Qatar - Country Commercial Guide
Market Entry Strategy

Generalizes on the best strategy to enter the market, e.g., visiting the country; importance of relationships to finding a good partner; use of agents.

Last published date: 2020-11-17

If you are a new-to-export company, contact your local U.S. Commercial Service office first for free export counseling and a balanced assessment of your company’s potential for success overseas, including in Qatar. 

Come visit:  As in many Middle Eastern countries, personal engagement with potential agents and partners is key to successfully conducting business in Qatar. Before booking travel, please confirm you meet entry requirements with the Qatari government, particularly given strict testing, quarantine, and pre-arrival entry permit requirements due to Covid-19.

Get a lawyer:  Acquiring good legal representation in Qatar is an important first step to entering the market.  Hiring a lawyer is especially important before concluding commercial agreements to ensure U.S. businesses have the necessary legal protections. Occasionally, American firms report difficulties, including delayed payments with their local business partners once their company starts making a profit.  The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of law firms currently operating in Qatar.

Feasibility study:  U.S. firms already established in the market recommend that new entrants carefully conduct a feasibility study.  This study should be based on factors such as existing competition, market channels and local tastes.  The Commercial Service offers various industry market research reports, as well as Customized Market Research that can form a strong basis for a viable feasibility study.  Please contact the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy in Doha for more information.

Vet partners:  The Commercial Section at the U.S. Embassy offers several services to help you thoroughly vet and identify prospective Qatari business partners.  These services include the International Company Profile, the International Partner Search, and the Gold Key Service.  These services are described here in more detail: U.S. Commercial Service Qatar.

Maintain independence:  Having a reliable local partner can mean the difference between success and failure in Qatar. While local partners are an indispensable part of a market entry strategy, U.S. firms should be sure to check with subject matter experts locally on specific and technical areas that may be outside the local partner’s area of expertise.

Adapt: Successful U.S., European, and other foreign companies understand that doing business internationally always creates challenges and doing business in Qatar is no exception.  Learn to live with new procedures and laws by injecting a healthy dose of flexibility into your business plan.  The Commercial Service suggests U.S. firms insist on payment by letter of credit to avoid costly payment delays.

Resources

Telecommunications

Ooredoo Group

Ooredoo Group is one of the world’s largest mobile telecommunication companies, with a customer base of 115 million across 10 countries, including: Algeria (33% of the market), Indonesia (22%), Iraq (37%), Kuwait (32%), Myanmar (18%), the Maldives (50%), Oman (43%), the West Bank and Gaza (30%), and Tunisia (41%).  Over two thirds of Qatari residents use Ooredoo.  Ooredoo Group is 68% owned by the GoQ, with the remaining share listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. 

Vodafone

Vodafone Global Enterprise division provides telecommunications and IT services to multinational corporate clients in over 65 countries, partly owned by the Qatar Foundation.

Transportation

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar. Headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha, it operates a hub-and-spoke network, linking over 100 international destinations from its base in Doha, using a fleet of over 100 aircraft.

Hamad International Airport

Formerly known as New Doha International Airport (NDIA), the airport opened on April 30, 2014. It has become a major international gateway to the region, and is currently undergoing a major expansion.

Mowasalat

Mowasalat, popularly known as the “The Transport Company” in Qatar, started its activities by providing land transport services and solutions in October 2004.

Utilities

Kahramaa

Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation “Kahramaa” is the sole transmission and distribution system owner and operator (TDSOO) for the electricity and water sector in Qatar.

Bilateral Business Councils

American Arab Chamber of Commerce

12740 West Warren, Suite 101

Dearborn, MI 48126 USA

Phone: (313) 945-1700

Fax: (313) 945-6697

Contact:  Fay Beydoun, Executive Director

Email: faybeydoun@americanarab.com

 

U.S.-Qatar Business Council

1341 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 4A

Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 457-8555

Fax: (202) 457-1919

Contact: Ambassador Anne W. Patterson

Email: programs@usqbc.org

 

National U.S. -Arab Chamber of Commerce

Main Office – Washington, D.C.:

1023 15th Street, N.W., Suite 400

Washington, DC 20005

Phone:  (202) 289-5920

Fax:  (202) 289-5938

 

President: Mr. David Hamod

Email:   INFO@NUSACC.ORG

Houston Office:

1330 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 1600

Houston, TX 77056

Phone: (713) 963-4620 

Fax: (713) 963-4609

Contact: Ms. Rand Zalzala

E-mail: rzalzalah@nusacc.org

 

New York Office:

420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 2034

New York, NY 10170

Tel: (212) 986-8024

Fax: (212) 986-0216

Contact: Mr. Gilbert Hage

E-mail: ghage@nusacc.org

 

Los Angeles Office:

8921 S. Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 206

Los Angeles, CA 90045

Phone: (310) 646-1499

Fax: (310) 646-2462

E-mail: eatallah@nusacc.org

 

Bilateral U.S. Arab Chamber of Commerce

5721 Memorial Dr. Suite 206

Houston, TX US 77007

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 571870

Houston, TX US 77257-1870

Phone: 713-880-8168

Fax: 713-880-8278

Contact: Aida Araissi, Founder and Managing Director

Email: info@arabuschamber.org, aida@bilateralchamber.org

 

Washington Contact Information

Trade Assistance and Promotion Office (TAPO)

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Ag Box 1052

1400 Independence Ave., S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20250

Tel: 202-720-7420

Fax: 202-690-4374

 

Country Trade or Industry Associations in Key Sectors

American Chamber of Commerce Qatar

The Gate Mall, Doha, Qatar

Tel: +974 4496-819

Contact: Lisa Saad

Email: lisa.saad@amchamqatar.org

 

Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry (QCCI, includes International Chamber of Commerce)

P.O. Box 402, Doha, Qatar

Tel: (+974) 4455 9111

Fax:  (+974) 4466 1693; 4466 1728

Contact:  Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman

Email:  info@qcci.org, qcci@qatar.net.qa

 

Qatari Businessmen Association

P.O. Box 24475, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel:  (+974) 4435 3120

Fax:  (+974) 4435 3834 / 4435 3847

Contact:  Sheikh Faisal Bin Qasim Al Thani, Chairman

Email:  qba@qataribusinessmen.org

 

Country Government Offices Relating to Key Sectors and/or Significant Trade Related Activities

General Authority of Customs

P.O. Box 81, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel:  (+974) 4445 7457

Fax:  (+974) 4441 4959

Email:  questions@customs.gov.qa

 

Civil Aviation Authority

P.O. Box 3000, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel:  (+974) 4455 7333

Fax:  (+974) 4455 7105

Email:  info@caa.gov.qa

 

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

P.O. Box 1968, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel:  (+974) 4494 5001, 4494 5555

Fax:  (+974) 4494 5000

Ministry of Finance

P.O. Box 83, Doha, State of Qatar

Phone:  (974) 4441 3300/3131

Fax:  (+974) 4443 1177 / 4443 5370

Qatar Petroleum

P.O. Box 3212, Doha, State of Qatar

Phone:  (+974) 4484 6444 / 4449 1444

Fax:  (+974) 4483 2024

 

Government Communications Office

Council of Ministers, Corniche Street P.O. Box 636 Doha, Qatar

Email: media@gco.gov.qa

Ministry of Interior

P.O. Box 2433, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel:  (+974) 4434 8070 / 4434 8888 

Fax:  (+974) 4472 7828 

Email: info@moi.gov.qa

 

Ministry of Transportation and Communications

P.O. Box 22332, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel:  (+974) 40451111

Fax:  (+974) 4499 4655

Email: info@motc.gov.qa

Ministry of Municipality and Environment

P.O. Box 1966, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel:  (+974) 4449 2666

Fax:  (+974) 4432 2002

Ministry of Public Health

P.O. Box 42, Doha, Qatar

Tel: (+974) 4407 0000

Email: info@moph.gov.qa

 

Government and Quasi-Government Organizations

Hamad General Hospital, A member of Hamad Medical Corporation

P.O. Box 3050, Doha, State of Qatar

Phone:  (+974) 4439 4444

Fax:  (974) 4439 1118

 

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development

P.O. Box 5825, Doha, State of Qatar

Phone:  (+974) 4454 0000

Fax:  (+974) 4480 6117

Email:  info@qf.org.qa

Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa)

P.O. Box 41

Doha, State of Qatar

Phone:  (+974) 4484 5555

Fax:  (+974) 4484 5496

Email: pof@km.com.qa

 

Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC)

P.O. Box 22046

Doha, State of Qatar

Phone:  (+974) 4485 8585

Fax:  (+974) 4483 1116

Email: Welcome@qewc.com

 

Ooredoo Group

P.O. Box 217

Doha, State of Qatar

Phone:  (+974) 4440 0400

Fax: (+974) 4447 6231

Email:  investor@ooredoo.qa