Key developments announced by the government, such as Qatar’s new property
law, would benefit the burgeoning expatriate population here, as well as foreign investors in the country, an expert in the real estate sector has said.
“The new property law is advantageous to both foreign investors and to expatriate residents in Qatar. It will also greatly contribute to the diversification of Qatar’s market which has always been a national priority,” hapondo co-founder Haajerah Khan told Gulf Times.
Khan’s statement was among the main points discussed during a recently-held webinar titled ‘Understanding Qatar’s New Property Law’, where she provided insight on the country’s real estate market, together with other speakers, Ahmad al-Khanji, also a co-founder of hapondo, and Jeffrey Asselstine, managing director of NelsonPark Property.
Asked about key takeaways from the forum, al-Khanji said: “Qatar has new law for foreigners to own and invest in properties either as leasehold of 99 years or freehold, depending on the location.”
According to al-Khanji, the investment size determines the residency benefits where QR3.65mn provides a residency with the benefits of a permanent residency, such as healthcare and education for the family, while a QR730,000 investment provides a normal residency.
“Furthermore, new areas are added such as Dafna, which was an area that was only for Qataris previously,” al-Khanji pointed out.
“The key points are that there are now two classes of property investment that qualifies an individual to receive a Residency Permit (RP) based on property ownership. The first is a property valued at QR730,000, which entitles the owner of the property to a RP with the normal benefits in Qatar of a residency permit,” Asselstine explained.
“However, if an individual purchases a property valued at more than QR3.65mn he or she will not only be entitled to an RP, but will also have the benefits of permanent residency including, healthcare, education, and investment in selected industries (to be defined). The second main point is that there are a number of areas that have been designated as available for purchase by expatriates on either a freehold or leasehold basis,” he continued.
Al-Khanji also stressed that the new property law would provide advantages to businesses operating in Qatar and to potential or existing investors looking to expand their footprint in the country.
“This law provides potential markets and stability for foreign investors and local residence who would like to expand their investment and promote their residency. Other than attracting foreign direct investment, foreign residence can own properties in location preferred to them rather than be limited to few areas,” al-Khanji emphasised.
Asselstine added: "It also provides a larger selection of properties to be invested in, including more areas with freehold ownership. This sends a very clear signal to the market that Qatar is very interested in foreign direct investment into the country and providing owners with confidence that their residency in the country will be secured through property ownership.”