In 2006 Links Group expanded to Qatar, as market entry was the next logical step following Dubai given the fast pace at which the market was evolving.
With one of the most promising project markets and under the pressure of an immovable deadline to be ready for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the country is currently in the midst of a construction boom and taking great strides to attract foreign investment and expertise to support its economic diversification in accordance with its National Vision 2030 economic strategy. Consequently, much effort is being made to reduce its reliance on revenue generated from the oil and gas sector.
In Qatar, most foreign companies require a Qatari national to hold a minimum of 51 per cent share in the Qatari entity. Establishing a commercial presence through the implementation of the corporate nominee partnership structure for onshore trade licenses, as pioneered by Links Group, keeps businesses’ ownership protected, succession planning clear, and its 49 per cent shareholding secure through the establishment of an offshore entity.
For foreign companies looking to enter the region, mitigating risk and maximising protection of assets is the first challenge and should be the priority for their legal counsel. They need to understand where the business intends to operate, expansion plans and ultimately exit plans to guide them through the best structure and statutory requirements needed for company incorporation.
As the country’s legislative environment becomes more efficient and aligned with international arbitration standards, we expect investment flow into the country will gather significant momentum over the next few years. With its pro-business environment, fast-growing economy and geographical proximity to the rest of the world, Qatar presents attractive opportunities for businesses wanting to stimulate their home markets.