Legal Market Overview
Qatar has historically had extensive business ties with its regional neighbours, which is precisely why the blockade imposed by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has had such a profound effect on the Qatari economy and thus on the nation’s legal market. While trade relations with countries including Turkey have increased, this has almost been born of necessity, as trade flows from some of Qatar’s most stable economic allies have been significantly disrupted by the blockade. The inevitable uncertainties for international investors have triggered several restructuring efforts, especially in industry sectors such as shipping, which has been among the hardest hit. Looking at the market’s legal demands specifically, the blockade has thrown up a number of regulatory hurdles, which has resulted in an increased need for cross-border regulatory expertise, as clients with a significant presence in other GCC nations have sought to mitigate commercial disruptions to their Qatar-facing activities. The blockade has also led to a consistent flow of disputes especially in the construction sector, where projects with certain international parties have been stalled or have been abandoned entirely.
Despite the current uncertainties, many investors have chosen to stay the course. The Qatari market offers significant investment opportunities, especially in the oil and gas, real estate and construction sectors, which has recently been spearheaded by the Qatari government initiating and otherwise encouraging heavy investments in the transport infrastructure space. Further, the FIFA World Cup 2022 is expected to significantly boost the economic prospects of Qatar.