Doing Business in Qatar

Symbols of successful business in Doha, Qatar. Photo  by Thomas GalvezWith the vast majority of the country's population consisting of foreign nationals, the customs and protocols for doing business in Qatar often depend on who expats deal with. It is probable though, that a lot of business will be done with fellow foreigners in a corporate environment that can seem strangely familiar.

The higher up the corporate ladder an expat climbs, however, the more likely it is to rub shoulders with Qatari nationals and business professionals from elsewhere in the Gulf. 

The World Bank ranks Qatar at 40th out of 183 countries in its 2013 Doing Business survey, making it an attractive proposition for foreign investment. The emirate was particularly praised for making it easier to trade across its borders. It has also been praised for the way in which it deals with construction permits, and is only ranked under the United Arab Emirates for making it easy to pay taxes. 

Starting a business in Qatar is fairly difficult, however, with the emirate ranked at a low 109th. There are many opportunities in Qatar, but business-minded expats need to be properly prepared to succeed in a country where businesses either soar like skyscrapers or disappear into the dunes.

This guide focuses on Arabic business culture, to prepare Western expats for succeeding with sensitivity in a foreign business environment.


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