So you want to build a hotel in Qatar?

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Doha has 17,964 hotel rooms available today, primarily in the four- and five-star hotel and deluxe apartment hotel categories. The Doha Port also has fully equipped berths for cruise ships to accommodate a minimum of 6,000 additional visitors at the highest international standards.

According to the Qatar Tourism Authority, 48 new five-star hotels with 13,151 rooms, 41 new four-star hotels with 8,829 rooms and nine new three-star hotels with 2001 rooms are planned and will be ready by 2016. A further 10,452 apartment-style hotel rooms are in the planning stage. As such, hotel investors and operators can see massive growth potential in Qatar. But how does a hotel business become established given the particular laws of Qatar?

The Foreign Capital Investment Law (no. 13 of 2000) (the Foreign Investment Law) regulates foreign investment within Qatar and sets down a general principle at Article 2 that foreign investors are allowed to invest in all sectors of the national economy provided they have one or more Qatari partners owning a minimum of 51% of the capital. Accordingly, foreigners wanting to establish a business enterprise are generally restricted to owning a maximum of 49% of any such enterprise…

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