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Chapter | Tax from The Report: Qatar 2020

On December 13, 2018 Qatar repealed the decade-long Income Tax Law (Law No. 21 of 2009) and issued the new Income Tax Law (Law No. 24 of 2018). Executive regulations (ERs) implementing Law No. 24 of 2018 were published on December 11, 2019. Highlights have been prepared based on the ERs accompanying Law No. 24 of 2018. The new ERs contain substantive changes covering the determination of taxable income, withholding tax application, exemption of Qatar/GCC natural persons, subsidiaries of listed entities and transfer pricing. The effective date of these new ERs was the day after their issuance in the Official Gazette: December 12, 2019. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sultan Hassan Al Dosari, Chairman; and Alamgir Khan, Deputy Chairman, Grant Thornton Qatar.

Chapter | Retail from The Report: Qatar 2020

In response to the blockade imposed by some of its neighbours in June 2017 Qatar has expanded its trading relationships, particularly with Iran, Turkey and Russia. The country has also promoted its own domestic industries to help surmount limitations on imports. As a result, the retail sector has shifted towards locally produced goods, especially in food and luxury segments. The supply of retail space has risen, supporting Qatar’s reputation as a regional shopping centre. While there are issues such as an oversupply of commercial space, the change in the foreign direct investment law and the 2022 FIFA World Cup position Qatar well for medium-term growth. This chapter contains interviews with Bader Al-Darwish, Chairman and Managing Director, Fifty One East; and Khaled Sam Hosn, CEO, Mall of Qatar.

Chapter | Health from The Report: Qatar 2020

The development of new facilities is set to continue in the coming years, with a raft of new hospitals and clinics under way across the country in order to meet growing demand for medical services. Another key focus in 2020 will be on the government’s ongoing plans for a national health insurance scheme. The role that this new law envisions for private sector operators will be a determinant of investment and growth potential, particularly as pressure on the public sector continues to rise with the growing incidence of non-communicable diseases and the more recent threat posed by Covid-19. This chapter contains an interview with Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health and Managing Director, Hamad Medical Corporation.

Chapter | Education & Research from The Report: Qatar 2020

Qatar’s education sector has a rich mixture of state and independent kindergartens, schools and universities bolstered by continued investment aimed at serving a growing population and supporting the country’s economic development. Education administrators pay close attention to international standards and indices that measure student learning outcomes and are working through a five-year reform programme to enhance the performance of schools and universities. Dedicated efforts by the government focused on improving learning outcomes and global rankings among primary and secondary school students, in addition to the influx of an array of international universities, are set to ensure the sector’s sustained growth over the medium term. This chapter contains an interview with Abdul Sattar Al Taie, Executive Director, Qatar National Research Fund.

Chapter | Tourism, Culture & Sport from The Report: Qatar 2020

Tourism is one of the most promising prospects for growth as Qatar aims to shift its economy from one dependent on hydrocarbons to one that is more diversified and sustainable. Efforts aimed at attracting visitors from a wider range of countries, international marketing campaigns and liberalised visa reforms have helped the sector maintain momentum despite the blockade. The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be an opportunity for the country to show off its culture, heritage and architecture to not only the 1.5m fans in attendance, but the 3.4bn-strong television audience as well. It will be necessary for the authorities to leverage this attention to encourage individuals from near and far to visit and enjoy the country’s diverse set of offerings.

Chapter | ICT from The Report: Qatar 2020

The year 2020 presents exciting prospects for the Qatari ICT sector. Vodafone and Ooredoo have committed to roll out 5G in all densely populated areas, along primary roads and motorways, and at venues associated with the 2022 FIFA World Cup by the end of 2020. In anticipation of this, stakeholders will be closely monitoring the opening of Lusail City. Investors will also be looking for further opportunities from the Smart Qatar Programme, also known as TASMU, after the Ministry of Transport and Communications awarded 11 multimillion-dollar contracts under the programme at the annual Qatar IT Conference and Exhibition in November 2019. The flagship project to develop the TASMU Central Platform was awarded to a consortium of firms, of which Oooredoo was the main partner. This chapter contains interviews with Mohammed Ali Al Mannai, President, Communications Regulatory Authority; and Ghada Philip El Rassi, Board Member, MEEZA.

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