Qatar has opened its market for foreigners who can now buy a $200,000 property to get temporary residency for the term of ownership or spend $1 million for the benefits of permanent residency, which includes free schooling and healthcare.
Investment of $200,000 buys a 540 sq ft studio in Lusail’s new Fox Hills development north of Doha, while $1 million would cover a 330 sqm three-bed seaview apartment in the Pearl.
Foreigners can house hunt in 25 areas mostly in and around the capital Doha — nine on a freehold basis and the rest with 99-year leaseholds. Retail units in malls also qualify buyers for residency.
The scheme, announced in September, in the latest in a series of measures designed to diversify Qatar’s economy away from fossil fuel dependency and attract foreign capital ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
The opening up would help absorb an oversupply of units, which has seen prices fall by almost a third since 2016.
In Qatar, 90% of the 2.75 mil people are temporary guest workers, mostly employed on projects linked to the 2022 World Cup. The pandemic has hit Qatar’s residential market hard, according to reports.
Most of the buyers are expected to be foreigners already living in Qatar such as Lebanese, Iranians, Egyptians and Indians.