IPA Qatar, EY first real estate report uncovers investment opportunities and promising growth

Topics: Real estate

19 September 2022, Doha – Qatar: The Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar), in collaboration with teams of EY, a global professional services company, launched “Qatar’s Real Estate Market Outlook - Building the Future” report, today, underlining the growth prospects of the sector. The report provides a thorough overview of the sector developments, highlighting different investment opportunities across all types of real estate, spanning commercial, residential, and retail.

Showcasing the real estate growth potential, the report identifies the country’s legislative reforms, coupled with the significant investments in infrastructure and a positive economic outlook, as key drivers to unlock further business opportunities. Over the past few years, Qatar has made major strides in liberalising real estate rules, and enabling foreign ownership, to stimulate its sector’s growth. Complementing these national efforts and initiatives, the IPA Qatar-EY joint report represents a full guide for investors looking to tap into the growing real estate market by identifying the various investment opportunities and the process of applying for real estate ownership.

Residential demand, backed by the enactment of real estate sector laws for foreign investors, Qatar’s hosting of mega-events, and the growing expatriate population, are poised to maintain an upward trend. Additionally, the report notes the substantial 6.9% supply growth between 2010-2020 and the latest government reforms, in relation to freehold areas, allowing foreign investors the unique opportunity to obtain residency permits, will serve as key catalysts to further improve the residential transaction volumes and occupancy.

On the commercial front, the report identifies the promise of the office sector as economic activity picks up, while the various regulatory and fiscal incentives, offered by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), Qatar Finical Centre, Qatar Free Zones Authority, and Qatar Science and Technology Park, will continue to stimulate the sector’s growth prospects.

Similarly, retail real estate is also projected to continue attracting demand, especially for destination and entertainment-focused retail developments. The sector witnessed significant growth in the last four years, and more opportunities have been emerging, especially with the upcoming mega events of the World Cup (2022), Formula 1 (10-year deal starting 2023), FINA World Championships (2023), and Asian games (2030).

Spearheading an ESG-focused development vision across all sectors, Qatar has made significant strides in fostering an eco-friendly real estate sector and introducing innovative concepts to reduce its carbon footprint. The State is playing an active role in transforming its building standards toward higher sustainability levels by adopting the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) standards. Two of the key landmarks planning, to name a few, have been Lusail and Msheireb Downtown development. The first includes all the features of a sustainable city, from the pneumatic waste collection, sewage treatment plant, and district cooling, to centralised facilities, and GSAS. Whereas Msheireb is the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project.

A vibrant sector

Real estate has been one of the key areas spearheading the march of Qatar to a non-fossil fuel-based economic development model. Qatar’s real estate sector growth is driven by a number of factors, including high GDP growth and influx of population, accompanied by employment opportunities and favourable government policies. The potential of the market has been further expanded following the investment in construction projects worth $250bn and the Council of Ministers’ Decision No. (28) of 2020 on the conditions, controls, benefits, and procedures for ownership and use of real estate in the country. Through this decision, the Qatari government introduced unprecedented new property ownership reforms that provide non-Qataris the eligibility to own property and invest in the real estate sector for the first time. Some of the benefits granted to real estate investors are permanent residency, which provides benefits such as free health care, education/tuition, and the ability to invest in certain commercial activities. In September 2022, the Government of Qatar approved the establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority which will be responsible for preparing a national plan for organising and stimulating the real estate sector. Such government policies have been enacted to grow and strengthen Qatar's economic development and develop the real estate sector.

Download: Qatar’s Real Estate Market Outlook - Building the Future

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