Qatar, as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, benefiting from a common market with other Gulf states, attracts a number of our clients. The country boasts an abundance of natural gas, as well as sizeable oil reserves. The Qatari government remains popular, thanks to impressive GDP per capita, combined with universal state benefits without any taxation.

We keep our clients informed of the latest market moves and political developments in Qatar, as part of our 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' perspective. Clients also benefit from in-depth analysis on 18 of Qatar’s most important industries. We provide interactive data and forecasting alongside detailed and risk-assessed analysis from our results-proven research teams. Our aim is to keep you one step ahead, so you can operate with confidence in Qatar.

Country Risk

Qatar Country Risk

Qatar Operational Risk Coverage (9)

Qatar Operational Risk

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BMI View : Qatar is well-suited to meet its logistical needs in the short- to mid-term future. With one eye on the upcoming FIFA World Cup, and an overarching focus on achieving the 2030 Qatar National Vision objectives, the country's infrastructure is being overhauled and modernised. Combined with regionally relaxed and cost-efficient trading procedures, Qatar is well placed to ensure that its international trade is maintained at its required levels. For these reasons, Qatar scores 62.0 out of 100, placing it in sixth position out of 18 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

At present, Qatar's international trading and logistical infrastructure largely caters for the exporting of fossil fuels and the...

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Qatar Crime & Security

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BMI View : Qatar's safety and stability in contrast to other Middle Eastern countries make it an attractive location for investment. The country is an outperformer in the Middle East in terms of its overall Crime and Security Risk rating, with a score of 67.8 out of 100 and a regional ranking of second, behind Oman. This high score is based on the low impact from crime and terrorism on businesses in Qatar, and the military support it enjoys from the US. The major risks in this section come from the international tensions surrounding Qatar's support of the Muslim Brotherhood, which have...

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Qatar Labour Market

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BMI View: Qatar's labour market is restricted, leading to several potential risks for investors. On the positive side, the country's high literacy rates, large migrant population, and low employment costs mean that it comes second in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the BMI Labour Market Risks Index, scoring 60.4 out of 100. However, these positives mask the serious risks posed to businesses in Qatar due to restrictive labour laws, particularly regarding expatriate workers, and the poor quality of education in the country.

A very high rate of urbanisation, widespread literacy, and a large proportion of the working age population in employment mean that Qatar scores very highly in terms...

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Qatar Logistics

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BMI View : Qatar is well-suited to meet its logistical needs in the short- to mid-term future. With one eye on the upcoming FIFA World Cup, and an overarching focus on achieving the 2030 Qatar National Vision objectives, the country's infrastructure is being overhauled and modernised. Combined with regionally relaxed and cost-efficient trading procedures, Qatar is well placed to ensure that its international trade is maintained at its required levels. For these reasons, Qatar scores 61.1 out of 100, placing it in sixth position regionally.

At present, Qatar's international trading and logistical infrastructure largely caters for the exporting of fossil fuels and the importing of construction materials and food. With the world's largest LNG exporting facility, and several major airport and seaport refurbishment and development projects coming...

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Qatar Trade & Investment

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BMI View : Opportunities for investment in Qatar have opened up in recent years due to the requirements of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, which has resulted in a booming construction sector, and the continuing importance of the LNG (liquefied natural gas) export market. Qatar benefits from one of the most liberal tax regimes in the world, a lack of bureaucratic obstacles for businesses, and an excellent rule of law. These are the main factors behind its high score of 63.8 out of 100 in the BMI Trade and Investment Market Risks Index, ranking the country second in the MENA region. Nevertheless, BMI highlights that there are significant risks to foreign investors in Qatar, as the country remains biased in favour of domestic sources of investment,...

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Qatar Industry Coverage (18)

Autos

Qatar Autos

Commercial Banking

Qatar Commercial Banking

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Commercial Banking Sector Indicators
Date Total assets Client loans Bond portfolio Other Liabilities and capital Capital Client deposits

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Consumer Electronics

Qatar Consumer Electronics

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BMI View: Our positive outlook for Qatar's consumer electronics market is underpinned by high consumer spending power, rapid population growth from the influx of migrant workers, and the government's continued commitment to investment in the ICT sector, as part of its goal to reduce the country's dependence on hydrocarbons. Qatar's wealthy consumers will drive value growth in the consumer electronics market through take-up of high-end smartphones, tablets and TVs. Mobile operators Ooredoo and Vodafone will contribute to this trend, as they encourage subscribers to migrate to 4G mobile services and increasingly target consumers with multi-play service offerings, compatible with multiple device ownership. Meanwhile, the government's expansionary policies have resulted in a rapidly growing population of migrant workers to support the construction and hospitality sectors. This is in turn driving...

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Food & Drink

Qatar Food & Drink

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BMI View: Qatar's economic prospects remain the most positive in the region. We forecast real GDP growth of 5.7% for 2014, accelerating to 6.6% in 2015 as the new Barzan gas development is scheduled to come on-stream in Q115. On the consumer side, the outlook for food and drink companies remains really strong on the back of forecast real private consumption growth of 13.0% in 2014 and 10.0% in 2015, compared to an annual average of 6.2% between 2009 and 2012.

Headline Industry Data (local currency)

  • 2014 food consumption growth = +5.7%; compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2014 to 2018 = +5.4%.

  • 2014 bottled water value = +13.5%; CAGR 2014 to 2018 = +12.1%

  • 2014 mass grocery...

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Freight Transport

Qatar Freight Transport

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The Qatari shipping sector continues to be dominated by the export of the country's key commodity, natural gas, through the export terminal of Ras Laffan. Much of this is transported by national carrier Nakilat. However, the country aims to increase its container and dry bulk shipping presence as well through the development of the New Doha port, which is being developed to focus on capturing some lucrative transhipment trade.

The country is not only investing in its ports. There are also significant developments in road and rail, not least the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail network and the causeway that will link Qatar with Bahrain. We forecast moderate growth in trade and port throughput in Qatar over the medium term. Air freight is also taking off, supported by the growth of Qatar Airways Cargo and a new terminal.

Headline Industry Data...

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Information Technology

Qatar Information Technology

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BMI View: Qatar's high private consumption levels and bright economic growth outlook are generating good opportunities in the country's IT sector. Although Qatar's small population prevents it from becoming a major IT hub in the MENA region, the ICT sector has been a key beneficiary of the government's drive to diversify the economy away from the hydrocarbons, notably through its e-Government 2020 Strategy and strong support for the development of smart cities. BMI expects the government to remain committed to these goals, despite the sharp drop in oil prices in the second half of 2014. Indeed, lower oil prices further emphasise the importance of catalysing growth in other sectors, and the government can rely on large fiscal reserves to continue enhancing IT systems across government agencies and state-owned companies, at least over the next two to three years.

Headline...

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Infrastructure

Qatar Infrastructure

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BMI View: Qatar's construction industry continues to perform strongly and with average real growth of 10.2% over our 10-year forecast period, we do not expect this strength to diminish. We do not expect lower oil prices to have a notable impact on growth, given the centrality of infrastructure spending to the government's well financed plans. The industry is navigating capacity constraints seemingly well, although we still believe price pressures will be felt over the medium term.

Qatar is the fastest growing construction and infrastructure market in the GCC and remains one of our favourite construction markets, buoyed by huge government investment, a stable...

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Insurance

Qatar Insurance

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BMI View: The Qatari insurance market is starting to realise its vast potential in a country with the highest level of GDP per capita in the World. With penetration currently lower than in the majority of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) States, insurers are starting to take advantage of opportunities for growth outside of the core and relatively saturated household property and motor insurance markets. In particular, we see huge growth potential for coverage of the country's rapidly expanding construction and engineering industries as the country invests in new infrastructure in time for the 2022 football World Cup. So far more than USD100bn is reported to have been sidelined for new infrastructure projects, which should filter through into demand for transport and casualty insurance, to name but a few of the potential growth spots.

In 2015 we nevertheless expect personal insurance...

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Medical Devices

Qatar Medical Devices

Oil & Gas

Qatar Oil & Gas

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BMI View: Fuelled by the world's third largest proven conventional gas reserves, Qatar has positioned itself as the leading global exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Rising competition, led by liquefaction growth in Australia and potentially the US and East Africa, will pose a challenge to Qatar's hold on the global gas market later in the decade. Qatar is responding by making increasing efforts to diversify its economy through expanding its downstream and petrochemical sectors. The country is growing the international presence of Qatar Petroleum International to offset slowing growth in domestic oil and gas projects, given the absence of plans for an expansion of LNG and GTL export capacity.

Headline...

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Petrochemicals

Qatar Petrochemicals

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BMI View: Following the cancellations of the Al Sejeel and Al Karaana petrochemicals projects, Qatar's drive towards petrochemicals development over the medium term has been severely slowed, undermining its stake in global production growth and preventing the country from realising multi-billion dollar revenues from downstream diversification.

Qatar's competitive edge has been undermined by a combination of factors, including rising construction costs; the planned surge in shale-based capacity in the US; and the diminishing cost advantage of ethane - Qatar's main feedstock - as naphtha prices fall in line with oil prices. Had Qatar's projects gone ahead, domestic gas demand would have risen considerably, leading to market constraints and fuelling an ethane price rise. For investors, these trends would have left the projects unprofitable.

Qatar's reliance on ethane...

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Qatar Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Power

Qatar Power

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BMI View: The Qatari power sector is set for strong growth over the coming decade as the government continues to spend heavily on new infrastructure projects, while domestic energy consumption continues to grow. There is no sign of a let-up in government spending on the horizon, particularly as the emirate gears up for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. With the economy in good shape, and demand for power likely to continue rising over the next few years, the electricity sector is in good stead.

The outlook for the domestic power sector in Qatar...

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Real Estate

Qatar Real Estate

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BMI View:  The real estate market in Qatar continues to prosper with the massive growth occurring in the tail end of 2014. As we look into 2015 our positive outlook for the economy over 2015 supports our view that investment will remain strong in the real estate sect, which should only increase in the longer term as the country a boost in real estate expenditure as it prepares for the world cup in 2022.

While Qatar's real estate sectors falls in the shadow of some its more prosperous neighbours such as UAE, developments such as the 2020 world cup and 2030 vision programme auger well for the real estate market in Qatar. For the most part commercial real estate in Qatar relate to its main cities Al Khor Al Wakra and Doha, however there has been significant plans from the Qatar government to improve real estate in other...

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Shipping

Qatar Shipping

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The Qatari shipping sector continues to be dominated by the export of the country's key commodity, natural gas, through the export terminal of Ras Laffan. Much of this is carried by national carrier Qatar Gas Transport (Nakilat). However, the country is also looking to increase its container and dry bulk shipping presence, through the development of the New Doha Port, which is being developed with an eye to capturing some lucrative transhipment trade. Furthermore, Qatar is making its presence felt in foreign ports sectors and is investing in developing facilities in Egypt.

Headline Industry Data

  • Port of Doha container throughput forecast to grow by 5.7% in 2015, and to average 10.9% per annum to 2019 (including transferred operations to New Doha from 2016).

  • 2015 port of Doha total tonnage throughput forecast to expand...

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Telecommunications

Qatar Telecommunications

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BMI View : Despite Qatar's small population and one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the region, there remain considerable subscriptions and revenue growth opportunities for the country's two telecoms operators, Ooredoo and Vodafone Qatar . On one hand, the influx of migrant workers to support the construction boom will sustain subscriptions growth, while on the other, high spending power among Qataris will underpin strong demand for 4G and converged wireline telecoms services. Competition between the two operators for these high value segments of the market will drive network expansion and the development of...

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Tourism

Qatar Tourism

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BMI View: Qatar is set to see a steady rise in inbound tourism throughout our forecast period as the country focuses on increasing international inbound travel as well as promoting green tourism. Investment will increase as the country prepares to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and this benefit will be felt throughout the country and increase the overall value of the hotel industry.

Owing to the geographical location of Qatar and the easy access by road and air travel from surrounding Middle Eastern countries, the majority of inbound tourism comes from here and we expect this to continue throughout our forecast period. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) area in particular has seen a surge in travel to Qatar over recent years and inbound travel from this region will continue to rise. Overall tourist arrivals will also increase but the pace will be slower than that of...

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Water

Qatar Water

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BMI View:  This quarter we have expanded and revised our forecasts to include water extraction by source, mains and household consumption, losses and treated wastewater. Overall, although we see Qatar as one of the most active water infrastructure sectors due to the extensive investment being undertaken in the run up to the 2022 FIFA event, we continue to view the overall water and sanitation services as underdeveloped, particularly the latter, due to the lack of adequate sewage networks and treatment facilities. 

Qatar is one of the largest per capita water consumers in the world, with consumption levels quadruple that of the average European consumer. In order to cater to the vast consumption levels and limited freshwater reserves, the country is focusing on a massive...

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