The QFC was established in 2005 to attract international financial institutions and firms to establish business operations in a ‘best‑in‑class’ international environment. There are two independent bodies: the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority and the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA). To operate in or from the QFC, a firm needs to be incorporated or registered by the QFC Companies Registration Office, licensed by the QFCA, and for regulated activities, authorised by the QFCRA.

Advantages of establishment in the QFC include:

  • A separate legal, regulatory, tax and business environment.
  • 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, and 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits.
  • A double taxation avoidance agreement network with more than 80 countries.

Assets managed by QFC amount to QAR28.3 bn with more than 1,500 local and international firms registered on its platform: Companies comprise investment and private banking entities, and (re)insurance and asset management firms (each of which is regulated); and consultancy service providers, law firms and financial services recruitment firms (which are non‑regulated).

The QFC is taking a major step in diversifying key economic sectors eg digital, financial services, sports, and media. An attractive incentives programme is available to multinational companies, offering free offices, highly-competitive tax incentives, and seed capital to cover five years of operating expenses in return for a 10-year commitment. An enhanced registration sees complete registration applications reviewed and processed quickly, and firms have a dedicated Business Development Representative to coordinate setting up.

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority, the commercial arm of the QFC, leads the expansion of Qatar’s financial services sector and develops relationships with the regional and global financial community. The QFCA’s strategy focuses on the creation of a global business hub for three core markets – Asset Management, Reinsurance and Captive Insurance.

The QFCRA is the independent regulatory body of the QFC, overseeing all firms conducting financial services in or from the QFC, as a combined banking, insurance and markets regulator. In 2012, the QCB Governor took over the chairmanship of QFCRA, as part of a plan to establish a single financial regime, comprising QFCRA, QFMA, QE, QCB, and the Supreme Judicial Council. 

The Qatar International Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC) was established by QFC Law No 2 of 2009 and consists of the QFC Civil and Commercial Court (First Instance and Appellate Divisions) and the QFC Regulatory Tribunal. The Court has consensual jurisdiction to hear disputes between parties from anywhere around the world and mandatory jurisdiction to hear disputes between entities registered in the QFC. There is a purpose built Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) centre.

Under Laws No 14 and 15 passed in 2021, the QICDRC’s jurisdiction was expanded to include the Qatar Free Zones and the Qatar Free Zones Authority, as well as matters referred to the Court or Regulatory Tribunal by any law in the State. A new practice direction on small claims, No 1 of 2022, substantially shortens the time to reach a judgment and offers a quick and efficient legal dispute resolution mechanism.

An additional practice guide was issued in May 2023, providing standard directions and notes for proceedings, with a framework of procedures for litigants or their legal representatives during pleadings. The guide is available online in English and Arabic at