Qatar makes push to attract investors, offering residency permits

Qatar has launched a new office in its newly developed Lusail City to facilitate foreign investors in buying real estate that would in turn pave the way for long term residency in the Gulf State.

The Qatari ministries of interior and justice jointly launched the office on April 5 that will not only guide buyers on what properties, commercial or residential, would work out as best investments for them, but it will also fast track the entire process. According to official government statement, if the foreign investor meets all the requirements, the title deed for the property can be obtained within the hour.

Foreign investors who buy property worth at least $200,000 in Lusail City would be entitled to residence permits for themselves and their families for the entire duration they own the title. If the property is worth at least $1 million then aside from getting permanent residencies for themselves and their families, the foreign investors would be eligible for health and education benefits at state facilities; they would also be allowed to invest in other commercial activities in the country.

Qatar has been taking steps to diversify its oil-and-gas based economy and providing foreign investors with options to live long term in the country is part of those objectives. Qatari Cabinet passed a law in 2020 that allowed non-citizens to own real estate in the country, giving them the right to sell or put it on lease while also getting residence permits in the process. The Office for Non-Qatari Real Estate Ownership was established under the Qatari Ministry of Justice for this specific purpose. The Lusail City office is the latest outlet under this government framework; a similar office was opened in Doha city’s Pearl Qatar district previously.

According to the 2020 law, foreign investors who gain permanent residency by investing in real estate are required to stay in the country for at least 90 days per year. The law specifies 9 locations in the country where investors can buy real estate while it also lists 16 locations where one can rent out properties for 99 years.   

Lusail City is considered one of the hot destinations in the property market of Qatar. Billions have been spent on its development already while work continues in this city, which was built and planned from scratch in anticipation of the FIFA World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in the country in 2022. 

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