Free Zones

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Free Zone

With Qatar Increasingly becoming one of the most lucrative places to establish a company globally, more and more savvy business owners are bringing attractive foreign investments into the State.

In many parts of Qatar, to operate locally, incorporation will require you to have a local Qatari partner who will hold 51% of the company shares. However, in recent years, Qatar has been developing Free Zones to further attract foreign direct investment in strategically important fields.

To that end, the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) was created as an independent authority in 2018 to oversee and regulate world-class free zones in Qatar, offering outstanding opportunities and benefits for businesses seeking to expand globally.

Frequently asked questions

1. Can I purchase land or buildings in the free zone?

The land and buildings are currently available for lease only.

2. How much will it cost to rent land/buildings/office space in the free zone?
Rates are regionally competitive. Specific pricing arrangements will be determined based on your land use and specific utility and location requirements which will be discussed during the application process.
3. Are the free zones customs duty-free?

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.

Ras Bufontas

Given its proximity to Hamad Airport, the Middle East’s “Best Airport of the Year”, industries based in Ras Bufontas Free Zone can benefit from unrivaled access to reliable air transportation services.

In addition to industrial infrastructure, Ras Bufontas has also been seamlessly integrated with urban elements to make the zone an enjoyable living environment. Residents of the free zones will have access to housing accommodation, retail stores, parks, mosques, health clinics, and more. For ease of transportation, there is a metro system, bus routes, and plenty of walking and cycling paths. Furthermore, the capital city of Doha is located only 20-minute away by car from the zone, providing access to a variety of exciting things to see and do.

RasBufontas

Umm Alhoul

Umm Alhoul Free Zone is directly adjacent to Hamad Port, the world’s largest greenfield port, providing an optimal location for industries that require access to sea freight and shipping routes.

Umm Alhoul Free Zone offers a wealth of resources and connectivity, already capturing 27% of trade in the GCC region. Invest here to improve your global supply chain. Recommended industries include maritime industries, polymers and plastics, advanced manufacturing, and logistics.

You can also take advantage of Marsa (Arabic for “anchor”), the new marine cluster located within Um Alhoul. This maritime industry and leisure ecosystem are ideal for maritime industries as a logistics hub. Recommended industries in this zone include heavy manufacturing, emerging technologies, and industrial sectors.

In addition to industrial infrastructure, both zones have been seamlessly integrated with urban elements to make the zone an enjoyable living environment. Residents of the free zones will have access to housing accommodation, retail stores, parks, mosques, health clinics, and more. For ease of transportation, there is a metro system, bus routes, and plenty of walking and cycling paths.

Qatar Science and Technology Park: QSTP

The QSTP is a state-of-the-art business park where technology-based firms thrive (that is, the Innovation Centre, Tech Buildings, Single User Buildings, etc).

QSTP is a high-tech business park that offers state-of-the-art offices and facilities specifically designed for technology-based companies.

Companies can lease premises in our multi-occupancy buildings, or commission their buildings for design and build by QSTP.

QSTP’s rental charges are competitive with ordinary commercial properties in Doha, despite the technology and laboratory-grade specification of its buildings and infrastructure.

QSTP portfolio includes the Innovation Centre, Tech Buildings, and Single User Buildings.

QSTP-A

Qatar Financial Centre: QFC

Whilst technically not a Free Zone (as corporation tax is payable on locally sourced profits) the Qatar Financial Centre was one of the first jurisdictions in Qatar to offer 100% foreign ownership, and it’s not only financial companies that can benefit.  The Qatar Financial Centre  boasts of a global financial hub that offers opportunities for international and domestic financial service providers. Ideally located, the Qatar Financial Centre is split into two areas, regulated and non-regulated activities, dedicated to uplift the finance sector and professional services sectors in Qatar that would ultimately boost the nation’s growth.

Free Zones Benefits

Operating within a free zone can offer several benefits to businesses looking to expand within Qatar and the Middle East.

Networking

Networking

Companies that operate within a free zone are often grouped within specialised areas. This allows them to grow within a community of like-minded organisations, learning from one another and creating a network of contacts within the industry.
Facilities

Facilities

With their focus on specific sectors, free zones can also offer companies dedicated to research and innovation facilities essential to both their operation and growth.
Base of Operations

Base of Operations

Operating within a free zone in Qatar provides foreign investors access to nearby markets across the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. Depending on the free zone, companies may also be able to benefit from access to state-of-the-art infrastructure at the airport and seaport zones.
Set-up

Set-up

Starting a business within a free zone can be quicker than setting up elsewhere in Qatar, typically with less paperwork involved.
Independent Legal Framework

Independent Legal Framework

Free zones have their own independent legal framework, which for the most part is based on English common law. That means, free zone companies are under the jurisdiction of the free zone authority, which can provide extensive benefits to the way they do business.

The above information provides an overview as to the Freezone options available in Qatar. If you would like to learn more and would like assistance and guidance into the process of establishing within one of the Qatar Freezones, please contact us here.

Thinking about starting a business in one of Qatar’s Free Zones? Get in touch with us today.

Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation
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For foreign investors doing business in Qatar, professional PRO services are absolutely essential. What are PRO services exactly? Find out more.

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