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Qatar: New Cabinet Resolution Regulating Real Estate Ownership by Foreign Nationals

(Jan. 5, 2021) On October 6, 2020, Qatar’s Ministry of Justice announced the establishment of the Office for Non-Qatari Real Estate Ownership. The main objective of this office is to provide foreign nationals who want to reside or invest in the state of Qatar with all the necessary requirements for the purchase and sale of real estate, including residential units and offices. The office was established according to Cabinet Resolution No. 28 of 2020.

Qatar’s cabinet issued the resolution, which regulates the conditions of real estate ownership by foreigners, on August 30, 2020. The resolution identifies areas in Qatar where foreign nationals may own or rent land.

The resolution grants foreign nationals the right to own a detached unit in a residential complex while owning a second detached unit (an office or a shop) in a commercial mall, provided that the owner does not modify the nature, shape or appearance of either unit.

Under the resolution, foreigners who own real estate in Qatar have the right to sell it or rent it without any restrictions. Foreign nationals who purchase land must finish building on it within four years from the date of registering the land under their names. Foreigners who are interested in residing or investing in Qatar must submit their request to own real estate to the Office for Non-Qatari Real Estate Ownership, located at the Ministry of Justice.

The resolution also grants permanent residency to foreigners who own or rent real estate, provided they stay in the country 90 days per year. Residency will be granted to foreigners once they have completed the purchase or rental of real estate in Qatar. Owners or renters of property worth at least QR730,000 (about US$200,000) will obtain residency permits for themselves and their families. Foreigners who own or rent Qatar real estate worth at least QR1 million (about US$274,725) will receive permanent residency benefits, including free health care and free education, for themselves and their children.

Foreigners have a right to own real estate in nine locations in Qatar listed in the resolution. A foreigner has the right to rent Qatari real estate in 16 locations identified in the resolution for a period of 99 years.

Minister of Justice Issa bin Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi commented that the resolution and the establishment of an office for real estate ownership by foreign nationals support the government’s plans for economic diversification to help achieve the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. Additionally, the Ministry of Justice’s announcement noted that Qatar’s decision to facilitate real estate ownership by foreigners would contribute to the advancement of the country’s real estate market.