Qatar

Gas-rich Qatar has flung open its property market to foreigners

PHOTO: Well-heeled individuals are being invited to consider investing in Qatar’s glistening seaside tower blocks on Doha’s man-made Pearl island or the brand new Lusail city project that flanks a World Cup stadium

Gas-rich Qatar has flung open its property market to foreigners, with a scheme giving those purchasing homes or stores the right to call the Gulf nation home.

The scheme, announced in September, is the latest in a series of measures designed to diversify Qatar’s economy away from fossil fuel dependency and attract foreign capital ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Well-heeled individuals are being invited to consider the glistening seaside tower blocks of Doha’s man-made Pearl island or the brand new Lusail city project that flanks a World Cup stadium. Retail units in malls also qualify buyers for residency.

The reforms could also help soak up an oversupply of units, which has left gleaming towers half-empty and seen prices drop by almost a third since 2016, according to consultancy ValuStrat’s Price Index for residential property.

Previously, investors needed sponsorship from a Qatari business or individual for residency, but now a $200,000 property purchase secures temporary residency for the term of ownership. A $1 million purchase buys the benefits of permanent residency, including free schools and healthcare.

“The reason I didn’t buy earlier was that there was so much grey area,” said marketing director Tina Chadda, a Kenyan who has lived in Qatar for 15 years.

Now she is looking for “a property to live in which I can use to get permanent residency”.

READ MORE VIA THE DAILY MAIL

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