Qatar - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques

Identifies common practices to be aware of when selling in this market, e.g., whether all sales material need to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2020-11-17

U.S. suppliers should emphasize the competitive price, high quality and, if applicable, the new-to-market status of their products.  Initial face-to-face contact with importers will significantly increase a company’s business prospects. Qatari companies distributing foreign products usually request marketing and advertising assistance from the principals to introduce a new product to the market or to improve sales of existing products.

Trade Promotion & Advertising

Many advertising practices and strategies used by U.S. companies are familiar to Qatari firms.  The most common forms of advertising are media announcements, billboards, and flyers.  Local distributors generally develop advertising strategies in coordination with their principals.  Several private advertising firms are equipped to handle promotional activities.

Most newspapers in Qatar, including five Arabic and three English dailies, have a large readership.  These include the following:

Arabic:

Al-Sharq

P.O. Box 3488, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel: (+974) 44557780

Fax: (+974) 44557864

Email:  adv@al-sharq.com

 

Al-Watan

P.O. Box 22345, Doha, State of Qatar,

Tel: (+974)  40002121

Fax:  (+974) 40002230

Email:   alwatan@qatar.net.qa

 

Al-Raya

P.O. Box 533, Doha, State of Qatar, Office of the Editorial President

Tel:  (+974) 44466566 or 4437 1353

Fax: (+974) 4435 0476

Email: Editor@raya.com

 

Al-Arab

P.O. Box 22612, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel: (+974) 4499 7333

Email: alarab@alarab.qa

 

Lusail

P.O. Box 559, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel: (+974) 44627575

Fax: (+974) 44627576

Email: lusail@lusailnews.qa

 

English:

Gulf Times

P.O. Box 533, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel:  (+974) 4435 0478(News) 4446 6404(Sports)

4446 6609(Advertising) 4 44411300(Home delivery)

Fax:  (+974) 4435 0474(Editorial) 44418811(Advertising)

Email: editor@gulf-times.com,

The Peninsula

P.O. Box 3488, D-Ring Road Doha, State of Qatar

Editorial:
Tel: (+974) 4455 7739/41/47/48
Fax: (+974) 4455 7746
E-mail: editor@pen.com.qa

Advertising:

Tel: (+974) 4455 7837 or (+974) 4455 7852 or (+974) 4455 7780
Fax: (+974) 4455 7870 or (+974) 4455 7898
E-mail: adv@pen.com.qa

PenMag:
Tel: (+974) 4455 7837 or (+974) 4455 7780
Fax: (+974) 4455 7870 or (+974) 4455 7898
E-mail: penmag@pen.com.qa

Classifieds:
Tel: (+974) 4455 7857
E-mail: adv@pen.com.qa

Subscriptions / Home Delivery
Tel: (+974) 4455 7809/810
Fax: (+974) 4455 7819
E-mail: distribution@pen.com.qa  / distribution@al-sharq.com

Public Relations
Tel: (+974) 4455 7728/52
Fax: (+974) 4455 7758
E-mail: pr@pen.com.qa

Qatar Tribune

 P.O. Box 23493, Doha, State of Qatar

Tel:  (+974) 4442 2077/4466 6810/ 4455 4333

Fax:  (+974) 4441 6790

Email: editor@qatar-tribune.com

Al Rayyan Satellite Channel is a diversified channel operated by Al Rayyan Media and Marketing. The channel targets the Qatari audience.  Al Rayyan is as a familiar news service at the national and regional levels.  

General Enquiries: +974 44240515
Advertising and Marketing: +974 44240271 / +974 44243160
Fax Nos.: +974 44413311 / +974 44245794

Email: advertising.marketing@alrayyan.qa

Qatar Broadcasting Service (QBS) / Qatar News Agency

 P.O. Box 1414, Doha, State of Qatar,

Tel:  (+974) 4489 4444, Fax:  (+974) 4487 0712

The state-owned Qatar Radio and Television Corporation operates Qatar Television (QTV) and the radio station Qatar Broadcasting Service (QBS). QTV, comprising Arabic and English channels, broadcasts pre-recorded commercials. QBS also carries advertisements.

Aljazeera Network encompasses Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel with a number of operational channels:  Al-Jazeera Live, Al-Jazeera, and Al-Jazeera Documentary,

P.O. Box 23123, Doha, Tel: (+974) 40158585
Email:  advertising@aljazeera.net

The locally operated pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera receives some public funding but is independently owned and operated.  It also broadcasts advertising for local and regional companies and products. The Al-Jazeera network of channels is carried by Qatar’s satellites, Es’hailSat 1 and 2. 

Al-Jazeera is an excellent means of promotion and advertising, as it broadcasts to more than 310 million households in more than 100 countries, with extensive coverage across the Middle East and North Africa, especially.  Aljazeera.net is the most visited website in the Arab world and one of top 200 most visited websites in the world.

Pricing

There is a large variety of local and foreign products in the Qatari market.  Local consumers are very price conscious and actively seek out sales and promotions.  Local distributors of international products often engage in promotions in order to attract consumers and gain market share.  U.S. firms should work closely with their local distributor in order to determine appropriate pricing strategies.

There is currently no value-added tax (VAT) or sales tax in Qatar.  However, the government is considering introducing a 5% VAT at some point in the next 2-3 years.

The average importer markup on food products is 10-15%.  Retail food prices are generally 25-30% above import prices.

Sales Service/Customer Support

Post-sales service and customer support is considered the responsibility of the local distributor or agent.  Since a Qatari entity must obtain a license for all imports, local firms generally maintain a supply of spare parts for distributed products.  Local distributors may also establish workshops for after-sales support, as appropriate.  Foreign principals often provide regional and international training for technical support staff.

Local Professional Services

Auditing Firms

Freight Forwarding and Courier Services

Hotels

Major Hotel Chains in Qatar:

Insurance Companies

Local Attorney List

Please refer to the U.S. Embassy in Doha for a list of local attorneys.

Telecommunications

Principal Business Associations

The American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar is the first legally established foreign Chamber of Commerce in Qatar. AmCham Qatar was first launched February 2010 and is registered as a private institution for public benefit.  AmCham Qatar is a non-profit, non-governmental, and non-political organization dedicated to fostering cooperation and understanding between Qatar and the United States through trade, commerce, and investment. Its main objectives are to:

  • Promote the expansion of trade and investment between the United States and Qatar
  • Serve as a forum in which American businesspeople in Qatar can identify, discuss and pursue common commercial interests
  • Work with organizations in Qatar and internationally on matters of mutual interest
  • Serve as a conduit of information to the governments and publics of the United States and Qatar concerning the improvement of business conditions
  • Maintain relations with chambers of commerce in the United States and other chambers of commerce or commercial organizations
  • Contribute to the development of a vibrant private sector in Qatar and uphold the highest standards of corporate and commercial practice.

The Qatari Businessmen Association is a prominent local business organization, formed in 2010, that leads to connect the State of Qatar’s strategic plans with the Qatari private sector leaders and activities.

The Qatar Chamber is one of the oldest chambers in the GCC countries, established in 1963. Its main role is to organize business interests and represent the Qatari private sector locally and globally, as well as support the country’s economic actors and productivity.

The US-Qatar Business Council is a bilaterally focused entity that develops, supports, and advances the bilateral relationship between the United States and Qatar, with an interest in political, business, cultural, and security relations.

Contact the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy.