Doha Qatar-The FDI of Qatar has increased by 4 percent or $7.8bn to $186bn at the end of the first quarter of 2018. The population of Qatar is 2.6 million people and has the best demographics for targeted CRE investments.This FDI increase is driven by Qatar’s revised legislation and regulations to provide further incentives to foreign investors and allowing up to 100 percent ownership in all sectors, which benefit from income tax exemptions as well as exemptions from customs duties on the import of all required goods for production. Minister Al Khawari said the illegal blockade imposed on Qatar by the Arab quartet was aimed at undermining Qatar’s position as an economically independent and sovereign state. However, it presented an opportunity for Qatar to cement its position as one of the most resilient, diverse and competitive economies in the region. Qatar has recently brought about radical structural reforms to tackle obstacles to the growth drivers, as part of opening up its economy for potential international investors. At the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Minister noted Qatar has sought to make its economy more accessible to the world. The country has begun to fast-track the implementation of progressive policies to further attract foreign direct investments. This increase is driven by Qatar’s revised legislation and regulations to provide further incentives to foreign investors and allow up to 100 percent ownership in all sectors, which benefit from income tax exemptions as well as exemptions from customs duties on the import of all required goods for production. The country has worked on establishing new shipping routes with its trade partners worldwide, including Pakistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Turkey, India, Azerbaijan, and countries in Central Asia. Through agreements with these countries, Qatar aims to target a population of four hundred million, in the first stage. He added that Qatar aims to achieve this goal by capitalizing on its strategic location between East and West and utilizing its hi-tech logistics capability and world-class facilities such as Hamad Port and Hamad International Airport to bolster trade. The Minister explained that Qatar’s new port accounts for 27 percent of the regional trade volume in the Middle East with an annual capacity of 7.5 million shipping containers while Hamad International Airport is one of the biggest in the region. The airport links Qatar to more than 160 destinations through Qatar Airways, which was recently voted the best airline in the world. This strategy has proven to be highly successful so far. The Qatari exports increased by 18 percent in 2017, which resulted in a surplus of 49 percent in Qatar’s trade balance. Overall, Qatar’s foreign trade grew by 16 percent in 2017. The foreign companies that choose to operate in Qatar have now access to economic and logistics zones in strategic locations in close proximity to Hamad International Airport and Hamad Port. These areas support local and foreign investors through fully equipped sites of various sizes as well as sophisticated warehousing parks and industrial zones. Qatar is also allocating lands by way of rent for up to 50 years to foreign investors to establish their projects while allowing foreign companies to transfer their investment returns to their home countries in any convertible currency and investors to transfer the ownership of their companies to a Qatari or foreign investor in accordance with applicable laws. Currently, Qatar allows investors up to 100 percent ownership in free zones and offers tax exemptions for up to 20 years amid no restrictions on the repatriation of capital. The investors in these areas can export to local markets, tap investment funds and enter into joint ventures with local state-backed companies.Wealthy Qatar, the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter, plans to increase residential space by about 50 percent and office space by 40 percent in the next three years, partly on expected demand from the World Cup.FIFA requires Qatar have at least 60,000 hotel rooms in place for the month-long World Cup tournament, which Qatar estimates will draw about 1.5 million fans – more than half of its roughly 2.6 million population. With the 4 nation blockade retail malls have light foot traffic from the more populated regional countries participated in the blockade in what one Arab shopper a young woman call it “political haram(immoral/unlawful) and she called it “another clown sectoral- tribal conflict against the Muslim humanity”. However, the over-suppy has effected the hotel sector, which leaves global investors only the logistic sector which should benefit over the long term from the new strategy . Qatar has about 26,500 rooms and will add another 15,000 by 2022, DTZ’s report estimated. The rest will be met by rooms aboard cruise ships and in desert camps, according to the local World Cup organizing committee. These camps are expected to be bedouin-style accommodation to give visitors a taste of desert life. Much of the building is in an entirely new city, Lusail, a 38-square kilometer stretch just north of Doha dotted by commercial towers, hotels, and shopping centers at various stages of construction. Lusail is being developed by state-controlled Qatari Diar Real Estate Company, which envisions it hosting 200,000 residents and 170,000 employees. It is anchored by Qatar’s largest World Cup stadium, an 80,000 seat venue that will host the opening and closing matches.There’s going to be massive structural oversupply for office infrastructure for the foreseeable future, well after the world cup is complete.The property downturn in Doha has so far has not translated into bad loans, as bankers say borrowers holding sluggish real estate assets tend to be among the country’s wealthiest. They have capacity to withstand the market … I don’t see a major threat,” Doha Bank CEO Raghavan Setharaman said, when asked about his view of the real estate market. Qatar’s massive energy generated surplus capital flow and its tiny population of just about 2.6 million mean it is the wealthiest country per capita in the world. Its sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority, established in 2005, oversees around $338 billion in assets, according to Sovereign Wealth Center. It’s the 11th largest fund in the world, according to the research organization. In London, Qatar-backed entities have purchased a number skyscrapers, including Canary Wharf, HSBC Tower, and The Shard. Qatar bought U.K. department store, Harrods back in 2010 Qatar raised its stake in British Airways owner IAG to 20 percent and purchased a 20 percent stake in London Heathrow last year.Qatar Sports Investments owns Paris Saint-Germain Football Club. In New York, Qatar’s investment arm bought nearly a 10 percent stake in, Empire State Realty Trust, the owners of the Empire State Building, last year. The skyscraper was recently lit up with Qatari flag colors to commemorate the 10th anniversary of flights on Qatar Airways between the U.S. and Doha. A Qatari media group, BeIN, purchased Miramax Studios last year for an undisclosed amount.The fund has also invested in Uber and recently announced plans to open an office in Silicon Valley to invest more into U.S.-based tech firms. It appears that a number of central Asian investor are looking at Qatar as an investment market.