Golden Guidelines for Business in Qatar
Known as �Dawlat Qatar� to the locals, the �State of Qatar� is a small Arab country positioned in the Middle East. Reigned by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the State of Qatar has been in absolute monarchy under the Al�Thani family since the mid-19th century. The world�s leading per capita production and proven reserves of natural gas and oil can be found here. The year 2010 saw the State of Qatar with the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita as well as an impressive growth in its economy by 19.40 %.
If one plans on visiting Qatar strictly for business purpose; the most favorable time for visit would be between the months of October to June. Usually the officers from private and public sectors go for vacation during the time frame between July and September. However one should avoid going to Qatar for business trips during the fasting month of Ramadan as this is the time when the businessmen of Qatar give more priority to family and worship.
The people of Qatar normally observe two main religious festivals that differs every year as per the lunar calendar; Eid Al- Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. During this time the government ministries are closed for a much more duration of time as compared to the private companies. In the State of Qatar, Government working hours are from Sunday to Thursday with timings from 7am to 2pm. While Private sector working hours are from 8am to 12:30pm and 4pm to 7:30pm.
In Qatar, it is the public sector which tenders maximum number of project opportunities. Public Sector Tenders are managed by the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) of the Ministry of Economy. The CTC applies normal tendering procedures and abides by proven performance practices. It recognizes the standards for rules that govern the bidding process. The technical bids which have been presented to the CTC are suggested to suitable government end-user for short-listing. Then the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) releases the commercial bids and advises the lowest priced competent bidder to the individual concerned who will then make decision for the final award. Besides the CTC, few other governmental bodies who have internal tender committees are Qatar Armed Forces, New Doha International Airport, Qatar Petroleum, Ministry of Interior and Public Works Authority.
While conducting a business transaction in Qatar, it is necessary to be familiar with the Qatari culture & lifestyle. Arranging a business meeting is not a simple process as businessmen have a hectic traveling lifestyle. The country inspite of having solid financial resources, has a scarcity of skilled labor. In Qatar, while doing a business transaction it would be more sensible to have all spoken agreement to be fortified by a written contract. When it comes to modes of payment, the local establishments always give more preference for doing business through a Letter of Credit. Only when there is a deep level of bonding and plenty of trust that cash is used in advance
Opening an office in the State of Qatar for a foreigner can be very challenging and a rigorous process. One will have to prepare himself for loads of authentication, certification and approval of documents. Here the concept of e-commerce is not implemented on a large scale.
The people of Qatar are known for upholding qualities like honesty and transparency amongst their equivalents. Inspite of having a top quality product, best rate and impeccable service, what is more important is to have an interface with the appropriate contact and key decision maker. An imperative business trait for attaining success is by detecting the right business partner and sponsor from this area. Important connections and contacts have a greater role to play when it comes to business transactions.