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Can a foreigner buy property in Doha?

3 Mins read

Gas-rich Qatar has opened its property market to foreigners, with a scheme that allows people who buy houses or stores in the Gulf country to call it home. Many are looking for villas for sale in Qatar as the plan, launched in September, is the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at diversifying Qatar’s economy and attracting international investment ahead of the 2022 World Cup. The gleaming beachfront tower blocks of Doha’s man-made Pearl island or the brand new Lusail city project, which sides a World Cup stadium, are being offered to well-heeled individuals. 

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Buyers of retail spaces in malls are also eligible for residency. According to consultant ValuStrat’s Price Index for residential property, the measures could also help absorb an oversupply of apartments, which has left sparkling skyscrapers half-empty and seen prices plummet by nearly a third since 2016. Previously, investors need sponsorship from a Qatari company or individual to obtain residency, but today a £150,000 property purchase provides temporary residency for the duration of the ownership. The privileges of permanent residency, such as free schools and healthcare, are purchased for £750,000.

Foreigners can now house hunt for apartments for sale in Qatar in 25 districts , largely in and around Doha, nine of which are freehold and the rest of which are 99-year leasehold. Most Gulf countries have long relied on foreign skills and knowledge to translate their petrodollars into the region’s colossal cities, but they have rarely made it easy or inexpensive for foreigners to stay. Similar programmes exist in other parts of the Gulf, although at a far higher cost. Dubai provides a 10-year resident permit in exchange for a $2.7 million investment, with property accounting for 40% of the total. In various countries, so-called “golden visas” and investment passport schemes have come under fire for allegedly attracting corrupt persons and money laundering.

In the case of Qatar, it’s uncertain how appealing the tiny, ultra-conservative country will be to wealthy global purchasers, given its stringent restrictions on free expression and alcohol sales. A £150,000 investment gets you a 50-square-metre (540-square-foot) studio in Lusail’s new Fox Hills development north of Doha, while a £750,000 investment gets you a 330-square-metre three-bed seaview apartment in the Pearl. This is a significant shift in the Gulf emirate, where 90 percent of the 2.75 million residents are temporary foreign workers, largely working on tournament-related projects.

“However, Covid-19 actions have resulted in government and business sector layoffs, resulting in an indirect labour migration,” it stated. The policy shift comes at a time of political turmoil for Qatar, which is facing an economic and diplomatic boycott from its neighbours, which has stifled demand for Qatari real estate, as well as low oil prices, which have stifled pricing in other Gulf capitals. Foreigners already living in Qatar were expected to provide the majority of initial interest, rather than investors from other countries.

Hype around 2022

“The whole objective is to have expats and locals working together and attempting to promote a long-term view for Qatar,” one estate agent advertising the scheme to clients said. Experts believe that as the anticipation surrounding 2022 grows, demand will automatically climb. Residential property in Qatar has not been as heavily damaged by the new coronavirus pandemic as other real estate, according to a report released last month by auditor KPMG.

Where can foreigners buy property?

The Qatari government has been inspired by the country’s rapid progress to relax severe laws and regulations governing foreign ownership and investment, and legislation have been passed that allow foreigners to purchase property in Qatar. The Pearl, West Bay Lagoon, Lusail, and Al Khor are the primary freehold projects in Qatar, all of which include a variety of properties for sale.

Property for Sale in The Pearl: There are a variety of homes for sale in The Pearl, including studios, apartments, and villas, that are some of the most luxurious and grand in the country. The Pearl villas for sale are vast and luxurious, and they are among the most premium housing units in the country. If you want to live in a high-rise building, start your search by searching into Pearl apartments for sale.

West Bay Lagoon Properties for Sale: West Bay Lagoon is one of Doha’s most tranquil and quiet neighbourhoods. In West Bay Lagoon, you’ll find a variety of villas for sale, including independent stand-alone homes. There are a few apartments for sale in West Bay Lagoon as well, though they are not as prevalent.

Lusail Properties for Sale: Known as Qatar’s future metropolis, Lusail provides inhabitants with brand new flats for sale in a variety of districts. Lusail also has a variety of villas for sale, all of which are set on beautiful green grounds and are part of one of Qatar’s most current and contemporary construction projects.

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