How to set up an engineering consultancy in Qatar
How to set up an engineering consultancy in Qatar?
Qatar is currently undergoing enormous economic growth. The opportunity to host the FIFA World Cup has sparked huge development of the country’s infrastructure. The construction of new stadiums and other ongoing engineering projects such as the redevelopment of the old Doha Port, the Lusail Light Rail Transit Project and the Sharq Crossing have created thousands of new jobs and investment opportunities and presented engineering consultancy companies with a unique opportunity to capitalise on this rapid expansion and growth.
Who governs engineering consultancies in Qatar, and which law regulates their practice?
Engineering professions in Qatar are regulated by Qatar Law No. 2 of 2014. It details the regulations pertaining to all engineering professions and stipulates all requirements for any local or international engineering companies operating in the country.
The law defines all engineering professions and specialisations into the following categories:
• Architectural Engineering
• Chemical Engineering
• Civil Engineering
• Electrical Engineering
• Mechanical Engineering
• Petroleum and Gas Engineering
• Other fields of engineering
To begin practising in any field of engineering in Qatar, an individual must first register with the “Register of Engineers”, and any consultancy which wants to operate in the country must become part of the “Register of Local Engineering Consultancy Offices” or the “Register of International Engineering Consultancy Offices”.
What are the requirements for acceptance to “The Register of International Engineer Consultancy Offices”?
The requirements for eligibility are:
• The Consultancy company must be a branch of a main office in another country that is fully licensed and has been practising for a minimum of 10 years.
• The parent branch must give official assurance to support the foreign branch and accept all liabilities that arise from its activities.
• The parent must officially establish the foreign branch’s memorandum of incorporation, articles of association and attest to its financial stability with evidence of its activities in the parent country.
• The executive engineer appointed by the branch must be registered with the Engineers register, hold qualifications from a recognised university and have evidence of a minimum of 10 years in professional practice.
• The main office must have foreign branches established in at least four other countries.
How to set up a business in Qatar
Non-Qataris may hold 100 % of a foreign engineering consultant business under the amended legislation, providing that the firm complies with all legal requirements:
• It must be a branch of a principal office located outside the nation that is licensed to practise in that country. The business must also have branch offices in at least four additional countries.
• At least ten years must have elapsed after the main office was licensed, during which time it must have continued to be engaged in the engineering consultancy sector. Furthermore, the company must present a verified assurance from the relevant Qatari embassy outlining its commitment to assist the office requesting the licence and to be held accountable for all duties deriving from practising in Qatar.
• The company must provide all necessary documentation demonstrating its operations, financial capability, and work undertaken outside Qatar. This will include annual budget sheets, international quality/efficiency certifications, and audit reports, among others.
Local Engineering Consultancy
All local engineering consulting businesses are subject to the general provisions of the Foreign Capital Investment Law, which require at least 51% Qatari ownership.
Requirement for management and staffing
All engineers employed by these businesses must be registered with the Register of Engineers. Registration is reserved exclusively to Qatari nationals and residents. A qualified engineer must possess a bachelor's degree in engineering or a closely related subject from an internationally recognised university or institution, as well as pass technical competency examinations in his or her field of expertise. Additionally, all engineers must have at least five years of relevant professional experience.
The Engineers and Engineering Offices Accreditation and Classification Committee of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) approves all applications for the establishment of international engineering consultancy firms.
On the official website, you may download and complete the paper form, which you must then send to the Engineers and Engineering Offices Accrediting and Classifying Committee.
You must also provide the following documents:
• Letter to the chairman of the Engineers and Engineering Offices Accreditation and Classification Committee asking for initial approval and establishing the office category and requisite specialisations.
• Original memorandum of association for the head office in the nation of origin, as well as articles of association (if available) (both certified by the Foreign Ministry in Doha).
• Certificate provided by relevant authorities at the main office's address certifying the company's practice of engineering consulting for a minimum of 10 years (certified by the Foreign Ministry in Doha).
• Valid licence certificates for at least four nations other than the home country's office (certified by the Foreign Ministry in Doha).
• The head office's annual budget for the three years before the date of application submission, audited by a professional auditing firm.
• Details of ten significant projects completed by the headquarters or its subsidiaries in five nations other than the native country. The office shall be compensated for these projects in the amount of at least one hundred million Qatari Riyals, accompanied by documentation signed and stamped with the office seal and including information about the projects' specifics and completion date (certified by the Foreign Ministry in Doha).
• Original copies of the main office's or its branches' quality evaluations or international professional certifications (where applicable).
QR 25,000 is the base charge, with an extra QR 4,000 for each specialisation.
How can PRO Partner Group help?
PRO Partner Group has strong ties with Qatar and, an extensive team on the ground with in-depth knowledge of the market, company incorporation requirements, government departmental requirements and visa, labour and immigration services.
We understand that entering and developing in new markets is challenging. We can help you identify the correct legal entity for your business setup in Qatar and assist you with all relevant PRO services, such as staff visas, immigration and labour matters, and all relevant company licensing, corporate structuring, and corporate governance.
If you need guidance on setting up a engineering consultancy agency in the Qatar or any other related company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman or Saudi Arabia, then please do get in touch with us on +974 4478 8765 for Qatar Doha office, +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai, or email us at email@example.com or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.