Doing Business in Qatar
With a population mainly consisting of expats, the protocols for doing business in Qatar often depend on who is being dealt with.
Expats will mostly be working with other foreigners, but their senior associates are more likely to come from Qatar and other Gulf states.
Qatar ranks 83rd out of 189 countries in The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey for 2017. Qatar was ranked as the easiest country in the world to pay taxes, and also fared well in the categories of dealing with construction permits (21st), registering property (26th) and getting credit (44th). Conversely, Qatar fell short in areas such as getting credit (139th), protecting minority investors (183rd) and trading across borders (120th).
There are many opportunities in Qatar, but expats need to be properly prepared to succeed in a country where businesses either soar like skyscrapers or disappear into the desert. By familiarising themselves with Arabic business culture, Western expatriates give themselves a better chance at succeeding with sensitivity in a foreign business environment.
Usually 7.30am to 12pm and 3.30pm to 7pm, from Sunday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday are weekend days but this varies between businesses.
Business culture in Qatar
Personal relationships and networking
While some things might seem strange for expats from elsewhere, resisting the urge to get impatient is important. Long-term, personal business relationships in Qatar can certainly be worth the time and energy
Exchanging business cards when meeting associates for the first time is common. The reverse side of business cards should be printed in Arabic, and expats must spend some time examining someone else's card before putting it away.
Attitude to foreigners in Qatar
Dos and don'ts of doing business in Qatar
Do be respectful and observant of Islamic culture and traditions
Do look to cement long-term, personal relationships with your Qatari business associates
Do make an effort to engage with the culture – learn some Arabic words, and become educated about the religion
Don't be impatient, rude or aggressive – this kind of behaviour will alienate expats from the corporate culture in Qatar