While Qatar continues to invest in major real estate projects, the government in Qatar is getting ready - again - to shape the regulatory regime of real estate development in the country. 

The Shura Council in its meeting of 6 February 2023, approved a draft law amending the Real Estate Development Regulatory Law number 6 of 2014 (the “Law”). The approval of the amendment law came 5 months following the Council of Ministers’ approval on the draft Emiri decision to establish the Real Estate Regulatory Authority. Both pieces of legislation are still not issued and are anticipated to be passed and published in the Qatari Official Gazette in the coming months.

It is important to mention that the existing Law was enacted in 2014, and since then, it was not actually put into effect, neither by the concerned regulatory authorities, nor by real estate developers.

The existing Law was meant to regulate a number of aspects in the space of real estate development, such as the licensing of developers, creating a special register for licensed developers, regulation of off-plan units and escrow bank accounts for projects. We have previously discussed the existing Law in considerable detail here: https://www.tamimi.com/law-update-articles/regulating-real-estate-development-in-qatar/.

Once the Emiri decision establishing the Real Estate Regulatory Authority is passed, real estate development will be regulated by such authority (which is anticipated to be established under the Ministry of Justice) whereas, under the existing Law, the concerned department was a department within the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This will centralise the regulation of real estate development along with other real estate matters, as the Ministry of Justice already oversees the register of real estate properties, real estate brokerage and all transactions taking place over real estate in Qatar.

An amendment to the Law, as opposed to replacement with a new one, suggests that there will be no major reform of the existing provisions, as the main concepts were already covered under the existing Law. At the first glance, it seems like the amendment to the Law and the establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority would be an attempt from the government to fully enforce the provisions of the regulatory regime. The focal point would therefore be how real estate developers will tackle the system and try to make the best out of it.

Full analysis of the amendment law and the expected strategy of the real estate developers will be forthcoming.