The knowledge-based economy is built on four pillars: human capital; digital infrastructure; an enabling regulatory environment; and a critical mass of existing innovation hubs and clusters. Qatar has worked hard to set these up and create an economy that is capable of growing the industries of tomorrow.
Qatar sits in the heart of the Gulf with access to GCC and the wider Middle East, and over 60% of the world‘s population within eight hours fly-time and five days sailing time. Qatar Free Zones connects our investors to key global markets and supply chains through Qatar’s award-winning air and seaports, which are both on the doorstep of our Free Zones.
Qatar’s innovation hubs and sector clusters have reached the critical mass needed for the world’s leading tech companies to see the growth opportunities their services can bring to our market.
This has been delivered through a plethora of initiatives underway in the Free Zones, like our recent partnership with Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), an organization that is focused on plugging SMEs into business and research opportunities.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications established Qatar Smart Nation (TAMSU), a US $1.6 billion initiative launched in 2017 to turn Doha into one of the world’s most digitally enabled cities.
The digital infrastructure required by the world’s premier tech companies needs to be of the highest standard. Companies like Google and Microsoft are setting up operations in the Free Zones precisely because we have the digital infrastructure they need, and Qatar’s ICT sector is a market that can support their growth.
Qatar’s early and rapid adoption of 5G network technology, with coverage behind only South Korea in global ranking, makes Qatar an attractive proposition for companies seeking to harness the benefits of 5G which has applications well beyond the tech sector.
An educated and skilled population provides companies with the skilled labour they need to run their business, which is why Qatar has focused intensively on making sure its people and labour market are equipped to lead the Middle East’s 4th industrial revolution.
Qatar is partnering with some of the world’s leading educational institutions to bring their campuses here. Qatar is now one of the region’s foremost contributors to research and development. In 2018, Qatar generated 1.5 citable academic articles per 1,000 people, more than double the number of any other Gulf state.
Qatar is also keen to be able to attract the best talent from across the world. To do this you need to be able offer more than just exciting work with a great salary, you need to offer a decent quality of life. Doha is a truly global city with everything anyone might need to set up home here from anywhere in the world. The Expat Insider survey from InterNations ranked Qatar as the 18th best place for expats and our rank has been improving rapidly: rising 20 places in 2019 and up 42 places since 2016 – the most improved of any country globally.
QFZA has worked extremely hard with the government of Qatar to make sure regulations are not barriers to entry, but enablers that will bring in the companies and industries we know will succeed here.
Beyond all the usual benefits offered by Free Zones across the globe like 100% foreign ownership and extremely competitive tax incentives, the Qatar Free Zones Authority is here to work between government and investors to ensure that we create the regulatory environment needed for businesses and sectors to thrive.
Our regulations team worked with Google Cloud to make sure our data protection and IP laws were aligned with global best practices so they can set up their operations in Zones. Whatever a business’ specific needs, we are here to make sure that our regulatory framework adapts to enable investors to take advantage of the opportunities offered by our Free Zones.