Guide: Buying A Property In Qatar

Guide: Buying A Property In QatarPhoto by Tierra Mallorca

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Buying a property in Qatar can be a great investment. Whether you want to buy a property in Doha for you and your family to live in, or you wish to buy something for other reasons, purchasing real estate can pose many benefits.

However, if you are a non-Qatari you need to adhere to special rules and regulations. For example, foreigners are only allowed to buy property in certain specific areas in Qatar. And that’s not the only thing you need to know before buying a property in Qatar.

In this short guide, you will find out exactly how you can buy real estate in Doha (or elsewhere in Qatar). This quick article can help you in the long run and prevent a lot of future frustration and confusion.

Are you asking yourself the question: Should I buy property in Qatar? Then you want to read this guide first.

Where can I buy a property in Qatar?

In the past, non-Qataris couldn’t buy property in Doha or the rest of Qatar. This changed in 2004 when the Qatari government opened the real estate market for expats. However, options were limited, as expats could only buy real estate in specific districts of the city.

The initial districts that were opened up for non-Qatari purchase were:

  • The Pearl
  • West Bay Lagoon
  • Al Khor Resort Project

Since then the Qatari government has slowly changed regulations further in favour of foreigners purchasing property in Doha. The most recent move forward was the Cabinet Resolution No. 28 of 2020, which opened up several other areas in Qatar for expats for either ownership or benefit of property.

This new resolution granted non-Qataris the right to own and use real estate (freehold) in a total of 9 areas:

  • The Pearl
  • West Bay (Al Qutaifiya)
  • Al Khor Resort
  • Al Dafna (Administrative Area No. 60)
  • Al Dafna (Administrative Area No. 61)
  • Onaiza (Administrative Area No. 63)
  • Lusail
  • Al Kharayej
  • Jabal Thuaileb.

Aside from these freehold areas, the state has further opened up 16 usufruct areas in which non-Qataris may benefit from real estate for 99 years. These areas are:

  • Musheireb (area 13)
  • Fereej Abdulaziz (area 14)
  • Al Doha Al Jadeeda (area 15)
  • Old Al Ghanim (area 16)
  • Al Rifaa and Old Al Hitmi (area 17)
  • Isslata (area 18)
  • Fereej Bin Mahmoud (area 22)
  • Fereej Bin Mahmoud (area 23)
  • Rawdat Al Khail (area 24)
  • Al Mansoura and Fereej Bin Durham (area 25)
  • Najma (area 26)
  • Umm Ghuwailina (area 27)
  • Al Khulaifat (area 28)
  • Al Sadd (area 38)
  • Al Mirqab Al Jadeed and Fereej Al Nasr (area 39)
  • Old Doha International Airport (area 48)

To further assist expats in their property search, the Ministry of Justice has recently launched a specific section on their website about non-Qatari land ownership.

As soon as you buy a property in Qatar you are automatically granted a homeowners’ residency permit. This permit entitles you (and your family) to live in Qatar for 5 years. The new section on the government website aims to speed up this process for you as it automatically guides you through the residency application procedure.

You can find this portal on the official government website.

What else you need to know before buying a property in Qatar

Buying a property in Qatar can be quite confusing, especially if you are not from around here. Here are a few more things to consider when you plan on buying a property in Qatar.

Working with a real estate agency

The smartest thing you can do if you are planning to purchase real estate in Qatar is to find a trusted real estate agency or broker.

There are dozens of reputable, well-known real estate agencies in Qatar that can help you during your property search. Here are a few examples of leading agencies in Doha:

With a trusted real estate agencies by your side, you are much more likely to purchase your new dream property in a matter of days, completely stress-free!

A buying off-plan

Nevertheless, you may decide to try your luck without the help of a real estate agency. Granted, this can save you some money in fees that you would pay the agency for their help. But the process can be a lot more difficult, and for most expats the fees are definitely worth it.

If you do wish to do it yourself you may consider a buying off-plan. This method allows you to buy the property in Qatar directly from the project developer. This is much cheaper than buying a finished property through a real estate agency.

However, the mortgage rules are not as straight forward and unless you are acquainted with Qatari regulations this is not advised. Instead, buying a property in Doha through an agency is much easier.

Closing the deal

Once you found a property you are interested in, whether on your own or through a real estate agency, it is time to negotiate a price and close the deal.

For this process, both parties will hire a lawyer to help with drawing up the contract and finalising things. Once the contract is ready, you will be required to make a down payment. This down payment is usually around 30% of the total price.

Registration of your property

Once the deal is done, it is time to head to the Real Estate Registration and Authentication Department where you register that you have bought the property. This department is a subsection of the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning.

Timeframes: What to expect

On average, buying a property in Qatar takes around 30 days to complete once the contract (or Agreement for Sale) has been signed by both parties.

You are ready to buy property in Qatar

And that is the process. Since initially opening up the market to expats in 2004 the Qatari government has been increasingly welcoming to foreigners. Anno 2020, buying a property in Qatar is easier than ever.

That said, it is always advisable to get in touch with a licensed real estate agency to help you out. It can save you a lot of time and stress.

Happy house hunting!

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