Frequently Asked Questions
Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZ) is the organization responsible for the development and regulation of the free zones in Qatar. It was established in 2018 with a mandate to build world-class free zones to bring industry-leading companies to the zones that will contribute to Qatar’s continued economic growth and diversification.
QFZ operates through its own regulatory framework, granting companies streamlined access to markets in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Western Asia. The QFZ team has a very proactive investment attraction and business development ethos; its senior management is committed to attracting companies by connecting them with the growth opportunities available from the Qatar Free Zones. QFZ also facilitates a streamlined set-up process by providing company registrations, licensing, visas and a range of other services for companies to quickly start and maintain operations.
Qatar is forecast to be the fastest growing GCC economy in 2021 according to the World Bank, and has some of the world’s most exciting projects, including the FIFA 2022 World Cup and the North Field Expansion project which is significantly increasing Qatar’s natural gas output.
The nation ranks extremely high on a number of key metrics, including the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Competitiveness Report that scores Qatar:
Qatar’s systematic investment in its digital and physical infrastructure are some of the key reasons that are attracting the world’s leading companies to set up in Qatar Free Zones.
The free zones are directly connected to both Qatar’s award-winning air and seaports, providing our investors access to global markets and supply chains. Over 60% of the world’s population is within eight hours fly-time and five days sailing time from QFZ.
The free zones are also strategically located 20 minutes from Doha and approximately a one-hour drive from the Saudi border.
Our free zones provide streamlined access to both ports with no checks or barriers to access from the zones.
We are focused on certain key sectors where Qatar has a strong value proposition. Within these broad areas, we are focused on exciting opportunities in a range of key sectors.
QFZA legislation sets out the list of permitted activities for the Free Zones. The list of permitted activities is grouped in Sector Clusters as follows:
We have developed a clear approach and the supporting regulatory, physical and digital infrastructure to support the types of activities that attracting to the Free Zones. We are creating specialized areas within the zones for these sectors, providing a platform for like-minded organizations to explore the possibilities for joint research, development and partnerships.
Yes, 100% foreign ownership is one of many incentives we offer to investors.
No, there is no rule around employing a minimum number of local employees.
The free zones will give foreign companies a base from which to tailor their products and services for nearby markets across the Middle East, Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. The legal environment in Qatar’s free zones is based on a common law concept and is entirely under the jurisdiction of QFZ, providing a seamless environment to conduct business.
Moreover, companies operating in Qatar will benefit from 100% foreign ownership, renewable 20-year tax holidays – zero corporate tax, zero customs duty, and of course no personal income tax – and access to a skilled and flexible workforce under a permit regime directly managed by QFZ.
Additional benefits include:
We offer the following leasing options:
The land and buildings are lease-only.
We are focused on industries and companies that have the potential to contribute significantly to Qatar’s diversification and growth.
Companies or investors intending to secure pre-built units or land plots and locate a business in one of the free zones must demonstrate that the proposed business activities within the zone meet this requirement.
Potential free zone investors should also:
Rates are regionally competitive. Specific pricing arrangements will be determined based on your land requirements, specific utility and location requirements which will be determined during the application process.
Site visits can be arranged by your QFZ business development representative as part of the application process – please email us at email@example.com and we will tell you how we can support your expansion plans in the Middle East.
Yes, plots, units and offices are fully serviced. Electricity, water and sewage connections are installed throughout the zone and to the extremities of each plot.
Our digital infrastructure offers six-way telecommunications duct banks, redundancy networks, fully deployed 5G capabilities, and fiber-optic access points offering speeds of up to 1GBps.
If you are interested in establishing a business in the Free Zones the first step is to complete an online enquiry on our website at https://qfz.gov.qa/enquiry.
Once we receive your enquiry, you will be contacted by a member of our business development team to discuss your plans in more detail. QFZ will then determine if your proposed business plan is eligible for the free zones and, if so, will provide you with a formal application form to be submitted along with a license application fee.
For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, as a commitment to the ease of doing business, we provide a one-stop shop for investors, supporting you every step of the way.
A private account manager and onsite guidance will be assigned to guide you through the application, registration and licensing process to set-up your business alongside some of the world’s most recognizable company names.
Yes – residency, work and sponsorship visas are all easily obtained through our dedicated investor relations team who will support you with everything you need to get you and your team up and running as quickly as possible.
Yes, all goods required to conduct economic activity in the free zones can be brought into the free zones and stored, manufactured, produced or processed therein, and then re-exported without being subject to customs duties and without any time limitation. The only exception is goods sold on to Qatar’s local market, which will be subject to regular customs procedures.
QFZ will issue tenants with the relevant license according to the nature of their business. This license, along with the certificate of incorporate, will allow the company to register on the QFZ customs system and import and export as required.
Investors are free to use their own transport, or they may subcontract out the transportation requirements to a third party. The investor would need to be registered on the QFZ customs system and process the consignment on the system.
These would either need to be consigned separately or the investor may send the whole consignment to their QFZ entity, where it could then split and be shipped to the mainland. The mainland shipment would subject to standard duties.
While bank guarantees or deposits are not required, customs guarantees will require the submission of a letter of guarantee to QFZ.
The security of our investors and their employees is a top priority. All staff and vehicles need to be registered to secure access to the free zones. A full security access policy will be shared with investors once their license is issued.
Yes. Tenants can construct a warehouse with offices or choose to lease one of the QFZ pre-built units that incorporate both warehousing space and offices.
All investors are required to insure inventory and also are required to have a minimum QAR 20m third party policy.
Depending on the type of goods or project, the investor may need to obtain environmental approval from QFZ. Our dedicated team will assist with the relevant approvals that will be required.