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A Little about the Qatar Free Zone Authority

Havier was an aspiring entrepreneur. Having started 2 companies in his home country and a further 2 outside his home country; he was ready for a 3rd and this time his target was the middle east. As with all or most entrepreneurs, he was not ready to let go of the stake of the company that he wanted to start in Qatar. He simply could not understand why he would not be allowed to start his business as an individual owning 100% of the company he is starting.

This adamant outlook towards protecting his interests turned up quite a few facts. The biggest one being that there were certain areas/zones in Qatar, where one could own 100% of their business. However, this was not always the case. Reforms in the laws of the country and development and self-sustainability regulations have catapulted a different type of thought process in the country, where foreigners could own what they were putting their effort to build. This transformation has led to the development of the Qatar Free Zone Authority.

The two main areas under the QFZ Authority are Ras Bufontas and Umm Alhoul and both are strategically located for connectivity. Ras Bufontas is located right next to the prestigious Hamad International Airport, which has been voted as one of the best Airports in the world. This means that there will be a seamless connection between Ras Bufontas and any air cargo that needs to be sent out. Umm Alhoul, on the other hand, is located right next to the Hamad Port which is the world’s largest greenfield port. This gives an ideal location for industries who are dependent on sea freight and shipping routes to ensure their business is a success.

Havier quickly realised that these were zones that were designed to supply and support the country’s economic and infrastructural needs to achieve the point of self-sustenance that Qatar is striving towards after the geopolitical situation that arose two years ago.

Both Zones come with plots in which can be utilized in three different ways. The first method is to take a plot and build on it, using a third-party contractor approved by the QFZ to build to your specific requirements. Depending on the type of industry and need you have, you can tailor-make your plot.

The second method is to give the required specifications to the QFZ so that they will build for you at the mentioned specification you have for your business to succeed. This is especially useful if you are a new entrant into the country and don’t know anyone who would be able to fulfil your build needs.

The last method is to use the prebuilt spaces that QFZ provides. You are allowed to make modifications on the given built areas so that it accommodates your requirements in undertaking your business.

Umm Alhoul boasts a fully integrated maritime industry park called MARSA. MARSA, an Arabic word which stands for Anchor. MARSA was specifically built to serve as a base for companies from around the world to conduct activities as diverse as ocean vessel building and repair, internal design and fit-out, ship provisions supply, safety training, boat brokerage and maritime research. This unique facility is embedded into the Zone to serve as a world-renowned facility for ships.

Ras Bufontas and Umm Alhoul have been designed in such a way that it is not just a place of work. Housing accommodation, retail stores, mosques, parks, clinics and various other amenities have been planned into the areas. The Zones are the complete package with metro and bus routes connecting the once distant areas and making them very accessible. Ras Bufontas and Umm Alhoul are 20 and 30 minutes away from Doha city respectively. Once in the city, there are a plethora of activities to keep you occupied.

Havier’s journey still had a unique problem. His business did not qualify, and he was unsure how to proceed. To him, both Zones were perfect for manufacturing business’ but for a person who is in the trading business, it was a nightmare. He was still to find an option to have 100% ownership. However, this is where he was referred to BBMS.

Even though BBMS still held 51% of the shares, they did so in trust and have worked out a system to ensure that the complete financial, managerial and administrative control of the business was retained by Havier. This was not the 100% ownership model he was looking for but was secure and close enough that he was considering this model.

Are you looking to see what is the best and most secure method to get your company set up so that you are still in control? Then talk with one of our consultants at BBMS by calling +974 40 120 333 or email us at We are looking forward to hearing from you!


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