlord does not raise an objection, the lease agreement shall be deemed to be renewed for the same period as the original lease